Not sure when it happened. It has been a busy, confused couple of days. A visitor watched me “relax” in front of a different screen, noodling1 for a word to decompose into a silly bit of wordplay.2 Please recall, I gave up the effort. Harkening back to “Engineering Econ”3 for such as ROI, cost of money, fixed overhead, and other absurdities.
Noodling, I was being observed. A visiting engineer posed this to me in the spirit of lunacy. “If a podiatrist is a foot doctor, podiatry is foot medicine, what is ‘podiagraphic’?”
Credit NS1a of Macon Georgia. He suggests, “a footprint.”
Not to worry. Home now, he remains healthy. No COVID. No latent lunacy, imminently more contagious.
(Those of you here by mistake should Fast Forward right now.)
Surrogate episodes VI and IX have been added in “Writing” under “Conversations.” I’ll not insult you with links. Lesson learned.
That leaves in the ancient series from the archives only episodes X, XI, and XII. Then, been thinking, probably should write Episode XIII, clearly now, ten years later, less ‘conversational,’ more reflective or (shudder) analytic. You know, to close it all out. Something subliminal in the title. Every failure should be documented.
Just cracked-open that archive. Read Episode X. Oddly, applicable to the doings here in the US(of)A right now. I’d hurry edits of X, XI, and XII but I’d be flogging a dead ox. Also see my notes say I never sent episodes XI and XII. By ‘sent’ I mean emailed them to the gent who was reason for them in the first place. I understand why. Maybe the ten-year retrospection will be Episode XI.
If “Surrogate” ever completes it will be only as a matter of closure.
June Maverson walked into the Esso station to pay for her gas. She took to conversating with Leron Tackertt about this and that. This mostly about the bugs. That, mostly about the snazzy new Dairy Dip going in across from the Five-and-Dime in downtown Claxbury. This and That-ed polite-like, while they waited for Bumper Johnson to finish filling up her Buick, check the oil, and smear her windshield with his oil-infused red mechanic’s rag. Leron and Miss Maverson agreed it was a good thing, the Dairy Dip, for the town’s economy. Seeing as how the town was struggling now that the new Inter State High Way closed-off the Ottawa Street route into town so as to be what’d they call it? Limited Excess.
“Seven dollars and twenty cents,” Bumper said to Leron as he came through the station door, wide-open to let the slow mid-summer Michigan breeze swirl gasoline, oil, and brake fluid fumes from the service bay around the office. “Oil’s just fine and all your belts look to be in good shape, Miz Maverson.”
Leron rang up the sale, gave Miss June back eighty cents, “You have a nice day, Miz M.”
“Why thank you, Mr. Tackertt. Mr. Johnson, thank you for checking things over under the hood. Both you boys have a nice afternoon.”
There was a perfect duet “Yes’m” as Miss Maverson, soon to retire as Literature teacher at Webber Senior High, left to her Midnight Silver Buick land yacht.
“Shame they’re makin her retire,” offered Bumper, “best teacher at the school, and hell, I didn’t even like readin.”
“One of my favorite teachers too.”
“She taught you too?”
“Miz Maverson taught everybody exceptin maybe Henry Ford.”
“Still a shame. Know she’s getting on, but she’s still spry and all the kids still talk nice about her.”
Now where the hell was I going with that? That’s the deal about life in five-minute segments. If that doesn’t ping your radar, that’s a blatant shill for yet another creative section, “Life in Five Minute Segments.” Once again, so as not to insult your intelligence, impinge upon your personal freedoms, or be overtly suggestive, I’ll not incorporate links. Save myself a few keystrokes in the deal.
Mid-January. Noon. Sixty degrees. Think I’ll do something useful. Productive. With lasting benefits. Go outside. Plow and fit for corn. Temperature holds and forecast for the same tomorrow, maybe plant some “Sweet Goliath.”
Do I mange my time correctly or what?
— Notes –
1 Noodling – In the south of the US(of)A there is a
sport pastime means of putting food on the table bit of sheer lunacy described as follows: Find a murky river or large pond. Water moccasins (modestly large, insanely aggressive, devil incarnate poisonous snakes) habituating that water is requisite, which rules out most of Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan. Michigan, however, does have a handsome bit of “murky” (a.k.a. righteously polluted) waterways but taxes in that state are prohibitive to sane people taking-up residency there. Back to noodling. Participants strip to the waist. Which means the sport is predominantly male. (If I learn otherwise, I may take up the sport but only as a spectator.) Wade into the water and survey the banks until you find a tunnel into the bank. These are always catfish lairs. (Okay, sometimes muskrat, alligator, moccasin, and snapping turtle homes. Not an issue except in the case of muskrats which are unfriendly rodents with sharp teeth.) Here’s the good part. You being the ‘participant,’ stick your arm into the tunnel. Best if it’s a deep tunnel so you must insert your arm up to the shoulder. Extra points if to do so you find your head underwater. Wiggle your fingers to look like worms or mold-activated stinkbait. If a righteous catfish is home, this does not make the fish consider fingers dinner; it just pisses her (usually a her) off and she’ll go after the stinkbait with her only weapon – her mouth. She’ll glom onto those fingers, then the hand, then that arm, likely swallowing it up to the elbow. We’re talking a big catfish. You, the sportsman then display brawn, bravery, and brains, attempting to wrestle the catfish out of her tunnel and onto the shore to display girth and ugly (not exclusively the catfish’s) to onlookers. Success is celebrated with “Yee-haws!” and Bud Lights. This is “Noodling” or correctly, “Noodlin.”
1a But what I meant was tossing about ideas and possibilities. When I “think,” it’s usually out-loud, complete with lip-licking and self-criticism. This is ‘noodling’ of an entirely different sort. Thinking, reflecting, and intelligence still questionable, and not as advanced as that necessary to deep south (and I understand as far west as Texas) catfish noodling. (Checked with NS. He reports the Ocmulgee is in most spots except during spring flood not deep enough to support championship-level noodling. Right kind of murk, healthy moccasins, but shallow water.)
1b Just now considering, immediately above: ‘sane people.’ Anyone “noodling” is of questionable sanity, so Michigan may be back on the table. Gets cold there, though. Hmm. Winter Noodling. I sense a new Olympic venue. What kind of poisonous snakes do they have in Norway? Sweden?
1c Sanity vs. Intelligence: You really want me to go there?
2 Wordplay: if you have no idea, I sense you are one of the more intelligent WP skimmers who’ve only mistakenly happened across this post. No one is looking, you’ve not yet been seen, so hurry back through browse history, first, remembering how this happened so you don’t do it again, then to find another site to quickly visit, impressing anyone looking over your shoulder at frou-frou Coffees-R-Us. Don’t forget to delete history.
3 Engineering Econ. Usually by Senior year, especially if you’ve worn out the course catalog as a “mature” student and have already taken more degree-relevant graduate courses than legitimate master’s candidates, they make you take “arts” and “applied sciences” from other career paths. The likes of “Fluoroscopy as Art,” “Metallurgy Through History,” and “Iambic Pentameter in Speech Therapy.” Such was “Engineering Economics.” Professor was visiting from another institution of higher learning. Punishment, I suspect. Her avowed goal was to flunk every last one of us having the audacity to take her class. Used more calculus in that class than any of my other classes in four years, including Calculus itself. Never did find out what got up her knickers, but she damned near did it. Except several of us studied like Democrats at the poll registries. Three of us aced her damned RMS-laced final. To boot she was ugly. Not a little bit ugly, I mean a lot ugly.