The Observer had just finished a nice, healthy lunch in the River Market and was taking a nice, healthy stroll back to the office when he breathed in a nice, healthy dose of marijuana.

Two young guys, one with a backpack suggesting Kerouac-style travels, were just up ahead. The Observer figured he better pick up the pace and get ahead of the tokers before he ended up with a stiff contact high that would make the afternoon less productive (but not unenjoyable).

He caught up with them at the intersection, waiting for the light to turn. Sure enough, both had their own doobie.

“How’re you doing?” one of them asked, with a chuckle. Then he offered The Observer a hit. No, thanks, The Observer said. Gotta go back to work. Otherwise …

Now The Observer was walking with them, trying to keep one step ahead of the smoke. The guys were telling him about when they were in San Francisco and how everyone there offers everyone else a hit of their weed. “I said to this old man one time, ‘Want a hit?’ and he said, ‘Sure,’ and took a big ol’ hit. Then he reached into his pocket and pulled out a big ol’ bag of government-grade shit. I had a hit of that and I was done for the day. And I mean, I was used to having Humboldt County weed.”

“That’s some good shit,” his friend said, to underscore the point.

“Where do you work?” the other guy said. “Right here,” The Observer said, having reached the building our office is in. Everyone shook hands, and The Observer went up to the office. He thinks he can still taste the pot.

The Observatory sits overlooking a busy downtown intersection, so we knew what had happened the other day when we heard it: A deep, hollow boom that sounded like a safe had just been dropped off the roof. Our tendency to rubberneck brought The Observer and officemate Warwick Sabin to the window. Down below, two cars sat near the streetcar tracks, each with a crumpled hood and a dazed driver still sitting with a deflated marshmallow of airbag in his lap. Gingerly, they dismounted from their respective steeds. Heads were scratched. Cell phones were opened. We tried to judge crasher from crashee by the respective looks of disgust and humiliation on their faces, but could not. In a moment, Johnny Law was on the scene to figger it all out, and paperwork was exchanged. From the lack of an ambulance, it seemed that thankfully no one was hurt — though you never know what might befall someone later, in the dead of night, when the lawyers asking “Have you got your check yet?” prowl the airwaves.

The Observer, no matter what you read here, is not the sharpest tool in the drawer (we have just learned, to paraphrase the immortal Kurt Vonnegut, that you can inflate a blimp with a bicycle pump if you’ve got enough time). That said, after a few moments of staring down on the wreck, we turned to Sabin — anybody’s vision of a sharp tool — and remarked: “You know, with cars as big as they are, it’s amazing we keep them apart as well as we do.”

Yet another pearl of wisdom from Yours Truly, free of charge. Y’all be safe out there, you hear?

The Observer and Spouse were heading back from a recon trip to Lowe’s over the weekend when Spouse noticed a new arrival in that industrial area between the East McCain big boxes and the interstate. “PODS” read big letters painted on the sides of several dozen minivan-sized containers stacked along the fence. The Observer’s thoughts sprang Body-Snatcherward, but Spouse knew the scoop: It’s a moving company. The Pod people drop off a container on your front lawn, you load it up with all your boxes and La-Z-Boys and close the garage-style door, they come pick it up and hoist it on the back of a truck, and then drop it off at your new digs.

This system, we think, has enormous potential to take up where passenger rail service left off, if the Podders would install a window or two. Load up your pod with a futon, a camp toilet, a cooler of sustenance and a few buddies, and ride to the Grand Canyon on the back of a flatbed. No need to rent a hotel room once you get there, either.


From the ArkTimes store


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

  • Sunday and another open line

    Got anything for the open line?
    • Jul 23, 2017
  • But what about the Clintons? Last refuge of Trump, New York Times

    Trying to compare Donald Trump's reaction to the Russia investigation with Bill Clinton's dealings with Kenneth Starr should be a non-starter if the facts mattered. But these days — and to the New York Times — it ain't necessarily so.
    • Jul 23, 2017
  • Football is king, Bentonville edition

    Good analysis in the Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette of an unannounced Bentonville School Board vote last week to put $2 million into a football stadium for West High School despite board assurances in last May's tax election that no money would go to a football stadium.
    • Jul 23, 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

  • So much for a school settlement in Pulaski County

    The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette's Cynthia Howell got the scoop on what appears to be coming upheaval in the Pulaski County School District along with the likely end of any chance of a speedy resolution of school desegregation issues in Pulaski County.
  • Riverfest calls it quits

    The board of directors of Riverfest, Arkansas's largest and longest running music festival, announced today that the festival will no longer be held. Riverfest celebrated its 40th anniversary in June. A press release blamed competition from other festivals and the rising cost of performers fees for the decision.
  • Football for UA Little Rock

    Andrew Rogerson, the new chancellor at UA Little Rock, has decided to study the cost of starting a major college football team on campus (plus a marching band). Technically, it would be a revival of football, dropped more than 60 years ago when the school was a junior college.
  • Turn to baseball

    When the world threatens to get you down, there is always baseball — an absorbing refuge, an alternate reality entirely unto itself.

Latest in The Observer

  • Dumb and smart, at the same time

    The Observer spent the week at a bar and thought a lot about a joke and its writer.
    • Jul 20, 2017
  • -30-

    A newspaper died up in Atkins a few weeks back, not with a bang or a whimper, but with the sound of change jingling in a pocket, just too little of it to keep the printing presses rolling.
    • Jul 13, 2017
  • Does she know?

    Did Kim Walker-Smith, when recording "Throne Room" for her new record "On My Side," truly understand the power of her music? Does she now know that her song was the one that played on the radio as Michael Reed thumped into the Ten Commandments monument on the state Capitol grounds and brought it on down?
    • Jul 6, 2017
  • More »

Event Calendar

« »


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

Most Recent Comments


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