Delivered by truck
Burning fossil fuel.
Packaged in cardboard
We cannot reuse.
Protected by pillows
Unfit for sleep.
Insulated by peanuts
We cannot eat.
Wrapped in plastic
We throw away.
There’s no deposit.
And no return.
It doesn’t matter.
It’s not my concern.
After we destroy her,
She will destroy us.
Mother Earth –
Six solid words lacking credible plot.
“Mr. Thompson. Ms. Sarah said you’d be out here in the woodshop.”
“Where else would I be this time of day, Danny?”
“Out on the lake, I reckon.”
“Bit chilly for that. These old bones’ll probably leave the boat at the dock until spring.”
“Good I found you in the woodshop though.”
“Know how you always need a four-foot piece of two by four and all you have in scrap is three-footers?”
“Yeah. Or twenty inches of two-inch angle iron and all you have is eighteen inches.”
“Well, I’m doing a project for Emily and need a thirty-four-inch piece of two-by-four.”
“Might have one. Let’s look in the scrap rack.”
“Thought you might. All I got is thirty, thirty-two inchers, or smaller. Hate to ruin a good eight-footer.”
“Principle of the thing.”
“How’s your Ma, Danny?”
“Right as rain, Mr. Thompson. I’ll tell her you asked.”
“Do that. Lessee. Here we got some candidates…”
“I get back to the shop, I’ll looksee I got some angle iron. Twenty inches, right?””
“Nah. That was conversation. Seems always just short of what you need or what you figure you need. Variation on the ‘Two-day’ rule.”
You remember when Emily broke off with you when she headed off to nursing school?”
“That was two days after Redheaded Bob and the Percil girl started-up serious?”
“Judy Percil. So?”
“So, if Emily had been faster, might have been you and the Percil girl. Kind of took you out with the Two-day rule.”
“Not that Emily needs to know but I did have an eye for Judy. Back then.”
“Bobby said so. Said two days the short side, you might have been foot-loose and set your bonnet for that Judy. Before she took a fancy to Redheaded Bob.”
“Bobby let on about that?”
“Bobby and I talked about most everything important. You were important to Bobby.”
We was close, me and Bob. Some of why I spent so much time over here.”
“Well, and the fishing.”
“Couple of months later, Bobby said Emily came back after her first semester at college to tell you she knew you were gonna be her man, that you should know that.”
“Two-day rule again.”
“Two days before Bobby enlisted.”
“Was. Had Emily’s timing been different, came back two days later, you probably would have enlisted with Bobby.”
“Buddy system was big then. You’d have trained together. Maybe shipped out the same time after training. To the same place.”
“Oh. Yeah, and then…”
“Yeah. We might have lost you both.”
“Listen, Mr. Thompson, I’m sorry about Bobby.”
“We all are. Still miss him.”
“No need. Time softens things up some. Ah! Look! Here’s a piece. I’m betting thirty- five inches. Let’s see what the measure says… Yup thirty-five and three-eighths, good on both ends. This oughta do you just fine.”
“Right. Perfect! Thanks!”
“Anything else, Danny?”
“Nah. Reckon I’ll be off.”
“And your lovely daughter, Susan?”
“Sure. Heading off to college!”
“Great. Time has a way of scooting by doesn’t it?”
“It does, Mr. Thompson…”
“Danny, something really on your mind. Wanna chat?”
“Susan and college, huh?”
“Yeah. She wants to study sociology. Emily can’t see much in that. I mean nowadays.”
“Has Emily upside her nose?”
“Yeah. Me too, kinda. I mean what she gonna do with a degree in sociology?”
“Might surprise you.”
“Emily thinks nursing, or some biology-related field. With potential.”
“What if Susan wanted to be a mechanic? Like her old man?”
“Times are different.”
“People still driving cars. Good mechanic hard to come by. Why you’ve done so well. Why Emily came back to nail your feet to the floor.”
“Huh! She joked she liked the idea of knowing her car would always start with a mechanic sitting down to supper every night.”
“And she loved you, Danny. That’s why she came back. But Emily was doing what she wanted and rightly figured you should do what you were best at, too.”
“Susan needs the same. Sociology could become political science. Either could be pre-law. Or she could become a psychologist. That’d be okay by Emily, I bet.”
“Never considered that.”
“Things change at college. Just make sure you let the two-day rule play out naturally. Don’t get into Susan’s face two days before all by herself she makes up her mind to become an auto mechanic.”
“Two days, two inches, two pounds. Life’s measures.”
“Still have misgivings.”
“Susan’s a sharp cookie. She’ll sort it all out. Don’t ask too many questions. Just be sure to honestly answer her questions.”
“She’s got you and Emily. Doesn’t need much more than that.”
“Right. Thanks. For the two-by.”
“Any time. I need a hunk of angle iron or a steel plate I’ll give you a call.”
“Counting on it!”
“Any time you want to kick things around, drop by. Don’t wait on a too-short two-by-four. Be good to see you. Like having Bobby home. Come spring we might even talk some big bass into the boat.”
“Beats hell out of ruining a good eight-foot two-by-four.”