Friday, November 26, 2010
Messin’ With The Hood
A deer stood perfectly still on the road, her eyes like maraschino cherries against the glare of my headlights. I braked, then crept to a standstill, no more than ten feet from the animal. It continued to stare at me. I honked the horn. Nothing. I flashed the headlights. Still nothing. Finally I rolled my window down.
“Hey, you got a death wish? Get off the road!”
The deer gradually turned to face my car, walked forward and placed her two front hooves on the hood.
“Geez,” I shouted, “Watch out for the paint!”
But the hooves had already gouged and dented the surface.
I got out of the car.
“What do you think you’re doing? For god’s sake, have you no instinct for survival?”
The deer didn’t budge, though I heard one hoof tapping, as if to make a point of some petty irritation she had yet to air.
“What? Mountain lion got your tongue?”
Seven more deer appeared from the other side of the road, moving like a buckskinned gang of wild meat. I climbed back into the car, slammed and locked the door. Eventually, one by one, the deer wandered off into the trees.
In the silence I recalled what my father had said while teaching me to drive. If you see one deer, he cautioned, there are probably more.
Friday, November 19, 2010
Next to Godliness
The evening news ran a story about a meteor shower, the best viewing to occur around 4 a.m. in the western sky. I brushed my teeth and went to bed but not before setting my alarm. When the alarm went off I grabbed my towel and a bar of soap and headed out the door.
The grass felt cool against my bare feet, fresh with the night’s dew, and when I turned toward the west and tipped my head toward the stars they reminded me of the tiny holes in my shower head, starlight streaming over me like cold water. I could see the Milky Way collected like steam against the ceiling, but still no meteors.
Maybe if I lather up, I told myself, I’ll be ready by the time they arrive. Rocks from space with the scrubbing power of pumice. What a treat! I let my towel drop and suddenly a streak of light from the street. A police car came by slowly, sweeping the neighborhood with a floodlight. It hit me square in the chest, almost knocked me over with its intensity.
“Put your hands up” the megaphone ordered.
I’d been scrubbing my armpits, so compliance seemed redundant.
“Turn around” it ordered, but I didn’t care to be facing east. All lathered up, ready to rinse, and then this awkward interruption.
“Can you wait until I finish?” I called back.
The floodlight switched off, the car crawled down the street.
“Sorry” the megaphone squawked, “we can see you’re clean.”
In a few minutes the patrol car was gone. The neighbor’s dog barked. A porch light came on. Best viewing, my ass.
Saturday, November 13, 2010
Will Eat For Work
The stoplight had just turned red, placing my driver’s window directly beside the man holding
the sign. I rolled the window down.
“Does that wording confuse many people who drive past you?”
“It gets me quite a few second looks.”
“A great marketing device, I must say. How did you think of it?”
“I’m a little dyslexic and one day while I was reading lunch...”
“You mean, eating lunch?”
“No, I was reading the ingredients off the side of a fast food wrapper.”
“Light’s going to change, better pick up the pace.”
“So I thought I’d give a jobless person’s perspective to the corporate food industry.”
“Cross traffic's light is turning yellow.”
“So I started sending in the free comment cards at restaurants.”
“And they gave you free food?”
“Yes, and a route, like delivering newspapers.”
“So why aren’t you at work eating burgers?”
“It’s my day off.”
“Ah, the light’s green. Gotta go.”
“Any spare change?”
“Here, try a few of these french fries.”
Friday, November 5, 2010
“Did you remember to bring the pedophile?”
“No, I thought we’d just have a nice hike by ourselves.”
“Then how will we keep track of the miles we walked?”
“I brought a pedometer for that.”
“Oh. Did I say the wrong thing again?”
“I suppose a pedophile would work too if he wore an ankle tracking bracelet.”
“I can’t help it if I don’t remember the names for all the gadgets you own.”
“Oh, let’s just go for a hike and forget about it.”
“What if we get lost?”
“I also packed my PMS navigation device, so we’ll be okay.”
“What does that do?”
“It pulls in signals from satellites and tells me when to shut up.”
“Is it working?”