"The disposition of noble dogs is to be gentle with people they know and the opposite with those they don't know... How, then, can the dog be anything other than a lover of learning since it defines what's its own and what's alien." - Plato
Saturday, February 23, 2008
Somebody Nose, A 100 Word Story
Joey the Beak had a nose that was nothing to sneeze at. Cyrano De Bergerac had nothing on Joey. Teased most of his life, Joey took it all in stride because he had a special talent. Joey stepped up to the microphone and cleared his throat. He took the lid off of the Jar that had been handed to him and inhaled. “Chocolate… Mesquite… Chanel No. 5… And…” Joey hesitated. It was all riding on this. “And sheep sweat!” The crowd erupted into a cheering mob. For the third year running, Joey was the champion of the National Smelling Bee.
You know, that never meant much to me. I've been a dancing retail monkey for over two thirds of my life. Friday is just the day before everyone else has a day off. The day before all my friends went to the beach, or had a cook out, or just slept in. Friday night was the night I had to be careful or Saturday would be eight hours of work... With a hangover.
Weekends don't mean much when your weeks are round.
I can only imagine my life being different, but I really don't know. I would like to spend Saturday mowing my grass, washing the jeep. The sun shining, my windows open, rock and roll music drifting out into the yard.
While I'm at it, could I have a million dollars, a Harley, a good dog and a beautiful redhead to bring me cold beer, kiss my cheek and tell me not to work too hard because lunch is almost ready? No? I didn't think so. Thanks anyway.
So, everyone, have fun tonight, sleep late tomorrow, do something you really enjoy, and if you have to go into a retail store and the cashier is distracted and the manager looks like he's been punched in the face, be nice. Remember, you have the day off, we almost never do.
So, when the call came this year I jumped at it. This morning I dressed in my Confederate grey and went to school.
Some of the same kids were there from last year, and some new students too. They were a little more shy off the bat so I started with a little government lesson, then moved into the personal life of a soldier. I touched on clothing, food, living conditions and by the time I got to weapons they were ready to get involved. Just like last year the questions were varied and well thought. They asked about states rights, furloughs, and penalties for crimes like theft and desertion. We discussed prison camps, and war crimes. I showed them the basics of loading and firing a rifle, and we talked about different types of ordinance. I had fun, and I hope this can become a regular thing. Mrs. Peterson also gave me pictures from last year's visit, so to end up, here's one:
I would love to post more pics, but I'm loath to post the faces of minors. Great bunch of kids though. Although... That works.
Sitting on his porch in the spring air, a cigar clutched in one hand and a glass of bourbon in the other. The bottle and a bowl of ice stood at his feet. Eighty long years had brought him to this point. It was almost time. He could feel it in his bones. He took one last puff on the stogie and a sip from the glass and pushed himself erect. Swinging his cane and throwing ice cubes he yelled, “Get offa my lawn you damn kids!” He felt a little sad… The best part of his day was over.
Or maybe not... I'm back. Been back a couple of days now actually. Back at home, back at work. It was a great trip. All the family was there. The food was incredible, my brothers and I burned up a bunch of ammo, and I think a good time was had by all. So good a time that we forgot to take any pictures.
Ma was glad to see me and sad to see me go, but that's what moms do. I brought a little care package home from my big sister, but left 4 homemade pimento cheese sandwiches in Ma's refrigerator. I was a couple of hours out when I started jonesing and almost cried when I realized what I'd done. Nabs and Nekots are a poor substitute for Ma's pimento cheese.
I miss back home, but I'm glad to be back home, if you know what I mean.
As I mentioned, I stayed at my oldest brother's place Thursday night. I woke up here on Friday morning we got a big southern breakfast and headed toward Mom's. He rode with me, his son and daughter-in-law to follow on Saturday.
We stopped at South of the Border just shy of the North Carolina line. SoB is a big old tourist trap on I95. If you have ever traveled the east coast on 95 you have probably seen the bilboards. when we got there we were feeling a little silly and out came the digital camera.
Morning Peeps. I'm at Ma's, having arrived Yesterday afternoon. I didn't get on the road till 4 on Wed. Drove straight through to Vicksburg, Miss where I spent the night. I've done the battlefied tour before so after a long hot shower and a sausage biscuit I hit the highway.
In Meridian I took the exit for the Jimmie Rogers museum. After following the maze of signs around town, I arrived at noon on thursday to find this sign on the door.
I still took some pictures, and talked to some nice folks who told me if I'll call them before I get into town going the other way they'll open up special for me.
I managed to hit Atlanta at 6:00. God, that was nasty. Took the bypass and still ended up sitting in traffic six lanes wide in each direction and another hour delayed. I stopped at my eldest brother's house around 10:00, went over to visit my nephew, his pretty wife, all their toys, and two tiny crazy dogs. Back to big brother's for a drink a game of pool and bed.
I'm driving back to Carolina on a sort-of vacation to see my family. I'm driving to get in a little "me" time. It's almost exactly 1500 miles. Call it 23 hours. I'm sure you've noticed that my writing has kind of trailed off. I'm tired. I work to much. I don't eat right. My only exercise is pumping irony.
Maybe when I come back we'll talk. I'll try to send some pictures from the road.
So... I'll change the oil tonight, traffic court in the am (leadfoot), inspection sticker at lunch, tires at one, 35 n before 2, then Dallas, Shreveport, Vicksburg, Jackson, Tuscaloosa, Birmingham, Atlanta, Columbia, Rocky Mount, Ahoskie.
If I don't see you around here, I'll see you around. Hear?
A divorced northeastern North Carolina farmboy back in Carolina via Washington DC, a small Carribean island and Texas. Mostly self-educated I am the product of public schools, a few trips to college, the school of life (& hard knocks), a WWII veteran father who could build anything, and a Sunday School teacher mother who loved to read anything she could lay her hands on. As the youngest of five I am no stranger to having to defend my actions (not to mention myself).
"Mom and Dad say I should make my life an example of the principles I believe in. But every time I do, they tell me to stop it."
-Bill Watterson (Calvin & Hobbes)
If you look deeply into the palm of your hand, you will see your parents and all generations of your ancestors. All of them are alive in this moment. Each is present in your body. You are the continuation of each of these people.