Wed., May 16, 42 A.B.

Sleepless In Ohio

Ok, so...  seems there was this.... train.

A train that an engineer parked and left unattended after putting on the brakes.  There are no fewer than three brakes on this sort of train, so
you wouldn't expect it to just get up and run off all by itself, would you?

Well, what if you found out that the engineer merely thought he'd set all three brakes but had really only set two?  What if you found out that the third "brake" he set was really the throttle?  What if you found out that there are 8 speed settings on this sort of train and that this engineer had actually set the throttle to the highest speed when he thought he was setting the third brake?  What if I could show you helicopter footage of
this train speeding across the countryside for over 60 miles with no one
at the controls?  What if this footage showed this train barreling through farmland and towns on a course which seems aimed directly at you?

Could you sleep at night?

How about if for years before this story broke you've had this recurring nightmare of being dragged off to prison for illegally harboring a runaway train?


It's not as if I didn't have enough worries.  It's not as if I didn't have Jester, a well-known SPA (Self-Propelled Allergen) already in my house to worry about.  Now I have to worry that an Iron Horse Emissary from CSX showing up at my door when I least expect it just because government regulations apparently require that brake and throttle handles be painted the same color.

The truth is, I'm tense as hell.  Partly because it's now official: Jester, the Amazing Pill-Popping Cat is far more famous and beloved than I am.

He has a continuing prescription for the diabetes medicine, Glipicide, at our pharmacy, you see, and now whenever I go there and say "Pickup for Jester," word spreads fast.  "The cat?  YOU'RE here for the cat?  Hey everybody - THIS is the guy with the pill-popping cat!  Wow!  You don't
look smart enough to have a pill-popping cat.  Can we see some ID, please?"  Once I satisfy them that I am indeed a capable custodian of a cat despite what my appearance suggests, they all want to know what Jester is REALLY like.

I consider myself lucky if I can get out of there in under three hours.

And then, of course, I have to spend another hour or so passing along all the kisses and hugs the pharmacy workers made me promise to give to Jester once I get home.

"Once more, with feeling" is about the best reaction I ever get when I'm done with that.

For some reason, this all makes the muscles in the back of my ego
tense up.


Well, tense up more than they already were, if you can believe it, since I think the local birds are making fun of me again behind my back.

I don't understand....  All winter long I give them birdseed, suet, and peanuts, but the moment spring appears and I start filling the birdbath every morning with fresh water, the ungrateful little bastards start making fun of the hairy legs my shorts aren't quite long enough to cover.

At least that's what I think they're doing with all those chirps and tweets
that are so heavy with insinuation but which Alta Vista's translation
service still refuses to transform into English for me.

So I've started wearing a suit and tie when I go out and change the water.  Which means I actually had to go out and buy a suit and tie - and I think
we all know how tense an experience that can be once we realize that we really wanna just grab 'em and run without paying and there's a chance
that the clerks in the stores these days are all mind readers.  I mean, how else do they know to go on break the exact moment we've decided we
need their assistance after all?


But I have to stop for now.  It's late and I'm afraid I'm keeping Mom up.

I mean, I'm afraid I'm keeping the robin awake that is nesting just outside my office window.

Amazing, isn't it?  New life is being created a mere 8 feet to the west of where I'm sitting right now, murdering the English language.

Kinda make ya wonder what's happening a mile or two above my head, doesn't it?

If you find out, better keep it to yourself.  I'm tense enough as it is.

                                Back            Home            Next

         (©Now by DJB after two long blows of his whistle and a short
            to warn anyone who might be between his speeding fingers
                    and his keyboard to get the hell out of the way)


OK, I tried to go to sleep - I couldn't.  Seems there are a few things keeping me awake.  Hopefully I can just dump 'em here and then successfully get through customs and enter Slumberland before dawn.

1) According to a recent newspaper article I read, the brain is 60% fat.  Maybe that's why I can't think of anything amusing to say about this??

2)  According to another article I read, there were 15,000 Canada geese in Ohio in 1990.  Last year, there were 142,000.  That's almost a ten-fold increase in 10 years.  At this rate, I don't have to worry about Social Security being there for me when I hit 65 in 23 years - I have to worry whether or not I'm gonna be able to dig my way through the 14 million-plus geese out there between me and the check in my mailbox.

3)  We went to see my wife's parents for Mother's Day.  The 2.5 hour ride to their place took us through the little town of Bellevue, Ohio.  While stopped at a light, we watched as two men and a dressed-up older woman got out of a pick-up truck in a Subway restaurant parking lot and headed
in to celebrate Mom's big day.  The light changed and we were on our way again before I found out whether or not Mom grabbed these guys by the ear and made them take her to someplace nice like Denny's the moment she got inside and realized what her boys were trying to pull.  

4)  Have you ever noticed how closely the word "eustasy" resembles the word "ecstasy"?  I just happened to come across the word "eustasy" in
the dictionary the other day and now I'm afraid I'm accidentally gonna
blurt out "You fill me with thoughts of eustasy!!" during sex sometime.
This would NOT be a good thing since "eustasy" means "a worldwide change in sea level."  If YOU'VE ever blurted that out during sex, please tell me how YOU explained it, just so I can be prepared.  Thank you.