I stopped in at Co-op to get some groceries, and got in the shortest line I could find. The guy in front of me, man, he was a story.
He had a thin beard, grey eyes, and wore a basketball tank-top and a ball cap. His arms were tattooed with numbers and designs: a 12 on his left forearm, an ankh on one wrist, the word SATAN’S crawling down the inside of his right forearm.
He had a 2‑litre bottle of store-brand cream soda, violently pink, and four packages of Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. He paid his bill—$7.86—with a double fistful of dimes, and got 15¢ change back.
He’s got a story to tell. Probably quite a few of them, really. I just have no idea if I’m tough enough to hear them.
I discovered on the track today that this song (“Superbeast”, by Rob Zombie) perfectly matches my running* pace.
It’s extra funny when you consider that, as I was leaving the house this morning, my wife said, “Enjoy running… for your life!”
* Fine, jogging pace.
Dad loved cop shows from the ’70s and ’80s. He wasn’t a big fan of ’80s and ’90s music, though. So imagine my surprise, one day, when, home for a weekend, I heard the dulcet tones of the Beastie Boys coming from the TV that he was watching. It was such an odd occurrence, in fact, that it took me a moment to recognize what I was hearing.
Then it clicked: it was the breakdown in “Sabotage”.
I came out of my room just in time for the lyrics to start up again, and Dad, realizing he’d been tricked, switched the channel.
I get it, though. It sure does look like an ’80s cop show.
Apparently I set my birthday to private on Facebook last year, which meant that this year, I didn’t have a million Happy Birthday! posts from friends and family. I’m OK with that.
Happy Hollow Bean, y’all.
…“And what is the purpose of this celebration?”
“To collect the all-important food.”
Read the rest
Thanks to Merriam-Webster’s “Time Traveler” feature, I now know that the following words’ and phrases’ first recorded use happened the year I was born:
And dozens of others, too. How about you?
(Maybe later I’ll indulge in a caipirinha.)
It was gorgeous out this weekend, simply beautiful. Highs of 29°C Saturday and Sunday. So I washed, like, all the laundry in my house and hung it on the line to dry on Saturday.
My neighbours decided to have themselves a fire in their backyard fire pit, about an hour before I brought my laundry in.
Long story short, every shirt I put on now smells like camping. Not that I’m complaining.
Whoever mashed up Sesame Street and The Beastie Boys is a genius.
Thanks, Donna (@reloweeda)!
For a scene in my current work in progress, I wanted to know what the proper term is for the skullcap worn by bishops in the Catholic Church. So I Googled archbishop skullcap, as you do.
The word is zucchetto. It comes from the Italian for … Pumpkin. (Because, apparently, the little caps—worn to keep the bishops’ heads warm—reminded people of pumpkins cut in half.)
I ended up going with “archbishop’s skullcap” in the manuscript.
A couple years ago, I had an epiphany while reading Gene Wolfe’s The Book of the New Sun, when the narrator Severian pointed out that
It is always a temptation to say that such feelings are indescribable, though they seldom are.
Today, though… Today I was finishing Wolfe’s superb 1988 novel There Are Doors, and I happened upon this on page 294:
Which is it, Mr. Wolfe? Which is it?
I must admit, though, it’s nice that, immediately after he calls the sound indescribable, he proceeds to describe it with delightful economy. Wolfe may be fond of unreliable narrators, but his prose is reliably amazing.