Fair swag

Note: due to Katrina’s effect on my web host, you may not be reading this at all.

Back in the suburban coffee shop. The same staff today as yesterday; this is a record. Could be the owner and daughter. Or a drifter couple who have the real workers tied up behind. The music gives no clues; today it’s mid-sixties AM hits like “Tobacco Road.” (Try dancing to that one. You stomp to the verses and twitch to the chorus. Such fun.) Before coming here I got license tabs for my wife’s car. Took about 20 minutes, 18 of which were spent waiting. The numbers are announced by a robot with a pleasant-enough voice – Ken Nordine, I think – and he directs you to the proper window. “Now serving A92 at window 5.” That sort of thing. They have 15 windows; only five were in use. They should never, ever build more windows than they need. Or rather they should hide the ones not in service, because you sit there looking at the empty windows, imagining public servants in the back working on a box of Krispy Kremes like vultures on a dead water buffalo, and you begin to fume. But if they had five windows and all were staffed, and the wait one third longer, you wouldn’t mind so much. People are like that. Stupid.

Well, not all. (Certainly not me! Heavens no.) But to the fellow in the row of chairs behind me, a simple question: when you kick the row of chairs just to give your feet something to do, and someone in the row ahead turns around and stares down at your shoe, repeatedly, each time the kicking begins anew, might this be a signal to STOP KNOCKING YOUR DOGS ON THE CHAIR?

The answer, as you might expect, is “wha?”

Ah well. No complaints, despite the sound of the above. This is not the week to be complaining about much. Oh, gee, the contractors didn’t show up to put in the pond. Your problems are a little smaller than those who are currently living in an ocean studded with small roof-shaped islets. I wonder if the looters will be shot on sight, as once was the case, if not the general motto of such events. It would be hard to do, unless you sent the National Guard up in choppers. And I think the sight of helicopters roaming around commercial districts shooting guys trying to walk through sternum-deep water while hoisting a 52” flat panel over their heads would not exactly be the feel-good imagine we’re all looking for these days.

Of course, hearing that the police and fire department took part in the looting doesn’t exactly give you that warm tingly feeling, either. Jeebus. It’s like learning that the firefighters on 9/11 stripped the jewelry off the bodies after they hit the ground.


In the backyard now, four hours later, still trying to wake up. I ended up staring out the window at the coffee shop, thinking of nothing in particular, then started brooding about this and that. The entire day has had a grousy mood; this morning it took 50 fargin’ minutes to get to Gnat’s school, what with construction and congestion; ran home to get two columns in, then napped for 15 minutes. Bad dreams. I dreamed of Hello Kitty drowning, of all things. After the coffee shop I went to Costco to look at some new tires – they have everything, it seems; I plan to buy a new kidney there if the need arises – and contemplated with dismay the outlay ahead. Tires. The most unrewarding purchase ever. If you’re not a gearhead buying those cool thick tires for your low-slung death machine, there’s simply no joy in it. Tires.

Anyway, that’s it for me; I need a break. Here’s this week’s update: Son of Cooking with Seven-Up! Also new Screedblog.

Oh, that radio commercial guy with the interior monologue trick I mentioned the other day? Ken Nordine. (Thanks to all who wrote; you guys know everything.)

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