Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Just a Few Things I've Noticed...

Here are some thoughts for the New Year.

  • Football officiating is getting worse. I've always wanted to write a novel based on a crooked a ref who throws games. Think of how easy it would be... One fake, non-reviewable call in a close contest would do it. Now, as I watch the refs bumble, stumble, err and screw it up, I often wonder whether my fiction idea is not already fact. Can some of these calls really be anywhere near impartial?

  • Why is Obama an African American? When did we decide that half-a-Black is Black? Oh, wait! I'm sure there must have been some court decision during Reconstruction affirming just that. But if that's the fact, isn't it time for a change?

  • The First Lady is almost as wide as the new Prez. I have a feeling she's not much on nonsense. That's great!

  • I saw (a nauseatingly large number of times) a TV ad for a Ford truck. The ad was composed entirely of men grunting, yahoohing, groaning, burping and for all I know farting in admiration of the product. Someone at Ford thought I might want to buy a truck based on this. That's so weird that I don't really have anything more to say about it.

  • I saw another ad and haven't yet figured out what it's for. Blue background, people telling me about I'm-not-sure-what, but I should go out and get one. Or maybe two.

  • Speaking of ads, I just made myself an espresso and forgot to put the cup beneath the spout. I do this at least once every other month, and Starbuck's best decaf ends up on my kitchen floor, which is taking on a rich, brown color. But this time, since I recently purchased Sham Wows (really, I did), I managed to mop up the mess in a minute. I am humbled. These things work!

  • I am selling my 1990 Ferrari Testarossa. It's red and gorgeous and when I'm rich and famous, you'll regret not buying it. Get in touch with me if you're interested.

Here's installment 65 of Wasted Miracles.

“Course I’ll help. Whaddya want me to do?” Joe the Cop balanced a cup of Starbucks coffee on one knee, holding the top with two fingers. It was too hot to drink even though he’d been blowing on it for five minutes. He looked down into the cup with an unhappy expression. “You’d think they could figure something like that out, wouldn’t you? I mean, it shouldn’t take a genius to know that if you order a coffee to go, you want it so you can drink it, not juggle it.”
Mamadou said, “Sir?”
Joe the Cop kept staring at the coffee cup. No one had called him ‘sir’ in a long time and it didn’t register. Colin said, “Joe, here’s what we need you to do.”
Later, Colin dropped by Orin’s house. Marsha was on the front porch sitting in her husband’s rocker sipping Red Zinger.
“I wish Orin were here, Colin. He’d know how to handle this stuff. I can’t reach him, though, tried a bunch of times and left messages but he hasn’t called me back yet.” She sipped, thought, sipped. “But yeah, of course, you get Josie out, bring her here. It’s been a while since I dealt with crack addicts, used to get them all the time in the emergency room when I was with Fairfax Hospital. So you bring her here and we’ll get her stabilized, find the best place to put her in for detoxing.”
Colin nodded, could hear her voice was full of doubt. “We’ll be careful, Marsha.”
She gave him a wry look. “Yeah, you’d better. Something happens to you, I’d never forgive myself. And Orin, he’d get even more impossible to live with.”
Catherine’s eyes were wide, her lower lip was quivering. “I mean, what do you know about this man Mamadou? How do you know you can trust him, Colin? What if something happened? And Joe? Why would a policeman go along with something like that? It’s illegal, isn’t it? You’re going to break into this drug dealer’s home and try to snatch Josie? What if she gets hurt?”
Colin didn’t really have answers, chose his words carefully. “You have to trust somebody, Catherine, and unless you want us to bring back a corpse, we’ve got to act now.” The image had the desired effect. Catherine closed her eyes, shuddered.
“We’ll bring her to Marsha and Orin’s house. You know where they live, off Gallows Road? I’ll call you when we get there. Marsha’s a nurse. She’s handled druggies before, knows what to do.” He fell silent, waited for Catherine to nod her head.
“It’ll be all right, you’ll see. We’ll get Josie back and she’ll be fine.”
Catherine nodded again. There really wasn’t much of a choice, was there?
When the Zulu came into the room, he found Comfort squatting in front of Josie. The girl was trembling, her limbs palsied. Her eyes were closed and she was breathing heavily. The Zulu thought she might be unconscious. Comfort said, “She’s coming down very hard, Dingane. I don’t know what you’ve been giving her, but if you stop like this, it will kill her. I’ve seen it before.” He said it without inflection, this was information the Zulu should know.
The Zulu sighed. It was taking far too long and his patience was wearing thin.
“So what do you suggest?”
Comfort shrugged. “Her health is not my business, Dingane. But she needs to be weaned off. If you want her to live, that is.”
The Zulu nodded, his face a mask. “I will get her something. She can’t die yet.”
As soon as he left the room, Comfort brought his mouth close to her ear and whispered, “Listen, Miss Stilwell. Listen very carefully.” There wasn’t much time. He hoped she was rational enough to listen and understand. He lowered his voice even more and when he was finished asked, “Will you remember this? You must! It’s your only chance.”

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