March 2010 Issue

Semper Ubi Sub Ubi


Whew.  That was close.  It’s still March, right?  It must be, somewhere.  Australia?  By the way (he said, deftly changing the subject), is anyone else still creeped out by having to write “2010”?  It seems to have scrambled my noggin so badly that I caught myself writing “1997” on a check the other day.

Elsewhere in the news, Spring has sprung, of course, sinking its razor-sharp claws into my soul.  The good news is that Monroe and Babs, our resident turkey vultures, have returned to the old hollow tree where they nest every year.  The day they arrived I walked over to the tree to say hi, and one of them took off, swooped down to about six feet above my head, circled around me, and zoomed right back to the tree.  I think they like me.  They should.  I found a dead mouse in the front hall the other day, so I took it to them as a housewarming gift.

The cats whack mice around here every so often, but I don’t always notice right away because the floor is already littered with platoons of mousey cat toys, many of which are very realistic.  If you look closely, of course, you’ll notice that the cat toy mice appear to be a lot happier.

Oh yeah, the bad news is that the grass is growing.

Incidentally, I’d like to take this opportunity to give formal notice to the world that I am no longer paying attention.  At all.  After being a semi-news-junkie for years, I’ve had it.  I think something snapped when I realized that, after intense study, I finally understood credit default swaps, but it didn’t make a damn bit of difference.

So I’ve decided to watch lots of  TV.  So far I’ve taken a shine to a show called Pawn Stars, which is a reality show set in a family-owned pawn shop in Las Vegas.  It’s actually a very funny show.  Really.

I’ve also started watching House, which is easy to do because it’s carried in reruns on, like, five different cable networks.  I had not realized (because I’d never watched it, even though it’s in its sixth or seventh season) that the show was modeled on the Sherlock Holmes mysteries, which I’ve always loved.  Yeah, it’s a bit silly and formulaic, but I admire House’s cynical attitude and sardonic humor.  And, of course, there’s the cane thing.

I’ve also spent the past month reading Stephen King’s ten-pound Under the Dome, and I actually liked it a lot, which is a first for me and King’s books.  I had always agreed with the Times (of London) critic who, many years ago, memorably described one of King’s creations as “Five tons of crap in a ten-ton crate.”  But Dome isn’t really science-fiction or horror.  It’s very reminiscent, in fact, of Sinclair Lewis’s It Can’t Happen Here in theme, scope and style.  And I must say, as a resident of a small, isolated town, that King does not exaggerate in the slightest the potential for corruption and brutality in such venues.  Anyway, I’d recommend reading it before they turn it into a really awful movie.

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