Tuesday, December 30, 2008
Assuming we have a lawn to yell about, that is. Which might not happen for two major reasons...
First, global warming could kill all plant life on earth, reeking havoc on the food supply, forcing humans to use our magical powers of science to develop genetically engineered sources of nutrition and sustenance. Either that or we evolve wholly new digestive systems at a heretofore unheard of metabolic rate. A new sort of gastronomic prowess that will let us digest rock or coal would be just the thing we need.
Second, the economy might collapse, causing Jen and me to abandon our dreams of homeownership, accepting positions as deck hands on the latest and greatest line of Carnival cruise ships. If that happens, the entire world will be our front yard! And all I'll have to do is walk around with a shotgun telling the mutant teenage spawn of the world's richest people to stop messing around and get the hell out of my sleeping receptacle before I call management and have them secretly fed into the ship's engine as fuel. Once both the environment and the economy collapse, human flesh, particularly that of spoiled, rich kids, will become the source of energy that makes the world turn, of course. And it's not like the kids' parents will notice they've gone missing. Rich people don't care about their kids. Everybody knows that.
I don't think it'll come to that, though. When things get real bad, the beauty of uninhibited Capitalism will force McDonalds and Burger King to race against the clock, inventing a coal-based hamburger, solving both the nutritional and economc problems that face the world, returning everything to relative normalcy except for the minute possibility that flatulence from the McCoal Burger might result in accidental self-immolation if you buy the wrong kind of fabric for your pajamas.
Which is why I have decided to sleep in the nude from here on out. Just in case.
I'm sure you wanted that image stuck in your head. That's why I spoke so freely of my naked, hairy ass, sleeping above the covers for all to see. I'll have to sleep above the covers, of course, because if my digestive expectorations achieve a high level of flammability, it wouldn't make sense to eschew pajamas and keep the wonderful, 600 thread count sheets Jen and I got as a present (from someone or other) when we got married. Bedsheets are just as likely as my flannel, Aqua Teen Hunger Force t-shirt to catch aflame. More so, probably. Meatwad is cool, but even he is susceptible the laws of Thermodynamics. Tossing the pjs and sleeping under the covers would be about as useful giving openly corrupt bakers 50% of the American gross domestic product with no strings attached and then expecting them to be charitable with their newfound wealth.
That would be ludicrous! I'm glad nobody thinks that way!
So 2009 approaches quickly and I can't wait. if my powers of observation are correct, it looks like this will be the year that the world collapses around us and we devolve into a Mad Max style polst-Apocalyptic nightmare. I've been preparing myself for this eventuality a long time. I read "The Stand" About a 157 times when I was a kid, I laughed at "I am Legend" for all the right reasons, and I recently started in on Cormac McCarthy's entire bilbiography. I might not be able to grow food, and I can't see well enough to shoot straight and hit the zombies when they attack (and they WILL attack), but at least I'll be able to quip sarastic, vaguely philosophic rhetoric. Those are the characters everyone loves the most, anyway.
I might sound cynical and if questioned on the matter I'd have to agree. With one caveat. I'm personally optimistic but socially cynical. I hope for the best in my life, but I believe our species is on the back end of the bell curve, the part where trigonometry takes over and everything goes to shit. Faced with the prospect of a new year, I think the best thing to do is sit back with your favorite drink and watch everything burn.
It's the best kind of entertainment there is.
Monday, October 13, 2008
Some people interpret these as less proverb and more curse. I think I agree with that sentiment.
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
Our power went out at 3:00, which was a good thing because we were watching the Bengals lose to the Tennesse Titans at the time, and if the carnage on my television continued much longer I would have had to throw something large and heavy into our shiny new flat screen. We spent a decent amount of money on that thing, and I imagine Jen wouldn’t have appreciated it too much.
At least not until the Browns played.
So the power was out Sunday night and has been m.i.a. ever since. That has meant lots of money spent eating out, lots of time searching for bags of ice to keep our food from spoiling, and lots of time listening to AM talk radio, hoping in vain for positive news updates from the happy folks at WTVN, who keep telling us to look for more information on their website (how, exactly, am I supposed to do that, Paco?). Evenings move a lot slower when there isn't television to watch, and we crawled into bed early last night, hoping that the dulcet tones of Sean Hannity, who spoke excitedly about illegal aliens and fiscal responsibility, would lull us to sleep.
The worst part is that normal, rational people, who understand perfectly the rules of the road when they encounter everyday things like stop signs, apparently lose at least 50 IQ points when faced with the complex task of navigating a multiple lane intersection when the stoplights don't work. Some people - a rare few - adhere to the standard guidelines, which tell you to treat it like a four way stop. Others continue through the intersection at breakneck speeds, oblivious to everyone and everything they encounter. These are likely the same people who spend hours at home playing Grand Theft Auto and have decided to take the game to the streets now that the power has gone out and their game boxes no longer give them a questionably healthy yet completely legal outlet for their rage. They swing around corners at wide angles, shout loud profanities at old women, and attempt Olympic records for the 400m dash from each full stop, all the while hoping that if they hit a pedestrian hard enough, they'll knock him into the median and score extra points.
