August 2004 Archives

A Tisket, A Tasket

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a Cheapo Costco Casket... Costco has announced that they are going to test market caskets at a suburban Chicago store. The caskets will be displayed along side the matress selections. Now you don't have to choose between a good night's sleep or eternal slumber!!.

I've always marveled at the obvious impluse purchases I see when waiting on line to check out at Costo. There will be a basket of food stuffs, some seasonal crap, and then perched high atop all the other stuff is a 27" color television or a computer system. While Mom assiduously shopped for staples, poor, bored Dad found the Super Bowl TV of his dreams. Now I look forward to an eight foot steel box sticking up on top of the 500 pack of chicken fingers.

I can just see the happy purchaser connecting special trailer wheels and hauling it home behind the SUV. Maybe the proud new owner will ride inside with the top down, impressing his neighbors as he pulls into the driveway. "Hey Morty, you may have a greener lawn, but I've got a God damn casket! "

What do you do with a casket you've bought in advance? Why set it up in the living room or den, I say. It will make a great guest bed, especially when you close the lid on snoring Uncle Louie. Or you can use it as a ice chest at the company picnic. At the foot of the bed, it will make swell blanket chest - all you'll have to do is roll poor grandpa off the end of the bed after he croaks and you're done.

Don't forget the 55 gallon drum of enbalming solution.

On April 23 I posted the story of how my Nikon camera was stolen from my car when I ran into the supermarket on my way home from shooting photos. I wrote that something more had been taken than just my camera, that it had made me a bit more cynical and negative.

nikon_note.jpg

This morning I reclaimed some of my former outlook. As she left for work, Nancy came upon the camera and the note in the photo on our front steps.

Some kid had taken the camera from the car. Somehow, his parent found it and decided to do the �right thing�. I�m not going to comment too much on the fact that the kid got a beating (considering that I originally wanted to strangle the little bastard) or that they decided to sneak the camera back to me rather than have him face up to what he had done; I�m just happy that this kid has a parent who tried to do what they thought was best and that I have the camera back.

So bad things happen and good things happen. It�s nice when events balance out this way.

In a small town you eventually get to �know� everyone. You begin to see the same faces at the market or library or driving through the intersection. You may not know their name but you know they are part of your community. Perhaps this parent saw the name engraved on the camera body, looked it up in the phone book, and realized that it was a neighbor whose camera was taken. Maybe the kid pointed me out to the parent on one of my trips to the post office. I�ll never know.

But I do know that I have had a little faith restored and that I'll be paying a little more attention to the sun than the shadows when I next go out to shoot photos.

Advertently Gruntled

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Ive been tripping across some words lately that have me perplexed. Most all of them are negative forms that convey a very specific meaning, but when I try to use the positive form of the word, things get weird.

The other morning I inadvertently stepped on the cats tail. As you might expect, she howled and ran off. I apologized, telling her that it was, after all, inadvertent; and that she should not be too angry with me. I went on to explain (yes, I spend a bit too much time alone with the cats) that if I was really trying to hurt her, I would have advertently stepped on her tail And thats when the first word tripped me up. It seems that you can do something inadvertently but it is impossible to also do something advertently. The word is in the dictionary, but it is used only by lawyers these days, making it a very litigious sounding word. Such is the English language and I find it much too negative.

This left me disgruntled. There should be more logic in language. Were I able to use the word advertent and actually have people understand what I was saying, Id be quite gruntled There, it just happened again. Its not fair that I can be disgruntled but Im not allowed to be gruntled. If someone asks me how my neighbors feel about the recent property tax changes that the state has put into place, I want to be able to say Theyre quite gruntled, actually. It has a nice ring to it. You can almost hear them responding with a hearty New England uunt or uhn. Its almost poetic. When they are disgruntled nothing comes out. Thats a shame.

Im not going to get all worked up about this. It just has me a bit peeved. Im not disposed to go on a campaign to change the English language - Id just like a little more leeway in expressing myself.

By the way, if Im not disposed, am I posed?

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