Funny about Money

The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing. ―Edmund Burke

Strange Day in FunnyFarmville

{sigh} It’s only 5 p.m. but the sun has gotta be over some yardarm somewhere. Maybe here, for all I know, because really, who knows what “over the yardarm” really means? High noon, I’d say.

So I’m having a bourbon and water while the curried fried rice simmers, and I yam NOT doing any more work!

Flew back in the house a couple of hours after my afternoon deconstructed itself. A pile of requests & orders from Honored Client are in hand. He wants Plain & Simple Press to do the heavy lifting involved in publishing his memoir, intended for family and friends. And that’s good: it’s quite a lovely book…he’s had a wonderful life. Like my father, he’s devoted his life to work that’s taken him all over the world. If my father had written a memoir like this and left it to the family, I would be beside myself with joy. What a wonderful thing to give his kids. And his friends.

It’s also of historic interest — the guy has been at the front lines of some major early 21st-century changes, internationally, and he has known huge 20th-century figures. So these books of his are of value in more ways than one.

So of course I’m delighted to have the privilege of helping him, even in a small way, to publish this latest book.

Walked in the door from this afternoon’s meeting. Sat down and turned on the computer and just then heard a deep-throated truck’s HONK outside. Looked up from the keyboard to see a fire department truck go by, one marked “Hazardous Waste Disposal.”


Naturally, I arise and take a stroll up Feeder Street NS, looking up and down the alleys and neighborhood streets. No sign of the guys in space suits. Oh well.

But it IS gorgeous outside. The rain has died down and in the late afternoon the chilly air has finally warmed enough that one no longer needs a jacket. Dogs have been cooped up with the human for days. Stroll back in the house and lash up my furry friends for a Doggy Walk.

Painfully bored with our usual one-mile route, I decide to head up toward Conduit of Blight (which has been slightly de-blighted with the effort to make the light-rail boondoggle look respectable), where another set of turns and twists will generate a different mile-long walk.

We go across Secondary Feeder St. EW and come up on Conduit of Blight Blvd. There, a half-block to the south, we come across a bum (ahem, sorry: “homeless person”) going through a bunch of objects he’s made off with (ahem, sorry: “collected”) in his shopping cart. These appear to be CDs or possibly DVDs. Unclear whether he’s scavenged them from the garbage or stolen them — it’s even odds, one way or the other.

As we slip past him, we hear some guy on the other side of the decorative wall the city has built to gussy up Conduit of Blight, sitting on the ground next to the bus stop. (“Oh, god,” I think, “Why didn’t I get another German shepherd instead of the Short Stuff?”) He’s very stoned and he’s rambling on in a loud whiny moan about God only knows what. A woman who looks like she wishes she could figure out what to do for him is standing over him. She is saying nothing but looks confounded.

First I think, “You poor soul.” Then I think, un-Christianly, “Stay the f*** away from me!” Mother Theresa, I will never be.

So I continue down the road thinking I am a bad person, for if I were a good person I would try to do something for the suffering poor in this godforsaken city of the radically rich and the penniless. But I do not.

Seconds later, a Mrs. GotRocks shoots out of the parking lot of the fenced Montessori school. She doesn’t even slow her SUV when she crosses the sidewalk. She cannot see around the shrubbery decorating the school’s entrance, and so she does not see me and the dogs about to step in front of her. Literally — not an exaggeration — if we’d gotten there two seconds earlier she would have run us down.

We proceed, then turn back into the ’hood at the southernmost street of low-rent homes — i.e., the development I live in.

There we pass the yard where the turquoise fake grass carpeting the residents installed in the frontyard is now very, very tired, indeed. One of my neighbors wondered why the newcomers are so nosy and so vocal about minor issues such as trash in the alley and decrepitude in the front yard. Many of the Old Guard don’t understand, really, that a house is the same as money in the bank, and that when you — or your idiot neighbors — let a property deteriorate, you’re throwing money down the toilet.

It’s a cultural thing, hm?

We pass the home of the couple who have the boy who suffers some frightful crippling ailment. The father watches over his son like a kind of guardian angel. I believe he is a man who is made of steel and gold, probably the best of all possible men. But it appears the boy is not their only problem child.

From a distance we can hear another kid shrieking and screaming, fully launched into a major tantrum. The mom is moving around the open garage, trying and succeeding at appearing calm and level-headed. With an iron grip on her sanity, she issues a few motherly orders. The brat is having none of it.

The kid jumps into the car, locks the door, and LAYS ON THE HORN!

Heh heh heh… I’m sorry, it’s not funny. And it certainly was not funny for the long-suffering mom, who that point just about loses it.

After a fair amount of hollering on the part of all concerned, the kid lays off the horn. But…only because she’s figured out how to turn on the anti-theft system, causing the car to go, merrily, HONK…HONK…HONK…HONK…HONK…HONK…HONK…HONK…HONK…

Hah haaaaaah! If it was my kid, I’d have whaled her little tail until she couldn’t walk, to say nothing of climb into the SUV’s driver’s seat and fiddle with the controls. But of course that would be child abuse (nevermind the wee perpetrator’s grown-up abuse), and the mom, being a creature of a more enlightened generation, manages to restrain herself.

Bless you, sister…

Moving on, we pass the home of one of our newer neighbors, a police officer and his beautiful young family. We are thrilled to have these young people here. The only flaw in the blue sky is that Dad is on the outs with the neighbor, apparently because of a misunderstanding of Brobdinagian proportions. Dad, having no insight into the history of what the local moving companies like to do to folks who move into our ’hood, believes the old dude next door is responsible for a series of  post-move-in break-ins. Little does he know. But what can one say? And how can one best serve youth, eh?

But we are glad — nay, proud — to have a police officer here, the second one to move into our precincts. The next time their brothers chase some armed and violent sh!theads into our neighborhood, we can be assured that the Force will be with us.

So it goes. Here in the Naked City, one woman’s beautiful afternoon is another man or woman’s Day from Hell.


Author: funny

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One Comment

  1. I’ve been reading you for several years now and I’m STILL waiting for you to move out of the ‘hood. But then I guess I’m definitely the “safe in suburbia” type. 😀

    Are you growing rich on your naughty books yet?