The worst offenders, however, are the timid. These are the people who go to bed at 8:00 pm every evening, never watch movies with a higher rating than G, and scour the ingredients of their food to make sure there are no unnecessary extravagances like salt or fat or taste. I see these people in their cars. They approach each intersection with their eyes closed, repeating a well-practiced mantra1, and then they leap into the intersection without paying attention. Only it wasn't their turn. Realizing their mistake, they panic. They cover their heads in a manner similar to what their teachers always said would protect them from a nuclear explosion when they were kids. They wave everyone else around, but people can't get past them, and everybody gets mad and starts honking, which exacerbates the whole thing, making tensions rise and causing the timid drivers to go into shock. As if they believe a real nuclear explosion is imminent. They hunker down further and prepare for the worst, which is a good thing because that's when one of the GTA's I mentioned earlier comes barreling through the intersection, ramming into the Timid Driver's car, and knocking it onto the median.The timid driver screams in horror, losing what little sanity he had left. And the GTA gets excited, thinking he's scored a thousand points and moved up a level.
We're supposed to get power back this evening. I hope so, too, because the hot water is nearly gone and I imagine we'll have to wash our clothes with a soapboard before too terribly long. Soapboards are nice when you're watching re-runs of "The Beverly Hillbillies," but in reality they stand for a complete lack of civilization and manners. I'm not saying I have either of those, but I do like to keep up pretenses.
Plus, I'd really like to get back to Grand Theft Auto.
Thursday, August 28, 2008
Time’s moving fast again. Last I checked it was early spring and summer was just around the corner. Now it’s almost fall. The recent hot dryness has turned the edges of green tree leaves brown, forcing them inward in a manner that reminds you of fall. It isn’t fall; not yet. Jen tells me it’s just the lack of water, but it feels like fall; it smells like fall. And even if it isn’t quite the real thing yet, the crispness of everything might very well be the beginning, that reminder that the wild beauty of nature’s death dance is not to far off.
Time is moving fast again. Summer passed me bye much faster than it usually does. A lot has happened these past few months to distract me and, maybe I’ll go into that here sometime soon. Maybe I won’t. Right now I’ll just sit on the deck and watch the leaves change.
Whether it’s a lack of water or the real thing doesn’t matter. It’s still beautiful.
Friday, May 16, 2008
My wife and I sat on that bench a little over two years ago. This was when we were still dating. It was daytime then and the trees were dressed in their summer leaves. We had walked all over centre island and we sat here for a bit to rest and listen to the sounds of the birds in the trees and fishermen who sat in their boats in the next cove, arguing about the fish and whether they were biting. I kissed her. Then some kids came along on the walking path and we stopped. We got up a minute later and left. It was a nice moment.
Friday, March 21, 2008
When I was a boy there was this tree, this gnarled behemoth that stood on the hill next to our apartment. A series of mean roots ripped through the ground, coalescing into a trunk covered in knotholes and crevasses and impossibly brittle bark and then, just a few feet off the ground, split into three or four large branches that danced and jigged sideways, just above the ground. The branches spread out in all directions, in and among each other, twisting their way towards the heavens. The tree never seemed to sway, even in the strongest wind, and the leaves, which turned a dark and ugly brown in autumn, were always the last to fall. I imagined the tree was a witch’s hand, sent from the depths of hell to snatch the neighborhood kids who always seemed to want to play on it.
When I was little we had this field down the hill behind the Chalmers parking lot that was covered by a lush carpet of thick, green grass that grew long and swayed in the summer breezes. I imaged invisible warriors fighting legendary battles in this field, their invisible, heavy feet moving the grass as they fought against invisible monsters to keep control of the field and protect the people who lived nearby. Some days, when it was less windy and the field stood relatively still, I searched the grass, looking for arrowheads, broken pieces of metal, and flecks of red on the green blades that covered the ground; evidence of the battle I was certain had taken place.
When I was young I found a large bone buried in the ground just past the giant tire in the playground behind my school. My friends and I spent all year trying to dig it up. We found sticks from the nearby woods and we dug into the ground near the bone, looking for the rest of the dinosaur. Of course it was a dinosaur bone. We all knew it. We hoped to dig it up by the end of the year and present our findings to the teacher, who would put us on television and give us medals for our smarts and our bravery. Everyone would love us, we told ourselves. All we needed to go was dig up that bone.
When I was a kid there were other worlds than the one in which I lived. Many other worlds.
My wife and I spent most of last night reorganizing our kitchen. We stayed up pretty late building some shelves we plan to use for wine storage and we were pretty tired by the time we went to bed. Just before we fell asleep, my wife rolled over and said, “We’re thirty. Isn’t that weird.”
“We’re not thirty yet,” I said, “We’re only twenty ten.”
“No. We’re thirty.”
“Does that mean we’re old?”
“I think so,” she said. Then she paused and continued. “Thirty. How did that happen?”
We both fell asleep shortly thereafter but, just before I nodded off, I remembered a lot of the things I used to believe when I was a kid. I thought of the chimney and the tree and the field and dinosaur bone. I haven’t thought of those things for a very, very long time.
How did that happen?