For want of some glue …
The Observer, in need of something to fix a brooch, pulled open the door of her desk, only to have the front of the drawer come off in her hands.
We couldn’t find the glue that would have fixed the drawer, a brooch that broke the minute we’d put it on and a china plate broken when her husband, working in the cramped quarters that are our kitchen, dropped a glass on it while unloading a dishwasher that’s crammed in a corner in such a way that one has to stretch, Gumby-like, to reach the counter to put down the things you’ve unloaded.
But the kitchen is a bit less cramped now, since we had the old gas heater removed to put in the new air return the heat and air people demanded after they discovered a crack in the heat exchanger and determined that the air intake and the ductwork would suffice only for a unit in the home of a member of the Lollipop League.
They’d been summoned not to find the crack in the heat exchanger, but to determine why the air conditioning had chosen to quit during the only heat wave we had this summer.
Before the heat and air people came, in sweaty ill humor, we closed the front door behind us a tad too hard. When we did, a curved piece of glass that was in our curved 1920 door flew out and smashed on the doorstep. The glass man came and said he could fix it — but that the door was in such bad shape that really something should be done about it before replacing the glass. Call a carpenter, he said.
So we called the carpenter and he looked at it and said it looked bad, but not as bad as our peeling shutters, original to the house, or the soffits, which, like the shutters, were in bad need of repair and paint. He said call a painter, fast.
The painter finally got back to us. He said he was too old to work on the two-story house.
It’s a good thing. God knows what he would have found atop the ladder.
But the people who come fix your house have the best stories. The nice man that came to The Observer’s house to pull the old heater out and install a new air intake (and new sheetrock too, of course) served up this ome:
His friend in Haskell called him because his lights were flickering. Our repair guy went over and up into the attic.
He came back down and told the guy he had some bad news. An enormous black snake, fat and long, was living in the attic and in its slitherings was knocking some wires about. The man freaked, our repair guy laughed, and the man grabbed a shotgun. Our repair guy advised him not to blow a hole in his roof and took care of the job himself with a small pistol.
When the man saw the snake being dragged from the attic he became hysterical, and only the comforting words of his wife would convince him to spend the night in the house.
The subject came up, of course, because The Observer has both squirrels and bats in the attic.
The Observer was driving through the neighborhood the other day when we saw a more-or-less prominent judge walking his dog. The pooch stopped and took a dump on public right of way. Then the two proceeded on, the judge making no effort to clean up the mess, obviously content to let some non-judge come along and step in it. And this is a neighborhood where Mutt Mitt dispensers are located at regular intervals. We have this to say to Your Honor: Judicial activism in cleaning up after your dog is no vice. Judicial restraint in removing doggy doo is no virtue.
The Observer decided to vote early to avoid the crowds. Ha! If the crowds at the polls are any indication, everyone will have voted before Election Day. The Observer stood in line for more than an hour last Friday morning at the Dunbar Community Center. Election Commissioner Sally Stevens appeared and apologized to the 70-person-deep line for the delay. She passed on this information:
The lines at Delta Trust in West Little Rock are not just long, they’re outdoors. Lines at Dunbar are long, but they’re inside, but you have to stand. Voting lines at the Laman Library in North Little Rock are long, but there are seats, so that voters play musical chairs while they wait. Maumelle is OK in the day, not in the evening, and Sherwood is pretty quick.
But for conviviality, it’s Dunbar, thanks to doughnuts donated by Krispy Kreme and other purveyors, served up by a community center employee walking down the line.
I'm sorry we stood by while your generation's hope was smothered by $1.3 trillion in student loan debt, just because you were trying to educate yourselves enough to avoid falling for the snake oil and big talk of a fascist.
The Observer's boss, Uncle Alan, is something of a gentleman farmer on his spread up in Cabot, growing heirloom tomatoes and watermelons and crops of chiggers on property that looks like the perfect farmstead Lenny and George often fantasized about in "Of Mice and Men."
The Observer is an advocate of the A+ method of integrating the arts and using creativity to teach across the curriculum, an approach that the Thea Foundation, with help from the Windgate Charitable Foundation, is offering to schools across the state.
When completed, the Ten Commandments monument on the state Capitol lawn will be the exact size, shape and weight of the vaguely humming black monolith that appeared at the foot of Conway Sen. Jason Rapert's bed in June 2010 and later elevated his consciousness from apelike semi-sentience to incrementally less apelike semi-sentience.
No more clinging to material things, unless those material things are life preservers tossed as I go down for the third and final time, the few remaining strands of my once-majestic locks, or the skids of the last helicopter out before the fall of Little Rock.
All I want for Christmas is a wooden boat with a sail. A cozy cabin cruiser with saucer-sized portholes and a hotplate for heating up the grog and a little spoked wheel for The Cap'n to grimly lash himself to when it comes up a blow.