[lit-ideas] Hereabouts

  • From: David Ritchie <profdritchie@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Sun, 9 Aug 2015 10:57:11 -0700

With wife and daughters out of town, I saw an opportunity to paint the town
red, but having already spent the morning painting and having played several
sets of tennis in the afternoon, I settled for yesterday's Italian chicken
re-heated, a glass of wine and a stack of DVDs from the library. Keira
Knightley (with an American accent) selling tax advice in Seattle? Nope. I
gave her twenty minutes and switched to a French thriller, "Tell No One." Not
good either. "Mad Men" was next, a T.V. series no doubt everyone but me has
already seen. Didn't like that either. So then I started musing. You know
that segment they put on DVDs, the one that follows the FBI warning..."Piracy
is not a victimless crime"? I wondered if it's on the Disney Disc, "Pirates of
the Caribbean"? We own it and one other, so I did the due diligence. The
first movie opens with an FBI warning, but no mention of piracy being
victimless. The second disc goes directly to a segment on how great Captain
Hook was. Now you know.

The chicken view of Thursday's garden mess would, I suppose, be some equivalent
of parachuting in a regiment of elephants. On one day fowl passage to water
and everywhere they normally go was normal and on the next, a morass of
obstacles descended. You see I decided to clear out the basement, which
involved much moving of stuff and, as they say in the real estate world,
"staging." Bikes and insulation, suitcases and brewing equipment were all over
the level ground chickens usually patrol. I'm surprised there were no
demonstrations with placards, "Stuff Must Go" or "Imperialism with Liberal
Intent is Still Imperialism."
At lunchtime, pouring sweat and breathing hard, I stopped to eat a sandwich.
They wandered over to offer advice.
"Steady as you go, God. We don't want you keeling over."
"Are you drinking enough water?"
"It's really quite warm. We'd bring you our second water bottle, but we can't
see how."
"I could gargle and spit if you want. Would that help?"
"Have you been eating enough eggs?"
I found this last question extraordinary. Hitherto there has been no hint that
the chickens understood why we steal eggs. And, you'll recall, Appenzeller has
been broody, so she must have thought that hatching them still was a
possibility. I think the girls may be developing what might be called a
"mature moral attitude" to stuff they once they thought was precious. Age will
do that to most any being. Eventually even stuff from under the house will go.

One rule of writing is to avoid talking solely about yourself. I'll finish
here, therefore, with how two others wrote ads for estate sales. If you read
anything I write you'll know that my own copy editing leaves much to be
desired. It should be obvious therefore, pot calling the kettle black and so
on, that I'm not being snooty about others' typos. I like the firs example for
"sterling flatware, and chickens!" and the second for its "OMG" tone and "OLD

This lovely home offers quality furnishings throughout! Two clean, beautifully
uphoslstered chairs, misc cabintets, tables and lighting, two queen bedframes,
vintage and contemporary dressers, large set of Mikasa "Cottage Vista" dishes,
stainless, silverplate and sterling flatware, and chickens! You'll also find
cute yard art, some tools, and garden impements.

A Finnish Feast for the senses! Finnish fisherman meets master gardner. OMG,
this sale is extra exciting and diverse. Franciscan dinnerware, buffalo china,
Syracuse, garden galore, terracotta pots, Mason jars...blue and clear, fifity
plus,garden galore, Henreden furniture, solid maple furniture galore, complete
camping gear and I mean everything, every 50's dishware and kitchen possible,
Orientalia, lamps and lighting, vintage vinyl and record player, cuckoo clock,
3 couches, vintage linens, tools, vintage nautical and fishing, OLD Christmas,
DIY, shelving, dining table, office essentials, figurines, mirrors, credenzas,
wheelbarrow, massive amounts of kitsh, corner cabinets, sauna essentials,
glassware that will take you back to black and white TV, OMG we had fun in the
fifties...you got to see this one in person!

David Ritchie,
Portland, Oregon

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