I’ve been thinking disparate and odd thoughts. For example, the invisible is
something of a presence hereabouts. When the school is closed I sometimes let
Hamish off leash to explore the line of shrubs planted out front of that
building. He always walks behind the vegetation, sniffing as he goes. One
reason could be that other dogs run that route; another would be that it’s a
path used by coyotes during the night. The fact that he sometimes rolls in the
grass near the school suggests that it’s frequented by animals whose manna
seems powerful to him.
It’s been an interesting week in the New York Times. One article said that
during eighteen iterations of naval war game in which the U.S. was tasked with
defending Taiwan against Chinese aggression, they lost eighteen times. Another
story was about a physicist who in mid-life fell off a mountain and died. The
writer apparently didn’t notice that saying the physicist had made “an early
impact” in his field may not have been the best choice of words. And then
there was the story of the French lawsuit in which the owner of a holiday home
sued the owner of a rooster named Maurice. The judge ruled that “Cocorico,”
which is what French roosters say, is a natural sound.
The latest I read is that Boris Johnson is thinking of tabling a motion of no
confidence in his own government. In America you table a motion in order to
let it rest for a while. Like cooked chicken. You table a motion if the
deliberative body doesn’t want to tackle it. In Britain to table a motion is
to bring it alive, open it to debate. Putting something on the table makes it
Americans and Brits both take something off the table when they want to change
a negotiation, and people bring things to the table in like manner. The only
difference is over the active verb, to table. Odd.
So now Boris, deserted by his brother and others, wants Parliament to consider
a motion that his own government is no longer viable. Why? Because it will
force an election.
I asked the chickens what they thought about Boris’ brother resigning.
“What did he sign in the first place?” was Mimo’s question.
“Is it a language? Resigning?” Appenzeller asked.
“They did that out by the road,” said Pecorino, authoritatively.
“Changed the signs.”
Of course I didn’t ask the chickens their views on tabling anything. They,
after all, eat off the ground, ingesting bits of gravel, I’m told, but I never
see evidence of this coming out the other end. Perhaps the gravel stays put?
I did invite the chickens to suggest an alternative to the Irish backstop.
They all stared, first with one eye and then the other.
“Sometimes,” said Mimo, “you make absolutely no sense.”
“You are not,” I assured them, “the first to notice this fact. Did you hear
that the French played the national anthem of Andorra before their match with
Albania? The stadium announcer apologized…to Armenia.”
“I rest my case,” said Mimo.
“On or off the table?”