I was traveling around Afghanistan the last several days so didn’t get a chance to update this thing. I’m going to cheat tonight and use some draft material that I never got around to fleshing out to a full post along with some stuff from the last week that I didn’t have time to write. So, don’t go looking for the deeply philosophical subtext you’ve come to expect from my prose. Tonight’s blog will be only moderately awesome.
The Monti Sorry School
First, I learned the word “shlumpy”. As I was at the salad bar loading up on taco toppings, a man and woman, both in US Army uniforms, were looking at the bucket o’ sour cream. She said “It looks shlumpy, you taste it before I get some”. He grimaced but obliged. I interjected that it always looks that way (kinda lumpy and slightly cottage cheese-like) but has always been ok. She said “I don’t know…it really is shlumpy”. However, upon receiving a positive taste report from her companion, she loaded up on it. There ya go…I challenge you to use shlumpy in a sentence tomorrow. I kinda like that word and it pretty much captured the essence of DFAC sour cream.
I also learned from J, who has a kinda creepy ability to remember every movie he ever saw, and he’s seen all of them, that Contagion isn’t very good. He can’t, however, seem to remember words. He said it was about some virus killing everyone and there was some actress playing a doctor who “specializes in contagious diseases or something”. I suggested, helpfully, “Epidemiologist?”. He said “No, but she was definitely a something-ologist”. I opined, less helpfully, “Probably not a Vulcanologist…that would be dumb”. J then made a hand gesture to indicate pointy-ears and we left it at that.
T talked about a recent oil spill in New Zealand which led to a heated debate about how long the effects of these types of spills can last. I said, with great certainty, that everything would be back to normal in 5 years. To prove me wrong, J countered that they are still finding oil from the BP spill in the Gulf of Mexico. T pointed out that that was only a couple of years ago. I said “Yeah, and how about the Exxon Valdez”. J said “That was more than 5 years ago”. I said “So, how much oil are they finding up there?”. J said ” I don’t know. Are they finding any?” I said “I don’t know.” T said “Neither do I.” AHA! Checkmate! I think it’s pretty clear who won that debate.
Ever concerned about greenhouse gas emissions and rising fuel costs, we then discussed ways to use the unemployed to generate energy. As contract workers unemployment is in our not too distant future but J hopefully suggested that, should our plan be implemented, our experience and age would result in us being given a whipper rather than whippee position. Well, that’s one aspect of the global economic crisis taken care of.
We somehow then started talking about Iran and T mention that Khomeini may do something or other. In my usual mocking yet lovable way, I suggested that being dead may prevent him from doing anything too provocative. T said “I meant Khamenei” to which I confidently countered “He’s dead too”. T disagreed and said he would Google it when we got back to the room. I said “Fine. If I’m right you will never hear the end of this. If I’m wrong, we shan’t speak of it again”. ‘Nuff said.
Ya think Aristotle, Plato and Socrates had dinner conversations like this? I do.
That’s Not Cricket!
We went to the Cambridge for Sunday dinner last week. I finally exercised some restraint and asked for the pork rather than the perennially tough beef but I still somehow ended up with a combination of beef and pork on my plate. What was the beef doing in the pork tray? They shouldn’t be canoodlin’ like that…t’aint natril. The beef, of course, was unchewable. The pork and Yorkshire were, however, delish.
“So, what’s all this about cricket in the section title“, you ask? Well, as you may know, the Rugby World Cup had been going on for a few weeks and just wrapped up this weekend. The Cambridge was all decked out with rugby logos in recognition of this event which, evidently, is important to some people.
I’m not a sports fan. I just can’t figure out how the outcome of a game is going to effect my life in the least. Every time I flick through the “big game” with the TV remote back home, my wife looks over adoringly and says “That’s why I love you”.
Rugby, at least, is eminently more comprehensible than cricket (which I expertly explain here). Basically, if someone has the ball you hurt them and take the ball away. My daughter played Rugby on her high school team so I watched a few games. It was rather entertaining because the outcome did effect me (my teenage daughter would be only moderately sullen when they won). However, despite my own penchant for foul language, I found the spectacle of a score of teenage girls screaming “motherfucker” at each other a little disconcerting. It is certainly not a game for the faint of heart.
Anyway, rugby was the sport for the last several weeks. It was the talk of the town, particularly among the Aussies I usually work with..at least until they were trounced by the Kiwis. Then they wanted to talk about rugby as much as I wanted to talk about Khamenei. Coincidentally, I spent the weekend with a bunch of New Zealanders. I was with them as they watched the final game in which they squeaked by the French to win the World Cup. The best part of the game was hearing the US servicemen who were there repeatedly asking “What happened?” every time the Kiwis would cheer and the Kiwis responding with something unintelligible along the lines of “Sweet as, neepo koiked a neece un”. Congrats on your victory, New Zealand.
Hardly a piece of inspired literature with a common theme wending its way through a complex web of disparate, yet subtly inter-related intellectual anecdotes but, hey, at least I wrote some shit, eh?
“I don’t know which is more discouraging, literature or chickens.”
E. B. White