Friday, August 22, 2008

Who Stinks?

"I rejoice that there are owls.”

I have a nose for this sort of thing

Unless I am mistaken, it was a Palawan Stink Badger. I sat behind one in home room in the seventh grade. Because our names were alphabetically proximate, we also ended up sharing a locker that year. So I was close enough to make a pretty good study of him.

A bit paler than most, but Palawan, I am sure. A vile mammal of the weasel family. Closer to a skunk than to the cute but ill-tempered little pests we commonly picture. All the ferocity of the American badger with the further attribute of highly potent anal gland secretions – which secretions are generously and very accurately dispensed, at even slight provocation, with often devastating effects.

He used to steal aftershave and cologne from the local drugstore – no doubt when he purchased his cigarettes. And so his shelf was conscientiously stocked with Lucky Strikes (concealed in the way only a seventh-grader can believe will avoid detection) Jade East, English Leather and, for a while, Hai Karate. An obese, chain-smoking pre-teen with a sailor’s supply of cheap perfume.

Dear old Mr. Kent would wonder aloud “What is D— doing with all that aftershave in his locker?” I am sure he suspected my locker-mate of distributing the stuff, but I learned that year that an ordinary man’s dealer’s supply can be a desperate man’s personal stash. Especially when you are talking about scents with enough potency to match the output of those anal glands under even the greatest duress.

Owls – yes please. But I do not rejoice that there are Palawan stink badgers.

"Such, such were the joys . . ."

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Pause To Consider- Further Matters of Imminent Concern

Time to grow up and post an honest blog. Now that we've Toasted for a couple of months it is time to get down to truly blogworthy matters. How about a series of excruciatingly long, pointless accounts of the truly mundane. Maybe an annotated photo journal of my "staycation". I could start with something folsky like:

With the price of gasoline going through the roof, the wife and I decided this would be a good year to spend our two weeks right here in Newton. As Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz said, "There's no place like home." And boy, she was right! So far everything we ever wanted is here right in our own back yard.
Oh yes, that's the idea. Put staycation in quotes so people will "get it"- not a va -cation, a stay-cation. It's one of those neologisms like a sale-a-bration or veepstakes or something.

And gas prices? It doesn't get any more topical that that here in the 'blogosphere" (more on that later.)

"The wife" - Christ, not even "the little lady"- just some definite object who embraced the non-vacation vacation; maybe even comanded it. At once disowned and derogated. Not a person, an office.  Horace Rumpole's She Who Must Be Obeyed.

While I'm at it, how about I insult you by explaining which Dorothy? Like it's an an obscure literary reference. Obscure. Like Moby Dick, or Superman. Read on and I'll continue to beat the tacky reference to death with talk of Toto, ruby slippers and the Wicked Witch.

No, we will have none of that here. There are important matters that remain to be considered. How about:

  • derring-do
  • akimbo
  • The New Yankee Workshop
  • poker on the sports page

Yes, that will do nicely.

Meanwhile, would you like to see a picture of my firends Bob and Margaret at our "Fourth of July Fun-in-theSun Extravaganza"? He was my room mate in college and she used to work with Bob Costas. . . .

Friday, August 8, 2008

If That Don't Beat All. I Never Saw Such A Dog.

Burn Sanderson [to Travis]: You can't hardly tell at first, not till they get to the point of slobbering and staggering around. When you see a critter in that fix, you know for sure. But you want to watch for others that ain't that far along. Now, you take a bobcat or a fox. You know they'll run if you give 'em the chance. But when one don't run, or maybe makes fight at you, why, you shoot him and shoot him quick. After he's bitten you, it's too late.

Here is what you need to know.

First, I enlarged all the font sizes on my Windows desktop. Leaning toward the screen to read the icon labels and stuff was causing me neck pain. And I don’t need reading glasses dammit!

Second, I am convinced that the three frogs that have been living in our pool know me by sight. My wife thinks it’s only one frog, but I think the three of them are just taking turns in the pool, whereas before they were all frolicking all at the same time. At my age I can certainly tell one frog from another. Not only that, but now that I have installed a safety ladder so they can escape the skimmer basket without my help, why the hell would they leave? Can you tell me that? No, I bet you can’t.

Finally, I agreed to attend a birthday party for a cat. There are extenuating circumstances having to do with the actual date of the cat’s birth and some other things that are none of your business. And the cat in question, sadly, is no longer with us, so technically it is moot. But it was to have been a birthday party and it was planned for a cat. And I agreed to attend. (Further disclosure: I had not purchased, but had not honestly ruled out purchasing a gift for dear Bandit.)

I have fully expressed my wishes in certain circumstances, (My Medical Proxy). I don’t think I am there yet. But I am concerned. If I start to slobber and stagger, well. You know what to do.

After I've bitten you it will be too late.