Let me tell you something

what was it
there was something
what was it though
was it something about a crow?
death maybe?
i stuck my nose in a spider web
while watering the thistles
that is how i discovered the
writing spider in the back yard
that wasn’t it, either
although it was the biggest and most
beautiful spider i have ever seen up close
and i mean up close
i rode my bike to the train station
i will be retiring some day and
to save money i have been considering
getting rid of my car and riding a bike.
maybe that was it.
my bike is very old.
for a bike.
i used to run my daughters around on it
in a little child’s seat.
they’re all grown up now.
it needed new tires because the old ones
had rotted off
and kept going flat.
so i got cool new tires that never go flat.
and i checked the sky before
going to the train station
because it always rains when i ride my bike
but the skies were blue.
the first thing that happened
the chain fell off the front gear
i got that back on
then the tail light cover
fell off and clacked along
the street
i got that back on too.
my bike is a three speed now
because i can only shift the front gears
the back thing
no longer works.
but that’s okay bc it’s flat
where i live, the landscape.
when i told my family about it
my daughter asked
were you leaving a trail of parts
so you could find your way home?
was that it?
was it that my wife had to give me a ride home
from the station that night
because it was raining so hard?
i don’t think that was it either.
this is driving me nuts.

Ten free ways to have fun in troubled economic times

Has thrift replaced profligacy at the top of your priority list? Are you looking for ways to have fun and save money at the same time? Try some of these next weekend:

  1. See how long you can hold your breath. Optional equipment: stopwatch, or watch with a second hand, or some other way of measuring seconds. Alternative: just pretend to have a stopwatch, because the trick here is to fool other people, especially noisy children, into having a breath-holding contest. We did this a lot at my house when I was a kid, usually at my father’s instigation, and I only figured it out recently.
  2. See how long you can hold your hand in icy salt water. This used to be the funnest part of making hand-cranked ice cream when I was a kid. My brother always won, because he was insane*. Necessary equipment: bukkit, water, ice, salt.
  3. Jump out of a hiding place and scare people. My wife and Gamma did this to me a few days ago, and they laughed so hard!
  4. Make rubber-band guns out of junk and pieces of inner tubes, and have wars. (My mother still fondly recalls watching the big kids do this back in the Depression)
  5. Dig a hole.** Necessary equipment: shovel, dirt.
  6. Meditate. Optional equipment: cats.
  7. Fly a jumbo jet. I bet that rocks. Drawback: need a jumbo jet. Advantage: if you have a pilot’s license, they’ll actually pay you to do this.
  8. Go into a Banana Republic and ask to use their telephone. We tried this in Seattle a few years ago, this freaks them out for some reason. Maybe they think you’re poor. When they refuse, ask to at least see their phone book.
  9. Make a list of all the things you’re doing wrong, and correct them.
  10. Find out where the nursing college dormitory is, and when shower time is, and sit in a tree outside (this works better in summer than in winter, due to foliage considerations). This is only free if you already have binoculars.

*He no longer does this, having discovered spicy chili pepper eating contests.

**Works for me.