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Teachable Moments

Elon Musk.

The one name sentient cockroaches pawing through the wreckage of 21st century human civilization may possibly recognize. I’m convinced.

Kinda the way the only name most of us recognize from the 16th century is Galileo.

And, yes. I do know that those sentient cockroaches won’t paw.

They’ll antenna.


I observe a complete embargo on all news consumption after maybe 10am.

I mean, literally!

I turn around and sail straight out of rooms with TVs tuned to cable news channels.

So I missed the launch of the Falcon Heavy. And I understand the Tesla overshot its orbit and is now heading way beyond Mars.


What a feat. It gives me shivers to think to think about.

Some remnant of the human race may survive after all, light years away from the planet that spawned it. A distinctly mixed blessing, that one.


In other news, Snowpacalypse forecast for today, and the first tiny flakes have just started falling. I provisioned up at the local library – The Ghost Stories of Edith Wharton and The Word Detective, which is the story of the Oxford English Dictionary. Ziti prep ingredients on hand. Michaels did not have the heavy bond paper I need to print out my collage materials. (Must remember: Craft stores are not art supply stores.)

My gastrointestinal tract has been out of it for several days now, so naturally I’m thinking colon cancer and preparing my speech for the doctors: No, no, no; no colostomy for me, thank you very much. Where’s my morphine? I don’t care if I die.

That last sentence may even be true.


Meanwhile, the Universe threw me a little lesson last night on the importance of withholding judgment.

I’d stayed late at the library tutoring Antonio. I’ve started printing out pages from the This Old House website dealing with the various problems associated with antiquated electrical systems. (Antonio is a groundskeeper for one of the decrepit old Livingston estates, but he wants to start doing electrical stuff for them.) Naturally there were a ton of vocabulary words. Plus Antonio wants to start doing grammar, so we talked a lot about adjectives (Attributive! Appositive! Predicate!) Plus Antonio is having serious issues with immigration (though I can’t really do anything with that one beyond making consoling “There, there” noises.)

Antonio is bright. But he only made it through the 4th grade in Mexico and has had no formal schooling in this country, so tutoring Antonio presents distinct challenges. I adore Antonio, but I have no default patience setting. Working with him can be a strain.

So I was loaded for bear as I zoomed into the Stop & Shop for the ziti prep.

My checkout clerk was this linebacker-looking guy in his early 20s who was running a standup routine on his customers. It’s not that he wasn’t funny. He was kind of funny. It’s just that when you’re buying food at 9:30pm at night, you like to do it in a fugue state. With as little input as possible from your immediate environment.

When I got up close to him, I noticed he had a bunch of staples on the right side of his head.

Baaaaaad look, I thought. I’m not a big fan of piercings.

He hit me up with the standup, and I heckled back. Not to the point of being actually rude. But definitely with an edge.

Meanwhile I was remonstrating with myself: Here is this kid who has an intrinsically soul-sucking job, and all he is trying to do is make this job be a little entertaining. And here you are being an asshole.

“You have a really great voice,” I remarked as I was loading my bags into my cart. He did, too! “If I were you, I might seriously think about checking out broadcasting school.”

The kid reddened a little and laughed, pleased. “Yeah, I am thinking about that. Just as soon as I get all my medical issues resolved.”

Medical issues… Staples in head…


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( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Feb. 7th, 2018 03:43 pm (UTC)
Heh, the thing you don't even point out is, you were annoyed so you gave someone a compliment. That's a pretty sweet use of your annoyance.
Feb. 8th, 2018 12:47 pm (UTC)
Huh. I hadn't even noticed that.

Thanks for pointing that out. :-)
Feb. 8th, 2018 04:44 am (UTC)
The first time I heard the name "Elon Musk", I thought it was a fictional character. I'm still not completely convinced otherwise. I love the idea of a Tesla Roadster out there somewhere.
Feb. 8th, 2018 12:44 pm (UTC)
"Elon Musk" does sound like something straight out of an Ayn Rand novel. :-)
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )