Saturday, June 27, 2009

The Buzzards are Circling

Some days you wake up, look up at the simple, honest blue of the sky, and it all makes sense. The thousands of years that have passed with us eager to wipe each other out over differences in geographic locations, religious beliefs, skin color, or a multitude of entirely valid genocidal motivations all seem insignificant. Yes, the election in Iraq seems fishy, but other than a handful of protesters dying for their cause, is it really any different than what we had during the Bush-Gore fiasco? Forget about em...they've been there a lot longer than we've been here, and we have plenty of areas in our country where worse things happen daily.

Who cares? I have a thousand moths on my porch that aren't even aware that the human world is falling apart. In fact, other than human-erosion, the world is doing pretty well: volcanoes and earthquakes equalize the internal pressure, droughts come and go, regulating populations, the mountains grow and slowly wash back into the sea, squirrels and rabbits whistle as they help with Cinderella's gown...remove man-made strife and the earth is a well oiled machine. It's no wonder it's faltering; we keep taking all of its oil.

Anyway, back to it all making sense. We're supposed to borrow eggs or a cup of sugar from each other when we run short while baking apple pie; we're supposed to help out the broken down car on the freeway, or stop texting long enough to wave to them as we drive by, thankful that it's not us. We're supposed to breath the morning air, look up at the simple beauty of the blue sky and be glad that we're here.

The trouble is that I've seen the show where the machine cuts down a tree and pulls the whole thing through a series of grinding and cutting tools to remove all the limbs and bark before cutting it into precise lengths to be made into lumber. We need the lumber to build more buildings, and we need really cool machines to make it happen faster, because we are billions strong now and show no signs of slowing down.

North Korea wants to wipe us off the map; we've wiped people off the all comes down to maps and Billy Joel lyrics, "We will all go down together ..."

The dog is barking; someone probably wants to borrow something. Shhhhhh, they'll go away; they always do.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Welcome to Georgia, we count by Mississippi's

I was going down a rural Georgia road in the dark and passed a sign among the trees lining the road that said, " speed checked by detection devices." I thought that this tiny road, with little red-clay dirt roads branching off periodically in the middle of nowhere, couldn't possibly have some sophisticated speed monitoring and ticketing system. This, of course, led to wondering how they monitored speed. I pictured a 70's Dodge cruiser, with a huge row of lights mounted on top of it, backed into the brush behind the Waffle House sign, Cletus looking intently down the road at on coming traffic. When I inevitably get pulled over, this is what would ensue:

"Can I help you officer?"
"Not likely (head turns slightly and a stream of brown tobacco spittle hits the red clay), what you can do is keep that there Yankee trap shut."
"Okay...but what makes me a Yankee?"
"You ain't from these parts are you?"
"That's it."
"That's what?"
'"Look around you boy, you don't want to start nothin' seen Deliverance?"
"Enough said Sir. How fast was I going?"
"I had you at two Mississippi between that ole Church and the Waffle house sign."
"Two Mississippi?"
"Yes, most folks are three to four Mississippi through were really screamin' along."

Later, at the hearing:

"Your honor, my client pleads innocent to the charge of reduced Mississippi's over a given distance."
"Cletus, were you hanging out by the Waffle house sign again?"
"Yes your honor, and I had him at two Mississippi," all said through remnants of brown spittle at the corners of his mouth, " and most folks are three to four Mississippi through there."
"Now that's right Cletus, 'cause you had me at four Mississippi through there just last week," the judge eyed me over the top of her reading glasses.
"Your honor, while my client may be guilty of going one or two Mississippi's over the speed limit, in his defense, he thought the basis for speed evaluation was Georgia's, and you can see that that eliminates two syllables per unit, putting him well within the three to four Mississippi range when swapped one for one in the counting process."
"Well Cletus, was the basis clearly posted?"
"Uh, your honor...uh, uh..."
"Case dismissed!"
"Don't let me see you around these parts again Yankee boy; your silver-tongued lawyer won't help you next time," Cletus was not happy to have been hood-winked by my cousin Vinny.

"You've got a little something on the corners of your mouth," I told Cletus, "Oh, it's just dried tobacco spit."

"This is just like with them Duke boys....." the defeated deputy's grumbling trails off as he heads for the cruiser with the row of huge lights on top of it.

Georgia is, of course, completely caught up with the times, and they use powerful Dodge Chargers with low profile LED light strips on top of them. They rarely use tobacco in uniform, and they abandoned the "Mississippi" system long ago.