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Songs Engendered By Driving Past Emo Girls Texting At A Yard Sale In Norway, Maine

Fat girl texting in her bed all night
Man, those stubby thumbs can really fly
All Done, Bye Bye (ADBB)
She was only waiting for the pizza to arrive

Facebook Friending in the dead of night
Tagging Bieber’s Wall for all to see
(Pie!) AYCE
You are only waiting for his Poking to be free

Fat girl, type
Fat girl, type
Into your T-Mobile myTouch Slide.

Fat girl, type
Fat girl, type
Into your T-Mobile myTouch Slide.

Fat girl texting in her bed all night
Man, those stubby thumbs can really fly
She was only waiting for the pizza to arrive
She was only waiting for the pizza to arrive
She was only waiting for the pizza to arrive

Holy Cow! The Borderline Sociopathic Blog For Boys Is Three Years Old Today, And Still Writing On The Intertunnel Wall With A Crayon

My son received The Dangerous Book For Boys as a gift. It’s a right smart looking tome, with its old-fashioned cloth cover, Warren G. Harding typeface, and heavyweight off-white paper inside. I got to looking around in there.

Hmmm. How to play soccer. Make a paper airplane. Marbling paper.

Marbling paper? This is beginning to sound like the Dangerous Book For Emily Dickinson. It appears to my untrained eye that perhaps the only dangerous thing in this book is nine letters between “The” and “Book.” Well, we are not our hearty and hardy forebears, are we? But perhaps we can punch this up a bit. Kick it up a notch. There are plenty of things a boy can do to get himself in real trouble these days. Here’s my outline for new version:

The Borderline Sociopathic Book For Boys
(Since the Dangerous Book has upped the ante by claiming that learning to play chess makes you a ninja, we’ll have to stoke the furnace of hyperbole further to get noticed at this point.)

1. Ride a bicycle without a helmet. You heard me. And no spandex spangled with lavender and chrome yellow blotches and French words. You’ll wear canvas shoes, too. You will not have anything with you that people with helmets refer to as “hydration.” Eventually, you can get a snort of rubber-tasting hot water from a garden hose.

2. Tell your 5th grade teacher, when she starts in with the Vegan lecture again during a spelling lesson, that you’re going to kill and eat your supper as soon as you can get your hands on some weapons. Then inform her that if she gives you anything less than a ‘B” on any report card because you told her that, your father will have a phalanx of lawyers turn her life into a deposition purgatory. Then don’t pass in any homework for the remainder of the term. Let’s see who has the stones.

3. We’re playing FOOTBALL, without any equipment but the ball. There are no rules, so this chapter is short. Soccer is Irish stepdancing with a ball introduced. We don’t want any of that.

4. We’re going out with dad on Earth Day, and we’re cutting down a tree with a chainsaw. Dad is hung over and is in a hurry and there is only one set of ear and eye protection, so one of you risks blinding, the other deafness. Solidarity is the hallmark of any male bonding ritual. The chainsaw’s guard is cheap and flimsy, but that doesn’t matter because it came out of the box broken anyway. Which leads us to…

5. Duct Tape. We’re going to use a lot of duct tape. We are going to dress our wounds, splint our shins, fix our tools, and tape our little brother’s door shut with glorious, magnificent Duct Tape. When the womenfolk complain about the gummy residue it leaves on your siblings, we will remove it with rags soaked in acetone. These will be disposed of improperly. I guess. Who reads the MSDS sheet? Girls.

6.We are not cave men, son. Electronics are a part of our world now. You will find pictures of girls on the internet who are not clothed. You will educate yourself on the proper procedure for removing cookies and browsing history. You will leave one picture of a girl wearing only very steeply inclined clear shoes and a fetching pill-box hat on the hard-drive, and when it is discovered –by mom– you can deny, deny, deny. Then watch your dad squirm and sleep on the couch for a week.


8. You will have a sip of Dad’s beer while you watch the football game together. You will remark on the grooming, stature, or level of pneumatic charms displayed by a Philadelphia Eagles cheerleader while doing so. Dad’s beer tastes awful, and dad knows it, so this isn’t all that dangerous for you. He, however, is risking a decade in the pokey over this. We’re in this dangerous thing together, son.

9. You will fight with your fists with the biggest jerk in your school. If you’re the biggest jerk in your school, you will fight with at least two classmates at a time, or any adult that rides a recumbent bicycle. You will all be in trouble, bigtime, with every adult involved. You will sit on the bench outside some boneless wonder’s school administration office, rubbing your shiners, and share the respect reserved only for the men in the arena. It’s the only real way to make friends with people you don’t like.

