Favorite

The Observer went back to the hometown on Memorial Day to put some flowers on some graves, as we do every year. It’s little enough in the way of remembrance. No relatives of the deceased still live in the town. The Observer’s annual flowers are the only ones those graves get.

Or so it was until a few years ago, when The Observer discovered that someone else had begun leaving flowers at the marker of one of our honorees, an Air Force captain lost in Vietnam in 1966. (And it is a marker only, not a grave. The remains never got back from Vietnam.)

The mysterious flowers were there again on The Observer’s latest visit. Who could it be, we wondered. Some 70-year-old former high school girlfriend perhaps? Maybe it’s some patriotic person who simply appreciates what the captain and others did. There are many graves of veterans in the cemetery, including the captain’s father, and on Memorial Day they’re all decorated with little American flags, probably put out by the American Legion or some similar group. But the other veterans’ graves, at least the ones nearby, don’t have flowers on them. The captain’s tombstone may be the only one in the cemetery that honors someone who died in combat. Maybe that’s the reason for the mysterious flowers.

Whatever it is, The Observer is appreciative.



Overheard in a liquor store:

CUSTOMER (an edgy young man): I’m looking for a wine called Pussycat.

CLERK: I don’t think we have any of that. I never heard of it.

CUSTOMER: I’ll just look around. I was told you had it. It’s a fine wine.

CLERK: Look around if you want to. I never heard of it.

CUSTOMER: But this is Broadway, right?

CLERK: No sir, this is Kavanaugh.

CUSTOMER: But it is North Little Rock?

CLERK: No sir, this is west Little Rock.

Undeterred, the customer was still looking for his Pussycat when The Observer left the store.



Marie Crawford of Central Arkansas Water called The Observer to object to last week’s kvetching that soon we won’t be able to afford even our water bills. It’s not water, Crawford said, but sewer service charges that are high and getting higher. She wanted readers to make the distinction. She’s right. Sewer costs more than water, and it’s going to cost more over the next several years, to pay for court-ordered improvements and to build a new sewer plant. The Observer is guilty of calling the utility bill the water bill. So drink up.



The Observer’s spouse was worried all weekend — and a long weekend it was, since it was the Memorial Day weekend — that we’d left the check to the Internal Revenue Service out of the envelope when we mailed in our tax return.

As it turns out, one can actually call the IRS and talk to a person about such a problem. And as it turns out, we did include a check, and, in fact, it was for too much. We will get a refund.

Our spouse was doubly relieved. The check was in, and, spouse said, “The lady on the phone wasn’t in India.”



A friend of The Observer has returned from a week at Daytona Beach, where she stayed with her aunt, who was attending a romance novel writers’ convention.

The scene sounded surreal — like Federico Fellini meets Larry David. Nearly all of the writers were middle-age women or older. A group of male models (presumably Fabio look-alikes) were hired to hang around the convention. The nightly parties included a costumed affair to which the women wore their favorite period outfits. Presumably there were plenty of bodices for the ripping. The Observer’s friend said there was plenty of flirting going on, and who knows what else.

The Observer initially thought this was pretty amusing. Then we got to thinking. Why are women the only ones interested in reading and writing romance novels? Are women stimulated by words in the same way men are stimulated by visuals? Does that make romance novels the equivalent of pornography? If so, what if a convention of male pornographers hired a bunch of female models and had a fantasy dress-up party? Wouldn’t we say that was sick, rather than amusing?

Conclusion: Romance novel writers are sex-crazed perverts. Glad we could clear that up for you.


Favorite

From the ArkTimes store

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

  • An open line: And a note about Texas

    Here's the Memorial Day open line. And an AP report from a chaotic session of the Texas legislature, where police were called to remove demonstrators from the legislative chambers where they were noisily protesting a new law to prevent "sanctuary" cities for immigrants.
    • May 29, 2017
  • A Memorial Day message on Medicaid

    A Memorial Day reminder of the good the Medicaid expansion did for veterans and what's at risk if it goes away.
    • May 29, 2017
  • Babies having babies: Good news not so good in Arkansas

    The good news is a drop in teen pregnancy. The bad news is that Arkansas remains a leader in this statistic as well as in the somewhat related statistic of child marriages.
    • May 29, 2017
  • More »

More by Arkansas Times Staff

Readers also liked…

  • I'm sorry

    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.
    • Nov 17, 2016
  • Show and tell

    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.
    • Feb 25, 2016
  • Yawp

    The Observer has been in a funk lately for a number of reasons: revulsions and slights, both foreign and domestic. We get that way most years as the winter drags on, once the tinsel and colored lights of Christmas drop into the rearview, soon after we come off the New Year's Day hangover.
    • Mar 24, 2016

Most Shared

  • Conspiracy theorists

    Back in 2000, I interviewed Rev. Jerry Falwell on camera in connection with a documentary film of "The Hunting of the President," which Joe Conason and I wrote.
  • The health of a hospital

    The Medicaid expansion helped Baxter County Regional Medical Center survive and thrive, but a federal repeal bill threatens to imperil it and its patients.
  • Virgil, quick come see

    There goes the Robert E. Lee. But the sentiment that built the monument? It's far from gone.
  • Real reform

    Arkansas voters, once perversely skeptical of complicated ballot issues like constitutional amendments, have become almost comical Pollyannas, ratifying the most shocking laws.
  • That modern mercantile: The bARn

    The bARn Mercantile — "the general store for the not so general," its slogan says — will open in the space formerly occupied by Ten Thousand Villages at 301A President Clinton Ave.

Latest in The Observer

  • Summer resolutions

    The Observer likes making resolutions at New Year's. We don't manage to keep any of them other than the one we always start with — "Stay Above Ground" — but we do like making them.
    • May 25, 2017
  • More bad news

    As we write this, the Little Rock City Board is readying an ordinance to make it exponentially harder for charities to feed poor and homeless people in city parks.
    • May 18, 2017
  • Art imitates life

    If you're not watching "The Handmaid's Tale" on Hulu, you should be, if your heart can stand it.
    • May 11, 2017
  • More »

Visit Arkansas

Paddling the Fourche Creek Urban Water Trail

Paddling the Fourche Creek Urban Water Trail

Underutilized waterway is a hidden gem in urban Little Rock

Event Calendar

« »

May

S M T W T F S
  1 2 3 4 5 6
7 8 9 10 11 12 13
14 15 16 17 18 19 20
21 22 23 24 25 26 27
28 29 30 31  

Most Viewed

  • Abuse again at Arkansas juvenile lockup

    A guard was fired after choking a child at the Alexander Juvenile Assessment and Treatment Center. It’s the latest in a long history of mistreatment at the facility.

Most Recent Comments

  • Re: The health of a hospital

    • I remember when Ron Peterson was against Obama because he said he would institute a…

    • on May 29, 2017
  • Re: ‘They messed with my words’

    • I was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease in my mid to late 40's. I had hand…

    • on May 29, 2017
  • Re: ‘They messed with my words’

    • Here from England, watching this case is tragic and its a shame anyone is involved,…

    • on May 28, 2017
 

© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation