July 2011 Issue

Semper Ubi Sub Ubi


Stop the presses! After mulling over my savage pan of All Things Bright and Sweaty last month, I finally thought of something nice to say about summer.

This was not easy. As I write this, the Heat Index is 110 degrees and I’m not allowed to play outside. OK with me. As I’ve mentioned, due to my ms, above about 75 my legs stop working, my vision blurs, and I fall over sideways. So I don’t go outside much, but it’s no great loss. There’s nothing out there but biting flies and snakes and gray, soupy air. It’s like Jurassic Farm, especially at night. It also smells foul, partly from the paper mill ten miles southwest of us, partly from Toxco two miles down the road (I am not making that name up), and partly because the fields surrounding us have been repeatedly doused with herbicides and pesticides for the past month. Thanks, Farmer Bob.

It’s gotten to the point where I’m dreaming about the heat, like in that old Twilight Zone episode. Every so often it rains in small, exceedingly strange and violent thunderstorms. Yesterday we lost power for about four hours, but we bailed out after two and drove to Bob Evans. They were close to closing, so they put three sandwiches worth of chicken salad on mine, and the french fries were actually hot. High point of the week.

Incidentally, the columns in this issue were sent to subscribers back in January, so if you’re feeling faint from the heat you might try printing them out and holding them against the back of your neck. And don’t forget that the mere act of subscribing will make you feel better.

Speaking of dreams, we finally watched last year’s Inception on the DVR. Well, at least it wasn’t Avatar. I found it a bit frustrating, because the first half of the movie sets up some interesting ideas and subplots, which seem like they’re going to be developed in the second half. And they are, sort of. But first the whole thing turns into a standard Hollywood heist film (Assemble the team! Preferably by flying all over the world! Because nobody has cell phones!). And then it turns into Mission Impossible 10 with way too many pointless gunfights and car chases, and the interesting ideas, along with the main plot line, sort of melt into a half-hearted puddle. But at least it wasn’t Avatar. Avatar was genuine torture.

Before I forget again, please send me your questions. I need questions! Lots of questions! The more detailed the better, but just a bit about what you think about the term, where you heard it, etc., would help. As an inducement, if I pick your question as the basis for a column, you’ll automatically receive a free one-year subscription to TWD-by-Email. Or not. Your choice. Anyway, bring out your questions!

Thanks to the person who sent me a Google+ invite. They seem to be doing things quite a bit better than Facebook does, especially regarding privacy. The “circles” thing is a definite improvement over undifferentiated “friends.”

Oh, right, I was saying something nice about summer. Ready? No school buses.

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