Wednesday, January 11, 2006
Looking double-fine in a construction zone
I was driving to lunch at my favorite sandwich joint this week when a construction zone cropped up in my path. A chubby, bearded workman in a bright yellow vest flipped his sign from "STOP" to "SLOW" as I approached at about 10 miles an hour. My driver's side window was cracked for air, so I was treated to an "Owooo!" from him as I passed. It was enough to construct a grin on my face.
In other news, I ran into a former barstool of mine.
Since I'm too lazy for eBay or yard sales, I sometimes stick an unwanted possession (e.g., and old lamp) out on the curb in front of my apartment building for the first interested passerby to adopt. I enjoy putting each item on display and timing how long it takes to evaporate. A couple of months ago, I put the aforementioned barstool out on the curb. I had purchased the 1960s-era, orange and brown floral print beaut' years before at a yard sale across the street for $15, since it fit in with my vintage decor at the time. Now that my interior has taken a more sophisticated turn, the kitschy piece had to go. And go it did, within an hour or two after being plopped curbside.
Cut to this last weekend. I'm walking down a busy shopping street a few blocks away from my place and there is my Partridge Family-looking barstool sitting as pretty as can be in a Persian grocery store window, handily providing additional employee seating behind the counter! It warmed my heart so, both to know someone else had appreciated its garish retro charm and to know it was on such prominent display in the neighborhood. A chair that had only served as my adjunct fruit bowl for years was now giving restorative rear support to a hard-working retail clerk. I thought about mentioning the happy ending to the cashier, but got distracted by the dillweed soda display.
You know how sometimes you read an article and it's so well-written it's like riding a skiff across bracing little breakers? The prose lifts you up in little bounces and smoothes back your hair with a refreshing briskness? That's how I felt when I read this New Yorker commentary about the current Abramoff scandal in Washington D.C. entitled "Abramoffed" by Hendrik Hertzberg. Here's an excerpt I particularly enjoyed:
"In some ways, the K Street Project is a national, and grander, version of the big-city political machines of old. But those machines, corrupt though they were, had their Robin Hood aspects. The pols got the graft and the diamond-stickpin boys got the contracts, but the poor got turkeys, jobs, and, sometimes, genuinely useful public programs. The K Street Project is strictly Sheriff of Nottingham."
Diamond-stickpin boys! Awesome. Oh, and the article's also very informative, too. Bonus. Here's a link to it, for your enjoyment.