10. You will give the Dangerous Book For Boys to your little sister.

No Clouds. No Rollers. No Worries

(From 2007)

“Jaysus. No clouds. No rollers. No worries.”

“No fish…”

“That’s your worry. Your good lady wife’s name’s on the boat, neh mine.”

“I’ll make you oar back in the peapod if we don’t put the gunnels down by the foam soon.”

” You’re prayin’ in the wrong church or sittin’ in the wrong pew, Davey.”

“The fish will come if you sing. They always come. “

“OK then.”

As I roved by the dockside an evening so fair
To see the salt water and take in the sea air
I heard an old fisherman singin’ a song
Hey, take me away boys me time is not long

“Depressin’ the fish now, are we?

” It gets worse.”

Wrap me up in me oilskins and blankets
No more on the docks I’ll be seen
Just tell me old shipmates I’m takin’ a trip mates
And I’ll see you some day on Fiddlers Green

“The fish are dumb beasts, but they’re not likely to answer a call to your wake.”

Now, Fiddlers Green is a place I heard tell
There fishermen go if they don’t go to hell

“I fold. But please, continue as if I was all in…”

There the weather is fair and the dolphins do play
And the cold coast of Greenland is far, far away

“We bring the ice with us, you codger.”

Wrap me up in me oilskin and blankets
No more on the docks I’ll be seen
Just tell me old shipmates I’m takin’ a trip mates
I’ll see you some day on Fiddlers Green

“Oh jeez, he’s back to claimin’ he’s bait now. There’s no hope.”

Now, when you’re in dock and the the long trip is through
There’s pubs and there’s clubs and there’s lassies there too
The girls is all pretty and the beer is for free
And there’s bottles of rum growing on every tree

“Standin’ the fish to a pint is unlikely to help here either. I hear tell they’re all Presbyterians. Neither Presbyterians nor fish have pockets, so they stay out of the grog shops, generally”

Where the skies are all clear and there’s niver a gale
And the fish jump on board with one swish of their scales
You lie at your leisure, there’s no work to do
And the skipper’s below making tea for the crew

“Now we’re getting somewhere. Look at the gulls over there. They stoop.”

“You get the kettle goin’. I’ll have the fish here shortly.”

Abandoned Greenhouse

I went to my next door neighbor’s funeral yesterday.

I never met her. She was living next door when we moved here this year. But then again, she was living next door since she was born in 1915.

My house was only 14 years old when she was born. I would pay a small ransom to know what it was like then. I’m skilled at forensic carpentry and painting, and have found all sorts of clues about what this house was like when it was built, but there’s only so much you can figure out by poking around a house that’s been whaled on by numerous inhabitants and their handymen accomplices for better than a century.

It’s an interesting thing, to put yourself as best you can in another’s place. I try it often when I write, with variable success. Put yourself in my neighbor’s place for a moment. 1915.

I might tell my children that I used to drive a car with quite a bit of sheet metal visible on the dash, and only an AM radio to listen to, to give them some perspective. In 1915? The stop sign was invented.

I’m so old, I can tell my kids that when I was their age, GI Joe didn’t have a kung-fu grip. In 1915 the Raggedy Ann doll was patented.

I was too young, but my older brother got to see Ted Williams play just before Ted retired. In 1915 Babe Ruth hit a home run. His first, actually.

My dad took me to see Lawrence of Arabia in the movie theater when I was young. Not the first time it came out — when it was restored and re-released. In 1915 Lawrence was wandering the Levant and Sykes and Picot came to their agreement. 

If he’d have hurried over, Booker T. Washington could have made it to my neighbor’s christening before he passed away. He probably would have preferred to go see some fellows lay the cornerstone of the Lincoln Memorial instead. Maine’s chilly in November.

After she was born in 1915, my neighbor moved into the house next door, which has a little sign on the gable end that says: 1806. I’m told the house used to be across the street from mine, and they rolled it across the street on logs to the spot it’s on now. 

She ran a greenhouse, just across my driveway, long since abandoned. Its former denizens, just ephemeral posies for quotidian holidays, have mostly long since succumbed to exposure to the elements; but some have spilled over the low, crumbling walls to seed themselves all around their former home. It’s as fitting an epitaph as one could hope for.

Good Question

We’re going to cut poor people’s food rations to pay to lecture poor people not to eat so much. Kafka is abroad in the land.

Month: August 2010

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