The Passing Parade: Cheap Shots from a Drive By Mind

"...difficile est saturam non scribere. Nam quis iniquae tam patiens urbis, tam ferreus, ut teneat se..." " is hard not to write Satire. For who is so tolerant of the unjust City, so steeled, that he can restrain himself... Juvenal, The Satires (1.30-32)

Friday, June 23, 2006

DISCULPAME, DAMAS Y CABALLEROS, AND NO, I DON'T KNOW WHY I AM SAYING THAT IN SPANISH: My apologies for the light posting this week, if you can call a total lack of any sort of posting light and not a complete dereliction of duty. I have finally followed the advice of friends and family and bought a home computer to complement my always-trusty electric pencil sharpener, and I now have something of a problem. Unlike the many developer-built McMansions springing up all over America these days, with their standardized this and their standardized that and their standardized the other thing, my father built the house I live in with his own two hands. As a consequence of this, I have great plumbing in my house; my father worked on construction crews for years putting in the plumbing in buildings all over the great metropolis to the south and so whenever he did a private plumbing job he simply did what he did on the job in the metropolis; he put in small mountains of copper piping. Today, there are homes from one end of our happy little burg to the other that have enough pipe in their walls and cellars to keep a small skyscraper supplied with water for a year. When it comes to plumbing, therefore, I have no complaints whatsoever.

On the other hand, my father’s grasp of the electrician’s trade was, to be charitable, somewhat more tenuous. The wiring in my house tends towards what might best be described as the fairly whimsical, so much so that when we added the front porch a few years ago, something that entailed punching a hole in the front of the house, one of my brothers couldn’t figure out which wires were live and which ones weren’t, and solved the dilemma by drinking more than his weight in Budweiser and then touching each suspect wire he found with his fingers (I should point out here that I didn’t actually do any of the front porch remodeling or help in any way requiring some knowledge of tools and construction; my reputation for total mechanical incompetence was well known to all involved in the project and in the interests of getting the work done in a timely manner the brothers and the several friends actually doing the work decided that I should limit my contributions to the war effort to buying pizza and beer everyday for everyone involved).

Because of this, and purely in an effort to keep the house from burning down around me, a fate one always hopes to avoid unless you have enough insurance to make a little friendly arson worth your while, I have foresworn writing anything on the brand new computer until I have bought surge protectors to protect me from the electrical surges that will, no doubt, go racing through my home like hormones through a teenager’s body once I turn this thing on. In the meantime, I still have my pencils and legal paper, but I find that I have no time to transcribe these musings onto the computers at work, which remain my only connection to the Internet. Given this, my posting rate in the immediate future will be even slower than it is now, if such a thing is possible. When I have worked out my wiring issues, however, I expect that the rate will quickly climb from the positively glacial to the merely testudine in a matter of days, so I guess I have something to look forward to. In any case, and apropos nothing at all, this week marks the return of our old nemesis, the Elusive Beast, to the mother’s garden. We are contemplating what measures we will take to remove this problem once and for all.


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