My God, people can be vile. I hate to realize sometimes how naive I can be, how I can still be surprised at someone’s ability to put the screws to their fellow man - er, person - for reasons so petty you couldn’t find them with an electron microscope. One silly minor person sets her jaw, decides to show someone what’s what, and the effect cascades through the lives of half a dozen other people.

But you know what they say: everytime a door closes, another one opens. So make sure when you close it, your tormentor’s foot is caught twixt door and frame. And slam it shut. Hard.

Other adages for today: when life hands you lemons, head down the hall, hide in the closet of your enemy, wait until they get a papercut, then leap out shouting BANZAI and crush the lemon in your hand right over the papercut. Save the peel. Go downstairs to the bar. Order a vodka. Use the peel. Yum!

Why yes, I am being oblique, and I will remain so until things shake out. Don’t worry - I’m not fired; we haven’t been evicted from Jasperwood. Everyone’s fine, but everything is different now, and how this will affect the Bleat I’ve no idea. If all turns out as I expect, nothing will change, but for a while you might expect shorter stuff and more throughout-the-day, posted-at-night quasi-blogging.

A few hours after I got The News I was outside pushing Gnat on her swing. It was hard work - the air was so humid it seemed to push back. We were both sweating. Jasper was panting. He had an upset stomach, or upset bowels; to be frank I have no idea what that was on the basement carpet, all four installments of it. But it was a perfect metaphor for the day, I guess. You know, the Chinese character for “Crisis” is the same as “opportunity.” Also the same as heaps of canine blurts. And the same as “semipublic figure who no longer has to skirt carefully around a particular subject.” Jasper was alert for my wife’s return - she was late. His ears were up. Then his head snapped up and his eyes went wide, and a second later the sirens started.

Tornados. I picked up Gnat and shooed Jasp inside, turned on the TV. Three choices. Channel Four, where Minnesotans turn by genetically implanted imperatives whenever sirens go off, had a big jaggy map that showed a large blob of grape jelly heading towards Minneapolis. A few telephone calls with weather spotters told me they had no in the field, so I turned to 9. The weatherperson told us that there were things we should do when a tornado was sighted, but unfortunately they weren’t loaded in the computer now so she couldn’t tell us what to do, and could (insert name of off screen tech here) PLEASE load those into the computer? Amateur hour. Went to channel 5, which has the new powerful SKY MAX radar that can see storms on Jupiter. More reports of clouds descending and spinning. Good advice: if you’re in the path of this storm, take cover. Yes, we know, it contradicts everything you’ve heard about going up on the roof with a parasail, but trust us.

No tornados yet. Much lightning. Great drama out there; the weather is behaving like some old senile Shakespearean actor, gesturing wildly and shouting high-flown nonsense. We’ll see what happens tonight. Last night’s storm deposited one large branch on the lawn, and it looked like a warning. Next time it’s the whole tree, pal.

After today, a tree could fall on the house and we wouldn’t be surprised.

Having a metaphorical tree fall on your house will do that to you.

Stay tuned. More tomorrow. Maybe. I don't know.

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