Friday, July 26, 43 A.B.
Home Alone With Chocolate Cake....
Yes, it's true. Over 6 billion other people on this planet with me and apparently all of them believe it safe to leave me unsupervised with a devil's food delectable topped with a provocative fudge icing that leaves nothing to the imagination.
I hate the thought of letting all those people down by abusing the trust they've placed in me. In fact, the thought of causing them pain of any kind is the only thing that's kept me from giving in to temptation thus far. But you know what? That thought is wearing mighty thin now - much thinner than a Hershey's bar left unwrapped on the dashboard of your car on a hot summer's day - and I just don't know how much longer I can keep certain impulses at bay.
Watching Oprah hasn't helped much. Visiting diabetes websites hasn't helped any more. I'm writing this entry in a last ditch effort to avoid giving in to the urge to scamper out to my kitchen, stuff my cheeks like a starving Ethiopian chipmunk raiding a CARE truck, run under the bed to lick my chops in a dark spot I know my conscience never goes, and then scamper back for more.
Wish me luck!
First spotted the Subject at 3:34 this afternoon. Watched in rapt silence as he wandered the southeast quadrant of my back yard. Could find no obvious pattern to his wandering nor figure out what prompted him to nibble on some spots but not others. At 3:45 p.m. (DST), observed Subject suddenly turn to the southeast and run off under my neighbor's bushes. Kicked self for once again not having the courage to say a word to him. Allowed mind to drift back to yesterday morning when I was on the couch reading the newspaper and I was alerted to the Subject's presence by the sound of his chewing. Gazing up, I saw the Subject closer than ever before - no farther away than ten feet past my patio door - and with only a thin screen between us! Sat in rapt silence as Subject sniffed and nuzzled my best echinacea before moving on. A subtle signal from a sophisticated flirt or a brutal commentary on my inability to grow a flower that tastes as good as a common weed?
Perhaps if I had offered him cake today, he would have dashed right in and my mind would have drifted to far more pleasant thoughts....
A Note Of Caution
Always be sure you're dealing with a woodchuck and not some other animal before inviting it in for cake. "Groundhog" and "whistle pig" are acceptable aliases; "black bear" and "alligator" are not.
This is NOT merely an academic exercise. A black bear recently wandered into my county for the first time in over 100 years. And four alligators have recently been found in area yards and waterways - one beast measuring 6' long! It seems the black bear wandered over from West Virginia, where jobs are now famously in short supply. It seems the alligators were released by pet owners grown weary of having to scrounge up 50 pounds of jambalaya every day when they could be making chocolate cakes for themselves.
When in doubt, follow this rule of thumb first issued by the FDA back in 1948: "If it looks like an ursine omnivore or a huge carnivorous reptile, it probably is! DUH!"
My First Rock Concert
I went to my first rock concert last Saturday. Not that I knew it ahead of time. I'd been invited to go on a picnic, and since some picnics are known to include the serving of cake, I immediately agreed without considering the possibility that the picnic would be open to some 9000 other people - including the Columbus Symphony, Ohio's governor, and Three Dog Night. Just goes to show you how badly cake can cloud one's thought processes, so beware - BEWARE!
I might have bolted the moment I realized cake was NOT going to be served had it not been for the fact that the conductor of the Columbus Symphony reminded me of Prof. Irwin Corey. Truth be told, I thought it WAS Prof. Irwin Corey - and I would have said so, too, if my giggles had permitted me to explain matters to the approximately 8999 people who kept looking at me. I've always thought that the best jokes are the ones no one ever quite gets, and this "impersonation" of a conductor Corey was doing seemed to fit the bill quite well. When "Corey" then asked the governor to stand and wave and the governor DID stand and wave, I REALLY got the giggles - just like I always do when I realize that the voters of my fair state actually elected a bland accountant impersonating Lincoln to high office.
I wonder how much cake he had to slip to Republican bigwigs to get nominated in the first place?
After the Symphony had put an end to my giggles with its rendition of a few of John Williams most forgettable tunes, Three Dog Night was introduced as "one of the greatest bands in the world!" The announcer may as well have been a tour bus driver telling his passengers "Now entering sexy Indianapolis!" as far as I could tell from audience reaction - which is too bad because there was a time when Three Dog Night really was one of the most popular groups going. Honest - you can look it up. Over 20 of their songs charted, 11 made the top ten, 3 made it to #1 - and 1 of those was the best-selling single of the year. Unfortunately, that was some 30 years ago - and none of those hit songs happen to have been "Spinning Wheel" - which was the one I kept shouting out a request for until someone politely threatened to throw their white zinfandel on me and every other Blood, Sweat, and Tears patsy who might be present. Funny how touchy some people can get when they don't get their USDA recommended daily allotment of cake....
I wanted to like the band anyway. I DID like the band more often than you might think I would. But... every word and every note seemed to have yellowed with the passage of time. It was almost as hard to take the event seriously as it would have been to take The Glenn Miller Orchestra or Rudy Vallee seriously in 1967.
And the band knew it.
I admire and respect the fact that we weren't being given a bunch of off-the-shelf musicians who had bought the rights to the Three Dog Night name while the originals used their royalties to slowly drank themselves into oblivion in Florida trailer parks. No, these were the originals alright - which of course inevitably brought to mind a whole 'nother set of issues. Like, "Can a human being really sing 'Mama Told Me Not To Come' a million times without utterly burning out the wryness center of the brain?"
I try to imagine this entry becoming so popular that people insist that I write and post it every time they see me, every day, again and again, for the next month or two and I about lose my mind. I can't imagine what it must be like to write and post the same entry every day, day after day, for over 3 decades. I try to imagine what it must be like to suddenly wake up one day and find you've turned into the 10,000th Xerox copy of yourself. I mean, a copy of a copy of a copy of a copy... Each one a little bit less fresh and focused... Each one a little more removed from whatever inspired you in the first place and a little more marred by the steady accumulation of smudges, spots, and smears.... It's bad enough that we have to put up with that in our bodies, cells, DNA, and relationships - how do people put up with that in their art??
Maybe cake helps.
Lots and lots of cake.
I really think I need to go find out....
And if anyone really needs to see this entry posted again, hey - they have my permission to copy and paste to their heart's content.
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(©Now by DJ Birtcher - ONCE - And NOT At Every State Fair, Arts Fest, Or Picnic That Comes Along No Matter How Much They Offer To Pay Me)
(Not That I Think Anyone Actually Would Pay Me)
(But If They Did, How Much Do You Think It Would Be?)
(And, Uh, What Would That Be In Donuts And Brownies?)