Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Would You Believe?

I was sad to hear of Don Adams' death. I used to watch "Get Smart" with my dad every Saturday night when it was new. (Later, in 1969, it moved to Fridays and conflicted with "The High Chaparral," which became a problem for my dad. Nothing like the internet for archaeology on your own life.)

But anyway, I found a bit of trivia reading the Don Adams listing at the Internet Movie Database.

Apparently in 1982 he played a character named Sidney Williams on an episode of The Love Boat.

Sorry I missed that at the time. That would have fun to know, as it is now.

Saturday, September 24, 2005

Stupid Things I Could Do Vol. 3

It's a dark night of thunderstorms. Silver slashes of moisture hammer my car, and on the black horizon rickety lightning bolts cut jagged lines of light. The wipers work furiously and clear off just enough water to give me visibility to keep traveling.

My headlights coupled with the momentary daylight from a lightning bolt reveal the man standing on the roadside beneath the pointless shelter of an oak tree.

I turn down the radio storm warnings and pull over, keying the passenger window. It slides down, and the man leans in, my dome lights glistening on his slick black rain hood.

"Need a lift?"

"God bless you," he says, and I flick the electric lock to let him climb inside.

"Where are you headed?" I ask.

"As far as you can take me or a short a stretch as you can go, either way I get a little further down the road."

"Well, I get you a few miles before I have to turn off."

And the radio plays on
I dial the radio to a station playing soft instrumental music and we get moving.

"Rough weather, eh?" I ask.

"You got it. Worst I've seen in a while."

We travel on, making small talk, until he spots a turn off.

"Can you drop me down that road?"


Down the road

It turns to gravel shortly after I turn on to it. It's nasty mud with all of the rain, and the car vibrates as we move along through what feels like a tunnel of black. The headlight beams soon are bouncing off a pool of water that covers the road.

"That old washout is always there," he mutters.

"Better turn around."

I break to a stop and start to shift into reverse, but in the next lighting bolt that sends slivers of light down through the blackness I see the knife.

It's one from a book cover, a butcher knife, huge, made for chopping though it will serve for a stab as well.

The exclamation never makes it from my lips, only a hot quantity of blood that spills down my chin before everything goes black.

Saturday, September 10, 2005

What's on the Pod?

While I was sick, I lay awake watching CNN reports of Katrina sweeping toward Louisiana, my native state, but I never expected the devastation that was to come. Hurricanes have menaced New Orleans before and dumped rain all over the state, but finally the big one arrived.

As I've been recovering I've watched coverage, unable to look away from the horror of it all.

It was one news program or other that plucked "Louisiana 1927" from Randy Newman as the soundtrack for a segment, an obvious but inspired selection.

It's a song I've always liked but somehow managed not to own, but I downloaded it this week. (I think I heard it first many years ago when Newman was the musical guest on Saturday Night Live.)

Its chronicle of a past flood, froma reference to the president's visit to the bold chorus fits today's tragedy as well.

May the chorus especially be an anthem to the rebuilding. Waters have tried to wash Louisiana away before, but it's a resilient state.

My heart to all the residents affected.

Saturday, September 03, 2005


Did you ever notice the things people do to impress other people are usually the things other people laugh at behind their backs?
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