Sunday, April 10, 2005

The Misanthrope -- Sunday's Lighter Side

We do not talk - we bludgeon one another with facts and theories gleaned from cursory readings of newspapers, magazines and digests.
Henry Miller, (1891-1980), author

Plants. Every week there is a tap on my office door, it’s the plant man wanting to care for my nonexistent office plants. I have told this guy every week for just about one year that I have no plants. I am ready to place a logo on the door with a plant and an X through it.

Initially I had a couple of plants, but having someone pop-in the office and start watering or pruning plants was very distracting. I figured I would water for him using coffee. I am not much of a coffee drinker (I use coffee mostly for dipping cookies or donuts), so I poured the excess java into the plant. After a few weeks of this, the plant started to smell a bit mildewy (there is also all this ornamental straw/hay inside the container), so I asked the plant man to fix it. I confessed about my watering habits. From his reaction, you would have thought I murdered people for a living. After he complained to the office manager, my punishment was that I would not receive a replacement plant, which is exactly the result I wanted. Now, if I could just get this new plant guy to leave me alone.

Baseball. A friend called me on Monday after our Sunday baseball extravaganza and said that Casey Stengel’s grave is very near his father’s and he pointed out that etched on Stengel’s grave marker is the quote “There comes a time in every man’s life and I’ve had plenty of them.” A very nice saying and one that points out how fortunate we all are in various ways.

Neighbors. I was awakened yesterday morning by the wooly mammoth of a dog the neighbors let loose every morning. During the week the barking and howling starts at 5:30 a.m. when they leave for work. Saturday morning they took their jeep out early, I know because I was going over to complain, again. I have offered to purchase a shock collar for their dog to curtail its barking. Actually, I would really like the owners to wear it and when they take a breath have it shock them. The latest annoyance is that the beast howls when the train whistle blows. We live a block or two from the tracks, but you can still hear the whistle blow. I am just waiting for the orchestral sounds when the neighbor behind us starts to practice his tuba with his serenading dog, and then the wooly mammoth chimes in accompanying the train whistle. I should get an ipod to record it and then post it. The joys of living in suburbia, not that I have lived anywhere else.

Magazines. Every week the newspapers and magazines pile up as I attempt to keep up with them (a losing battle). I also scour these periodicals for information to post on Toner Mishap. Here is a list of magazines and newspapers that arrive daily, weekly, monthly and quarterly:
Atlantic Monthly
The New Yorker
Mother Jones
Foreign Affairs
Fast Company
The American Scholar
Vanity Fair
Business Week
Wall Street Journal
Los Angeles Times
New York Times
Ladies Home Journal
The Economist


Janet said...

Ok, I admit it. I had to actually look up the meaning of misanthrope as I never had before. Now it's all much clearer, kinda sorta. I still say deep down you know we're not all bad.:)

Anonymous said...

Just read this! You should check out "The Week"--it's a sort of news aggregation magazine that does a good job of summarizing the vast quantity of world news every week with a fairly balanced viewpoint. Definitely good for those having trouble keeping up with the firehose...