I was angry today. At lots of things.
Tree pollen. Terrorist brothers. A lost wallet. I internally cursed the olive-skinned man who parked his Mercedes in the fire lane in front of the Harris-Teeter today. Then I cursed myself, also of olive skin, as I rummaged through bags in my trunk looking for my wallet in that grocery store parking lot.
And for cursing the first olive-skinned man in the first place.
I’m not sure whether I cursed the lost wallet, my olive skin, or both.
I couldn’t answer the basic questions Gretchen at my bank asked to identify me to close my account. Account number? It’s on my card. Last withdrawal? Probably Taco Bell or Burger King.
How much does a kids’ meal cost?
I couldn’t give the right answers. A strange thing happened: Gretchen thanked me for being so nice. Me? I felt pissy. I hope “nice” is my default. I hope it’s not when I slammed my car keys on the floor when I couldn’t find my wallet.
Or when I questioned a man for who he was, then hoped I wasn’t going to get taken down because of who I was.
I hope that I can keep my humor as I hide this week’s issue of Sports Illustrated because of the graphic pictures of the Boston Marathon bomb scene they chose to run. There are questions from my kids to answer, y’all. And great blogs to read.
It’s a beautiful day.
1. Can metal catch on fire?
I told myself I’d never ask why you’re asking a question …
Some metal burns, some doesn’t. Magnesium happens to, with a spectacular white light. That said, don’t experiment with other metals in, say, a microwave. Or stove. I’m going to assume there is no magnesium in a microwave or stove, because wouldn’t it catch on fire?
At the right heat, any metal will burn.
I feel like I’m putting ideas in your head. Let’s move on.
2. What’s the average city?
Depends on how you measure averageness. Population? Rainfall? Crime rate? Pizza joints per capita? Average has such a negative connotation, too. “Oh, that place is pretty average.” See?
Average can be normal, too. A ham sandwich. That’s average. Not steak, but not dog food.
The Milwaukee Brewers. That’s your average baseball team. Not the Atlanta Braves, but also not the San Diego Padres. Being average isn’t bad. My nominee is Normal, Illinois. Even the name begets average.
There’s 52,000 Normalians (or Normalites?), Illinois State University, it was founded in 1854, it takes up 18.41 square miles. It’s home to the annual Sweet Corn Blues Festival.
They say Jake’s Pizza is the best in Normal. I’d like to try it. If I like it, we’ll have to find a new Normal. I mean a new average city.
3. What happens to the fall leaves in the springtime?
I should answer this in a cursive poem. What a beautiful question. I know what they do before they go missing: They conspire to cover my golf discs when I toss a wayward throw. And I wish I had a more poetic and dignified answer for you. Bacteria eats away at those brilliant autumn colors until the leaves are broken down to form leaf mold. This leaf mold enriches the
Bacteria eats away at those brilliant autumn colors until the leaves are broken down to form leaf mold.
Leaf mold enriches the soil and promotes growth through the summer. So, they die a slow death and become dirt. Unless we stuff them into trash bags and leave them on the curb.
4. Are there any girl popes?
John, Joan … what’s the difference?
The Roman Catholic Church calls it rubbish, but legend has it back in 855 (yes, before I was born), Joan disguised herself as a man, worked her way through the ranks as a cardinal, and became Pope John Anglicus.
Crocodile Dundee wasn’t on hand to administer a gender check, apparently.
Kind of like the dude in the song “Signs, Signs Everywhere Are Signs” by Five Man Electrical Band, who got a job at a place that discriminated against “long haired freaky people” after he tucked his hair under his hat and applied.
Only that guy wasn’t executed on the spot when he gave birth like poor Pope Joan was.
Legend has it.
5. Why do they have so many magazines with naked ladies on them?
Because at one time, there wasn’t the Internet for all this nudity.
Nudity sells. Not full-out nudity, always, but the appeal of it. You can sell websites and cars and bacon cheeseburgers with the right ads. Before the checkout-lane smut magazines of today, artists painted pictures of cherubish women in their birthday suits.
It could be the same machine that makes us want to supersize our French fries and buy loud mufflers for cars with bright paint schemes.
I thumbed through with starry eyes pictures of Kim Alexis and Cathy Ireland in swimsuit issues when I was a teenager. And never bought a single swimsuit. Plus, naked is forbidden, like lots of salt or glass bottles at the pool.
The forbidden nature makes them somehow more desirable. But we can resist.
Just the way we can resist trying to set fire to metal or doing something outlandish in Normal, Illinois. Or even overreacting to a car parked outside a grocery store. Makes me want to get everyone together at Jake’s and celebrate Pizza Friday the right way.
You know, fully clothed. Even we olive-skinned ones.