Sippican Cottage

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A Man Who Has Nothing In Particular To Recommend Him Discusses All Sorts of Subjects at Random as Though He Knew Everything

The Internet. They Gotta Lotta Nice People There. A-Hau-Hau-Hau-Hau

Sippican Cottage! Now with bonus points for perhaps obscure title reference!

[Editor’s Note: Pastor Jeff, who is a very pleasant fellow, ain’t he, has suggested that we re-run this item in lieu of participating in on of those there mimetic thingies what for occasionally sweeps this here web with all sorts of whoopin’ and a-hollerin’ and a-linkin’ and a-postin’ and whatnot. OK]
{Author’s Note: The editor watched Rio Bravo last night and he’s got Walter Brennan on the brain. But we do like Pastor Jeff and welcome any opportunity to avoid working, so here you go. And there is no editor, and it’s not my birthday.}

Today, I’m forty eight years old. I don’t care.

I’ve cheated death a few times. I’ve had good fortune, and I’ve been royally screwed. I’ve had money, and I’ve had none. I’ve gone hungry for a little while.

I’ve been simultaneously propositioned by one woman while being assaulted by another– both strangers. I’ve signed a few thousand autographs. I’ve been recognized on the street by passersby, confusing my companion. I’ve gone unrecognized on occasion by my own relatives.

I blinded everyone in my chemistry class in high school. I counterfeited money in shop class for a lark. I was nicknamed “The Phantom” by that chemistry teacher, because I was constantly truant. I was a National Merit Scholar.

I’ve performed dangerous backbreaking labor. I’ve been paid to teach frisbee.

I’ve been a welder in the desert. I’ve had pretty secretaries bring me coffee.

I’ve saved a few people’s lives. I’ve seen a man murdered.

I’ve worked for charities. I’ve committed vandalism. I’ve been robbed a half dozen times. I’ve stolen things.

I’ve been thought a clown. I’ve been considered dreadfully serious.

Half of the employees at my last job called me Mr. Rogers. The other half called me the Prince of Darkness. They were all correct.

I’ve been picked on like a sissy. I’ve knocked a man senseless–that struck me first– with one blow.

I’m very polite. I have a terrifying apoplectic temper.

I’ve worked with people for four years and never said a word about myself, despite the fact I talk all the time.

I made a joke, in a foreign language, in a foreign country, and people laughed. I’ve been booed, loudly, before.

There was a stretch of my life, lasting one third of it, where I was profoundly unhappy all the time. I doubt anyone knew that.

If I could live a thousand years, I wouldn’t change a goddamn thing, if it meant one fewer minute of sitting at a table I made, in a house that I built, across the table from the wife I won, watching the children we made smear their dinner on their faces.

14 Responses

  1. Definitely not an obscure reference in my book. The best blues-rock trio ever (until they discovered drum machines and synthesizers — sigh).

    Sam Wah – it’s from a song about a shack outside La Grange.

  2. You speak gen-you-wine frontier gibberish?

    I wash born here, an I wash raished here, and dad gum it, I am gonna die here, an no sidewindin bushwackin, hornswaglin, cracker croaker is gonna rouin me bishen cutter.

  3. Well you know one of those Gs is going to pay your lyme-disease-what-was-I-thinkin-bein-uninsured-ever-in-America penalty.

    I just took the G off for ya’.

  4. Figuring that this year will be/is your 50th trip around the sun, what are you doing to celebrate your mid-century crisis?

  5. Ruth Anne is my friend, and has asked me a direct question.

    If she was a stranger, I’d dissemble in some humorous way.

    But I went to Catholic School. There will forever and a day be a nun over my shoulder. And the very luxuriant set of manners they tried to bang into my knotty head intrudes. It would be impolite not to answer, though I’d rather not.

    So, here goes:


  6. Mrs. Cottage: We must do something spectacular for Sip’s 50th birthday.

    And, had you not answered my direct question, I would’ve asked the judge to certify you as a hostile witness and gotten permission to cross[ly] examine you.

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