I'm not in the office this week. The Slice Blog will be back in gear on Monday. In the meantime, here's something I''ve been thinking about.
Was watching a PBS rerun the other night focusing on Garrison Keillor. I think I had seen it a few years ago.
But there was at least one moment I hadn't remembered. Keillor recited a quotation he attributed to fellow Minnesotan F. Scott Fitzgerald.
“What people are ashamed of usually makes a good story.”
Of course, that assumes people are capable of feeling shame, and that's not always clear.
Interesting observation, nonetheless.
Now here's an unrelated yet entertaining quote from Keillor himself.
“A good newspaper is never good enough, but a lousy newspaper is a joy forever.”
The No. 1 song on this date in 1960.
In unrelated clown trivia, here's a question.
In the 1999 movie “Office Space,” what singer is characterized as a “no-talent ass clown”?
The rest of the English-speaking world observed Bloomsday yesterday.
I'm off this week. The Slice Blog will be back to normal next Monday. In the meantime, here's something I was thinking about.
Shortly after Christmas, a man who lives at my mother's assisted living community told me about a dream he had. In fact, he gave me a written summary.
It was somewhat involved and had a religious theme. The biblical Mary played a featured role.
I don't know if he hoped I would say something about it in print. I thought at the time that he just wanted to share it.
The next time I saw him, I briefly discussed the dream and thanked him again for telling me about it.
I have seen this gentleman in passing many times since then. The dream never came up.
But when I encountered him this weekend he told me he had sent an account of his dream to the president of the United States.
He added that he had received a nice personal note acknowledging it, complete with the president's signature.
A couple of thoughts crossed my mind. But what I actually said was, “Wow, that's great!”
I did not speculate out loud about the likelihood that the president had ever seen his mailing. I did not allude to the existence of high-speed signature machines or letter-generating computer programs.
For that gentleman, the reply from the White House was an affirmation and the source of a big smile.
It wasn't my place to cast doubt. Besides, for all I know, a White House staffer passed along the summary of that dream and the president understood it better than I had.
“Think of that,” I said to this man. “That's really something.”
Today's Slice question: What word best describes typical Inland Northwest restaurant iced tea?
At my sister-in-law's house in Michigan, they have a motion detector/camera by the front door.
I think they mostly got it to keep track of a formerly feral cat they had gradually introduced to a life of relative comfort and ease.
Anyway, the camera unit automatically emails a series of photos of the person or animal on the front porch to both her and her husband's phones.
Well, a Fedex delivery man arrived at the front door with golf clubs that had been sent home to the Midwest from California by her husband.
My sister-in-law didn't hear the doorbell nor did she see the front door emails. But her husband, who was still in California, did. So he called and reported that the Fedex guy had tried to deliver his clubs.
My sister-in-law hopped in her car and tracked down the Fedex truck there in their development. She took possession of the golf clubs.
The formerly feral cat presumably requested that there be a little less commotion while napping was in progress.
…you heard this on the radio.
It was the No. 1 song on this date in 1975.
Hey, graduates: Try to avoid working for anyone who regards telling the truth as “Being negative.”
“We moved to Sandpoint in the summer of '84 from Colorado,” wrote Diane Jones. “One of my new friends gave us a beautiful, one of a kind, handmade wind sock from Hawaii for a house warming gift. We put it on the front stoop of our small home downtown. Not a week went by and someone had stolen it.
“Witnesses say it was some young girls that drove up and nabbed it quickly and drove away. A few weeks later the same exact wind sock was sighted by my friend that had given it to me. Interestingly enough, it was flying on a dock of a very wealthy family on Lake Pend Oreille!
“We did some investigating and came to find out that the young daughter had given the wind sock to her father for Father's Day. We decided that the young girl needed it more than we did, so we left it alone.
“I'm sure her father never learned the truth that day. We realized karma does catch up to you eventually!”
Noticed this morning that some free-speech vandal had written a two-word vulgarism on an S-R vending box downtown.
You've heard this expression before. It's the one that starts with “No” and ends with a familiar four-letter synonym for excrement.
The author, who used a black magic marker and wrote with pretty big letters, added an exclamation point. I would have thought that punctuation might be implicit, but I quibble.
So, anyway, what was his or her point?
Was he saying that the news content of the S-R tilts toward recitations of the obvious?
Or was he suggesting that the newspaper is a metaphorically fecal-free reading delight?
Perhaps the message was actually a slightly more inscrutable existential cry, an expression of alienation and angst. As politicians know, you can't go wrong blaming the media for almost anything.
But please feel free to offer your own theory.
Today's column asked readers if they have had a flag stolen.
Ray Dickelman, who lives in the South Perry neighborhood, had an answer.
“We have had five flags stolen in over 20 years.”
These guys are waiting for the Empire Builder in Spokane back before Expo '74.
What's he saying to the boy?
A) “Plastics.” B) “No, Joey. Those mountains are not real.” C) “Expensive coffee drinks — that's the future.” D) “Think, Joey! Where did you put the remote?” E) “Californy is the place you oughta be.” F) “Look, just face it. Idaho is a made-up word.”.G) “My advice is to start drinking heavily.” H) “We're going to need a bigger boat.” I) “ABC — always be closing.” J) “I have to be leaving, Joey. We're getting the band back together.”
“The best was Bob Dylan with Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, 1987 tour,” wrote Bob Witte of Sandpoint. “Worst was Joe Cocker. It was in a small club and he threw up on stage. I've been trying to forget it ever since.”
Darlene Brice said the concert she enjoyed most was in the early summer of 1964, in San Bernardino, Calif. The Rolling Stones opened for The Righteous Brothers.”Both groups delivered a great concert but the Rolling Stones rocked the house. I became a Rolling Stones fan at that long-ago event.”
Laura Parker puts Jimi Hendrix and Led Zeppelin shows, both in San Francisco, at the top of her list.
“The worst concert? That has to be the recent Cowboy Junkies concert that I had won tickets for through NPR. I had heard of the band but had never heard their music. So while my friend and I were trying in vain to get into their style of music we had behind us the concert-goers from hell. You know these people. They sit right behind you and talk loudly through all the songs while striking their feet against your chair backs enumberable times. Oh, and at one point this gal takes off her shoes and drapes her stocking feet over the arm of the chair next to me. Really! We left shortly after intermission when it seemed like the female lead singer had just shot heroin or chugged a bottle of whiskey or took some sleeping pills or all three as she proceeded to lay her head over her arm and microphone stand and sing really sl-o-o-o-o-w.”
It was No. 1 on this date in 1971.
I can still remember hearing women talk about his legs, which was illuminating.
I had heard women speak admiringly of attractive men before, of course. But there was something unreservedly lustful about the appreciation of the Olympic speed skater's male form.
I had no inclination to begrudge them their fantasies. After all, Heiden had worked long and hard to be in the shape that allowed him to excel as an athlete. And by all accounts, he was an excellent person. So if some of my female acquaintances wanted to imagine enjoying close proximity to his well developed quads, well, who could blame them?
Not ladylike? Perhaps. But since when have all men behaved as gentlemen when speaking of females they found stirring?
Today's Slice question: Do you want a frank critique of your wedding invitation? (Send it in.)
I never really got into restoring old cars.
In Friday's Slice column, I'll explain why.