Thursday, August 1, 2013

Concrete Tapioca

I have to start by conceding I have no idea what the title today means, if it means anything at all. It came to me about a minute ago as I sat down to type this. We just finished a fire drill around here and I always get frazzled that no one ever shows up with a dalmatian. 

I thought I was going to opine (seemingly) endlessly on how disturbing and disconcerting I find it that the summer is almost over already as August begins. I don't know about you but I was very much looking forward to this summer, I really was. 

We didn't have all that much of a winter until Nemo/Charlotte showed up in late February and kicked the crap out of us and that brief intense piece of snow and ice leads a lot of folks to think 'little darlin', it's been a long, cold, lonely winter.' Except the entire season wasn't and I cannot help it if you're wrong, but you certainly can. I'll wait, go ahead. Thanks. Meanwhile.....

It didn't get all that much worse after the February storms except for the buckets of rain we had in the spring which, I'm sure, the farmers and the ducks needed. I'm unclear for anyone operating a duck farm if that amount of moisture was absolutely necessary and/or if you can use silica gel packs to get excess water off a duck's back. It's very strange how duck seems much more sinister in that sentence if you use a different vowel. 

I flashed on concrete tapioca while looking at a relentlessly grim, black and white photo, on line, of some aspect of East Block life. I'm saying it like that not so much to be a duck but because I don't speak Russian and the lettering was in Russian. It might have been a still from the Soviet equivalent of The Partridge Family TV show and the lettering says "Comrade, Get Happy!" I don't actually know. 

I do know that both of our children were born in the waning years of the Cold War in a country that no longer exists, West Germany, created by the Cold War, and when all of that became all of this I had repeated opportunities to check out the other side and to see how shabbily everything everyone owned was made. 

I was embarrassed that we had been so scared for so long of people who had so little. Leuko-Bomber cars, bananas more often seen on television than in real life, no private telephone lines-a very dreary and cheerless way to live for too long. Driven by fear instead of inspired by joy. Talk about getting your just desserts-maybe that's the reason for the title. 
-bill kenny

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