Showing posts from January, 2011


After I opened the front door, I opened the screen door--which, I suppose, is really a “storm” door because it does not have a screen.  The screen is somewhere in the basement and I am too lazy to dust it off and return it to service.  Instead of a screen, this door that exists a step, or less, beyond the front door’s exterior has a clear plastic panel, which, as mentioned above, qualifies it as a “storm” door.  I do not, however, feel comfortable calling it a “storm” door.  So, I have conducted some research.  I consulted Home Depot’s website, Lowe’s website, and Wikipedia’s entries on screen and storm doors.  These sites did not provide me with the comfort I sought.  (And what, exactly, do I seek?  I seek, as do most in these parts, a convincing echo chamber.  Alas!  All of the echoes returned to me are incongruous distortions!)  True:  This door-before-my-front-door has survived the four seasons for decades, but I still feel that it is too flimsy to be regarded as something meant t

FireVaney/PlagueRider: Violent Gardens

FIREVANEY Do you maintain a garden?  It seems to be the thing to do in England. PLAGUERIDER [My wife] maintains a bit of a garden.  Mainly some flowers and plants surrounding a bit of concrete where [my child] can ride in her little vehicles in clement weather. FIREVANEY Would you agree that gardens are to the British what guns are to the Americans? PLAGUERIDER Gardens don't kill people; Americans do.  Although the toxic level of political discourse in Britain at the moment could very well end up with a garden assassinating someone.

The Zit Peppered Side

I looked through the peephole and it wasn’t Lou.  It was some kid--an older kid, if he qualified as a kid, and if he didn’t, then he qualified as a young man.  You might say that’s a given, but when I think “young man” I think of some Harvard freshmen from the 1940s.  Some preppy type.  Pressed suit, polished shoes.  But this “kid” on the other side of my peephole looked more like a hell-raiser, a tobacco abuser, an underage drinker.  He looked like a high school dropout.  Possibly illiterate.  (There is a sign on my door.  It reads:  NO SOLICITORS).  And he had rung my doorbell.  This punk did.  Twice.   I opened my eyes anyway.  I mean, I opened the door anyway.  And, yes, when I opened the door, my eyes were open--not that having them open helped the least bit.  Had I kept them closed I would’ve likely stumbled down the stairs and snapped my neck.  It would’ve ended my life, or left me a quadriplegic, but it would’ve saved me twenty bucks.  This is what you do when you don’t get en

Ding. Dong.

If you don’t know who it is, and whoever it is doesn’t know who you are, then you get one ring; they give one ring.  That’s one ring, only .  They ring once.  That’s what the run-of-the-mill stranger does.  Okay, maybe two quick rings.  When they’re making a delivery, that’s when they’ll do that.  Two quickies, and they’ll leave the package at the door.  As the proud owner of a front door, that’s been my experience.  (I own a back door, too, along with fifteen sets of windows and something like seven interior/exterior walls.  They come in handy.  After all, a front door isn’t much use without all the add-ons.  They sell you on the front door; then, you know, it’s, “How about a wall for that?”  And then it’s, “Boy, that one wall’s gonna be real lonely all by itself.”  And, naturally, after that, they’ll tell ya, “Well you don’t wanna just stare at the walls all day, do you?”  You’ll save on bricks and drywall, they’ll say, if you put in a few windows.  And it’s true.  But where the

Lou Knocks

We were expectin’ Lou.  But Lou’s got a thing against doorbells.  So he knocks.  Maybe it’s the germs.  Most folks ring the bell; so stands to reason the knocker’s cleaner.  But maybe he doesn’t even use the knocker.  I’d bet he doesn’t.  I’d bet he bangs with his knuckles.  I don’t pay close enough attention to know the difference between knuckles and a knocker.  What does that say about me?  Does that make me inattentive?  Perhaps it does.  Am I gonna do anythin' about it?  Probably not.  Should I do somethin’ about it?  Don’t think I need to.  But it’s somethin’ to think about.  I’ll think about it.  Would that make you happy?  Why would it?  You don’t know me.  Who are you to tell me that I’m not attentive.  Or, not attentive enough .  And what does that mean?  How do you know when you’ve given just the riiight amount of attention?  When somebody else is satisfied, that’s when.  When somebody else tells you so.  But not everybody’s gonna tell you.  So you’re fucked.  I me

The Dong Of Man

Nah, whoever it was, he rang the doorbell twice.  It  was  twice.  Of that, I am absolutely certain.  “Ding-dong, ding-dong.”  It wasn’t that quickly, though, the succession of sounds, the succession of “dings” and “dongs.” It was more…  “Ding-dong.”  And then… “Ding-dong.” Nah.  The lag between the first “dong” and the second “ding” stretched on longer than even that.  In the time between the first “dong” and the second “ding” you could’ve, I don’t know, you could’ve flushed the toilet and there’d be enough time for it to fully flush and fill and go quiet.  And I’m talkin’ the time it would take for an old toilet to do that--an old,  reliable  toilet.  Which is what I happen to have.  The plumber wanted to put in a new toilet, but I said, “N. O.”  Just like that.   “N. O.”   I didn’t even say, “No.”   Just, “N. O.”  Nah, I hope to die sittin’ on that toilet.  Sort of like Elvis did--but under better circumstances.  He died on a toilet, right?  That’s the legend, anyway.  That’s the