Why have we come to treat everything as if it were a sporting event? Come to think of it, why do we treat sporting events as we do? I can’t imagine that I’m the only one who wondered this while watching last week’s reaction to the good news that Osama had gotten popped in the noggin (and as a result learned that it was a mistranslation and the “72 virgins” are really “72 white raisins,” which ain’t much to get by on when you’re talking all eternity, even if you eat them slowly).
The email message was a happy surprise. A fellow in California, at something called the “L.A. Theatre Works,” was putting together a project (he did not say what) and wondered if I still have the original tapes (I don’t) from a radio report I did in 1983. His email note to me was above a long series of messages and replies he had sent to and received from others, in pursuit of the missing audio.
My cousin Alan in Missouri sends news that Harold Biellier has died. The report made me sad. Not because it was a tremendous surprise: Mr. Biellier was 90. Nor was he someone critical to my day-to-day existence: I doubt I’ve seen him even once in the last 40 years. I know I haven’t in the last 35.
The hot new word of 2011 is “bespoke.” If you listen, you’ll suddenly hear it everywhere. It used to be a perfectly good word, but by midsummer it will be threadbare and tattered from overuse. The wear is already showing.
Back when the world was young, there were mechanical devices in newspaper, radio, and even television newsrooms called “teletype machines.” The precursor to modern electronic printers, these things were very noisy. They had letter keys inside them, on arms, and in response to electrical impulse they would type the (usually) correct letter in the fashion of a typewriter.
The sky wasn’t just dark, it was … weird. Meanwhile, the weather radio was going crazy, with alerts interrupting other alerts.
Last week I saw a station wagon pulling a little travel trailer and I shuddered. Here’s why. The word “vacation” had always meant a trip to see relatives in Indiana or Nebraska or Pennsylvania. So my two sisters and I were greatly surprised when our parents, after some of that quiet, almost whispered code conversation grownups sometimes have, announced that we were going to make a trip to Florida.
The mud across the road told me how lucky I’d been. It was last Tuesday and I needed to get to Columbus. It had rained a lot the day before, but somehow I had forgotten: it floods here when it rains a lot. Fortunately, the water had receded before I headed out. 267×400
When the weather has been so cold and so awful for so long that (groundhog predictions notwithstanding) it seems the spring will never arrive, there’s only one thing to do: Think about tomatoes.
We’ve been hearing a lot about hatred lately. Actually, that’s not accurate. We’ve been hearing a lot of accusations of hatred lately. So let’s stop a minute and think about hate.