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Friday, April 12, 2013

Don't Know Much About History


I don't know why the town I live in has a statue of Billy Mays with an ax standing guard over it. I don't know a lot of things.

I don't know when spring's supposed to begin. I ran out of firewood about a month ago. But I didn't run out of winter.  It's thirty-three degrees right now, at 3:30 in the afternoon. It's snowing. Earlier it was sleeting. I don't have a Bible handy to figure out what might happen next.  I didn't move to western Maine expecting palm trees or anything, but I expected the bears to be brown around here, at least.

There's a disreputable heap of snow in my front yard. It's about 18" deep. It's the distillation of all the snow that was heaped there all winter. I don't know if it has tuberculosis, or leprosy, but it certainly doesn't look well. It's waiting to be euthanized by the spring. I want to drive to Punxsutawney and insert a few fistfuls of it into Phil.

I don't know why the cat's angry with me. I open the door to let him out, and he glares at me. Perhaps he figures this is all my fault. He occasionally comes into my workroom downstairs, and wants to be let out the door I have there, which leads to a ramp to the ground. I think he figures that since it's still winter out the front door, he'll go out the side door instead, because it's most likely summer if you go out there.

I don't know why the cat is the only creature in my house that knows how to enter my workshop properly. He simply walks noiselessly way out in front of me and looks at me until I see him. Everyone else in the house sneaks up on me inadvertently and startles me. I'll lose a finger someday over it. I've lost my temper over it already, but a temper is never as effective as amputations for fixing things in people's minds. I don't know why the cat is so solicitous about his comings and goings. I know in my heart that he'd eat my amputated finger off the floor if he thought he could get away with it.

I don't know exactly why, but I pretended I didn't know something, to get along with somebody else. I haven't done that in a long time. When I was young, I did it a lot. I went to school, and then worked with people that distrusted intellect, so I hid mine. It's not manners; I didn't refrain from telling someone with a big nose that they had a big nose. I acted dumb to get along. The world is becoming a place where that's about all you can do. Dumb people seem happier anyway. I don't know; maybe I should hit myself in the head with a shovel until I'm ebullient.

I don't know why, but my little son once memorized all the Presidents, and did a little mathematical trick with the order of them. It was quite sweet and precocious of him, and the charm in it was multiplied by the accent his missing teeth offered to the proceedings.  He was asked to repeat it -- endlessly. Eventually he got tired of it, and lied like a Turk in a bazaar and said, "I don't know," when someone asked him about it for the umpteenth time. It's boring being a human filing cabinet, and he rebelled against it. That's my boy.

Jeezum Crow, the plow just went by. I don't know why.

7 comments:

julie said...

I don't know exactly why, but I pretended I didn't know something, to get along with somebody else.

Sometimes it's just easier that way. It helps to keep other people from looking at you too funny, or at least more than they would have anyway. Or so I've found. Of course, as I get older I find that I know less and less, so I don't pretend quite so much anymore...

TmjUtah said...

Tell 'em to flicker the light when they come through the door.

I've seen a dedicated switch that turned on a "Visitor" sign over the center of the saw station...

Leon said...

i remember as a kid i used to not want to go to sleep so after the bedtime bible story and the lights were out i'd sing out to dad with questions. one night after hearing about Solomon's wisdom i asked who the current wisest man was. i mean you'd have to know right? dad said he didn't know since people sort of specialized and there are lots of smart people in the world. well i decided to give it a try. i've fallen a long way from my ambition but i try to generally not play dumb. i sometimes talk dumb i guess.

they have a statue of Billy Mays because he was awesome. actually i figure they have that statue because some guy wanted to grow a beard (or got tired of shaving...which is almost the same thing) and his wife hated it. he made the statue out back for something to do to get away from his wife. also to immortalize the awesomeness of his beard.

Anonymous said...

I love these little quiet simple vignettes. Remember Guideposts? That's what your day-in-the-life-type articles remind me of. I click on your bookmark and there you are, just examining and then re-examining some quiet pedestrian event until it somehow becomes profound. I don't know how you do it. Maybe it's Zen or something Eastern or Bohemian I don't really understand, but it always catches my attention. Nice going, and thank you.

Bob in Manassas, Virginia USA

Sam L. said...

"
I don't know why the cat's angry with me. I open the door to let him out, and he glares at me. Perhaps he figures this is all my fault. He occasionally comes into my workroom downstairs, and wants to be let out the door I have there, which leads to a ramp to the ground. I think he figures that since it's still winter out the front door, he'll go out the side door instead, because it's most likely summer if you go out there."

"The Door Into Summer", by Robert A. Heinlein, came immediately to mind.

Playing dumb. Considering we seem to have a lot more people unable to accept that someone has a different opinion and fly off the handle with a crowbar in hand when said opinion is voiced...well, seems wise to me.

Anonymous said...

...Don't know much biology
Don't know much about science book
Don't know much about the French I took...
Don't know much geography
Don't know much trigonometry
Don't know much about algebra
Don't know what a slide rule is for

don't know why this came to mind?

Shawn said...

I will see your 18 inches of accumulated snow, sir, and give you four feet and spare change. This time last year people here were golfing. Now they're using nine-irons to bust the 6-inch ice dams on their roofs.

Yes indeed, it has been an exceptional winter.

You do have my sympathy re: the firewood. A good layer of fat acquired from eating, say ice cream, should keep you warm-ish.

Hang in there.