My neighbor, a funny, gruff guy who used to ride motorcycles and work for the railroad, turned 90 years old. Automatically, I knew this meant I would bake him a pumpkin pie. Over the years, I had taken him various cookies, breads, and coffee cakes—all gladly received—but was never met with quite the enthusiasm as when I showed up with slices of pumpkin pie. Indeed, although I thought those two slices a suitable serving for him and his wife, I left with the distinct impression that he intended to eat them both.
So: 90 years, a whole pumpkin pie, all for him. Obviously.
Three days after I dropped off the pie, one of his friends brought lunch and they ate together. After seeing his friend off at the curb, my neighbor caught me in the front yard and waved me over to the fence.
“Well, I had to give up a piece of pumpkin pie to my buddy, so now I only got one piece left. I told him to tell me, no bullshit, what he thought of it, and he said it was the best pie he ever tasted. He asked where I got it… and I wouldn’t tell him. Don’t want the secret to get out.”
So, I guess there will be more pumpkin pies ahead.
Woodchips laid out in the yard are good for moisture retention and weed suppression and, over time, building better soil, but they are also good for making ground softer to walk on. Like carpeting for the outside! Let’s cover the world in woodchips.
(Sorry, I have chips on the brain. We got a fresh load from a tree service this week.)
Be on alert starting March 14. I’m on call for jury duty, and the last time I had to report for jury duty was November 8, 2016, which did not exactly end up being a great day in world history, so…
City bus tales
I went looking through my text archive of old Facebook statuses to confirm my recollection of the 2016 jury duty (fact-checking!), which I rode a bus to, and found a handful of other bus-related missives in the file:
- A guy on the bus said his cat likes listening to Patsy Cline.
- Toothless old man on bus, third time I caught him looking over at me: “Forty years ago, I had an afro and beard just like yours. Now…” (trails off, removing cap to point wistfully at bald head) Forty years ago was the ’70s, so we’re still in Jerry Garcia territory. Apparently, these are the best years of my life.
- “I gotta get rid of this darned shirt. The snaps won’t snap. I know someone that wants it. I’m gonna send it to him for Christmas.” —Man on bus with generously-sized belly testing limits of busy-looking American flag/eagle button-up shirt. Funny things: 1) The shirt itself. 2) Existence (alleged) of friend covetous of shirt. 3) Blaming snaps for shirt not fitting anymore. 4) Gifting worn, possibly defective shirt to someone for Christmas.
- City Bus Conversations, Episode 430. Man who just bought senior day pass: “That’s where I get my hair cut, right there.” (Seems like an odd thing to tell strangers…) Guy wearing red beret: “WHAT?” Man who just bought senior day pass: “That’s where I get my hair cut. We just passed it.” Guy wearing red beret: “OH. I need a wig.” (See previous remark.) Woman with enormous hoop earrings: “I need to get some stensions.” Guy wearing red beret: “WHAT?” Woman with enormous hoop earrings: “Stensions. I need to get some stensions.” (That’s three times. Guess we’re going with the ‘stensions’ pronunciation here, folks.) Guy wearing red beret: “OH, stensions. Sorry, I used to be a drummer. I need a wig and new teeth so I’ll be hot. I lost my teeth. When I’m 90 years old, people will say ‘He’s 90, but he’s really hot.'”
Now I haven’t ridden a bus in two years. What stories am I missing out on?
“Russian warship, go f**k yourself.”
I am not exactly a world traveler or a geopolitical genius (I think I may have made it as far as Oregon once, but I wouldn’t swear to it), but it’s pretty upsetting to think that all the places under attack right now in Ukraine are as familiar and dear to others as the places I’ve lived are to me. And all this devastation and loss of life, for what?
(Incidentally, if the fate of our country ever depends on my own personal bravery, we are screwed. So, please, let’s keep crazy authoritarians out of power.)
Something in the idea of human stories reminded me of this song by Jason Eady.