[lit-ideas] Sunday Something

  • From: David Ritchie <profdritchie@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Sun, 27 Apr 2014 12:32:35 -0700

We were just out for a walk, exercising the dog before the thunder and rains 
come.  E. wanted to know whether Sunday writing ever comes as just one thing.  
"Yes," I explained, "that's called a wotsit.  Then there's a twofer or 
threefer.  Any more than than is a Something."  
"What about those others?  During the week?"
"They're different; they're carry ons."
"And what's today's?"
"I thought I might mention yesterday evening's pizza."
"The couple beside us who were talking about how much they can drink without 
passing out?"
"And the woman on my left who was thinking of giving up stripping."
"Opposite the guy with a tooth missing."
"But I'd like to get in that line in the song by what's his name...Bingford 
(Everyone in my family knows that to me one name sounds very much like another 
and what I pronounce is likely to have the same syllable count or some other 
oblique relationship to the real name).
"Parker Millsap."
"'Who can measure the end of a rope; who can count the ashes in an urn.'"
"Is that how the song goes?"
"That's how I remember it."  

Driving on a main road Beaverton I caught a glimpse of two characters you've 
likely come across in your life: one a very large mother, the other a very tiny 
toddler.  The toddler was practicing her new skill (I'm writing "she"; I have 
no way of knowing the gender) which was holding onto a hand and perambulating 
in a northerly direction.  In short, toddling.  As I drove very slowly past, 
trying to allow for any kind of just-in-case horror moment, the toddler turned 
to investigate.  Having cars come up while her back was turned must have struck 
her as ungenerous.  She turned and gave me a big wave--full forearm, fingers to 
elbow--and then beamed.  "A car!  How extraordinary!  A car! How marvelous!"

things i might covet
a list
one gatling gun
a house on a windy lake or bay 
an olympic class racer moored handily
two elephants
that picasso print we saw in san francisco
more walls and shelves
an e type jag to take me to my spitfire
very good shoes
i have

I'm assuming people are tiring of chicken stories, after all as one friend 
said, "They're only chickens," and we humans have important things to read and 
to do.  But I thought you ought to know that in the world of chickens there's a 
relationship between work and status.  There's a reason the little red hen 
story is about a little red hen.  That's the background.  So Appenzeller has 
gone broody, sitting on eggs all day.  Whether this counts as work is up for 
debate, but it has caused shifts in status.  Wensleydale called a meeting on 
the bench recently and was listened to far more closely than has been the case 
recently.  She who lays the green-blue eggs now as regularly as anyone else has 
regained status to the point that she's a position in the middle of the nightly 
perch.  When I went out there with the l.e.d. flashlight she was making the 
same comfortable noises as everyone else.  I wish I could tell you what these 
noises are like.  Imagine a sound equivalent of throwing whirling maple seeds 
back upward.

David Ritchie,
Portland, Oregon

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