Sunday, May 15, 2005

After the Stool Boom

In the Church of Our Lady, Bruges
Originally uploaded by panopticon.

I seem, knock on wood, to be well again.

On the debit side, I missed three days of work and spent most of that time doubled over in agony, fully expecting a tap at the door from a gaunt figure bearing a scythe. (And wearing a poncho.)

On the credit side, I'm now 10 pounds thinner and can fit into even my sluttiest jeans (the 501s with the rip under the left rear pocket that helped make rodeo season 2004 so memorable).

Socks Beat Sex

And my oh my, haven't you been a chatty bunch in my absence.

My query about sock knitting brought lurkers out of the woodwork (hey, y'all) and drew several more comments than the previous record holder, which had to do with coitus interruptus in the men's sauna.

As soon as my brain returns to full throttle (or as close as it ever gets) I'm going to process all the lovely advice, for which I am sincerely grateful.

Also On the Topic of Hosiery

Colleen says the person who found The Panopticon by Googling "pantyhose party pictures" may have been in search of a festive occasion that involves "women in ripped pantyhose."

In sharing this information, she writes, "How do I know these things? I have no idea."

Um, yeah. Okay, babe. Sure thing.

Joel told an even more frightening story of a "pantyhose posy party" at which retired nylons are mated with coat hangers in order to create a bouquet.

Sort of puts the national tragedy of crap yarn proliferation into perspective, doesn't it?

Cranial Knitting

I finished the body of C's teddy bear and have begun working on his head.

You can imagine the witticisms flying around.

Spring: The Season of Cute

C and I were walking homeward after his (delightful) graduation performance at the theater where he'd completed a yearlong cycle of improv classes. (I am justifiably proud.)

We turned onto the west side of Clark Street, a major artery (four lanes) that runs north-south along the edge of Lincoln Park. And there, on the sidewalk in front of us, were two impossibly tiny ducklings being escorted north by a very determined looking Mama Duck.

We followed them for some distance, watching as she kept them in line against the walls of the buildings or the hedges of the flowerbeds.

When they came to the next cross street, we worried the ducklings might blow away on the heavy wind coming in from the west. It was one of those Chicago gales that makes everyone lean forward until they look like the hood ornament on a Rolls-Royce. But no, Mama D kept them on the ground long enough to lead them across Eugenie Street.

We crossed to the east side of Clark Street, and a bit later unexpectedly caught sight of the family again - on the opposite side, in the gutter, weaving in and out of the tires of parked cars.

Other pedestrians had spotted them by now, including a family with a little daughter who voiced the question on all our minds:

"How is she gonna get them across the road?"

Unfortunately there was no friendly policeman nearby, as in the story Make Way For Ducklings (a charming fable that pretends most native Bostonians wouldn't happily run over baby animals just for the hell of it).

So C and I, and the little girl and her parents, watched with fear and fascination as the mother duck led her babies to the crosswalk. Then, as cars and even taxicabs respectfully stopped and waited, the three of them padded placidly across the asphalt to the lush grass and abundant bushes of Lincoln Park.

We all applauded. The little girl cheered. I wanted to.

From there, without any further streets to cross (if she follows the bike or foot trails), Mama can either bring up the kids in the pond near the zoo (charming, safe, excellent access to dining and health care); or on the Lake itself (ample parking, huge closets).

Either way, I wish the whole family well. Seeing that little procession navigate city traffic and achieve the Promised Land gave me the most potent spike of happiness I've enjoyed in quite some time.


goblinbox said...

I'm so glad you're feeling better! (I could stand to lose ten pounds myself, so maybe you could sneeze on something edible and mail it to me?)

And glad to hear you're knitting head, it's bound to be the next best thing to giving head. (Snort!)

goblinbox said...

Also, I was just in Lincoln Park myself this very morning! (DH and I drove all the way over to your town Saturday to see Todd Rundgren & Joe Jackson at the Cadillac Palace.) I always have mild heart attacks when I see ducks crossing roads, but most people do tend to stop for them. There's a couple of big duck ponds in Ottuwma, IA (about 12 miles from where I live) bisected by a 4-lane road and I can't count how many times I've winced and closed my eyes, only to open them and see traffic stopped for adorable, waddling migrations across the blacktop.

birdfarm said...

I've only seen this in a much smaller town than Chicago, but it seems quite miraculous, nonetheless.

birdfarm said...

P.S. i'm thinking there must be a double entendre for stool boom? Surely it is not solely to be read as a reference to the precise manner in which the ten pounds were lost?

Anonymous said...

What a lovely tale! You've managed to update a classic and in addition give me (and countless others, no doubt) the same jolt of happiness you felt. I'm so glad you are a good storyteller. I was hooked, and I'll admit I did cheer (much like the little girl) when the ducks made it across the street. Thank you--I needed a perk of hapiness on this early, dreary Monday. Now back to the research papers...

Anonymous said...

Glad you're feeling better, Franklin. Awesome picture - the colors are amazing.

Anonmous said...

Well now that the ducks are safe, perhaps someone can do something about the rest of the animals in the park, starting with the guys at LP Zoo

Anonymous said...

The Mama Duck reminds me of the pigeon in Venice. For some reason it wanted to walk across the street, rather than use it's wings. It waited until some people were in the crosswalk, and followed them. Since people walk faster than pigeons, the pigeon was left alone in the crosswalk, when the light turned red.
Imagine my delight, when normally churlish California drivers waited for the pigeon to reach the curb, before driving into the intersection.
Happy spike, indeed.

judi bola said...

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