Fifth Friday footnotes, follow-ups and far-flung fripperies:
• Today I’m tickled that I live in a bustling small city that marks its center with a four-way stop. We’re going to change in a thousand ways, but can we hold on to that little detail forever?
• Because I drive a convertible, I can report with some authority that it hasn’t rained in more than a month. As a result, my car is filthy, but people tell me going through a car wash with the top down is fun only once. So I’m saving that for later.
• Another benefit of our perfect August weather: I went four weeks without wearing socks. (Hampers tell no lies.) Do you have a better definition of a good summer?
• My super power is the ability to eat any food, no matter its age. (Is my body making its own penicillin?) Leftover Man asks, what’s yours?
• Here’s the problem with Washington. Congress is deeply divided, but the country is evenly divided. Those are not the same thing.
• My Eugene Celebration Parade highlight — a bicyclist towing a second (stationary) bicyclist, who was pedaling to make fruit smoothies. Isn’t that what we celebrate —marvelous inefficiencies?
• I haven’t spilled anything in months. I gotta be less careful ….
• “Thanks, but no thanks” has a specific profundity. It acknowledges generosity without accepting it, affirming both people without a transaction between them.
• In all the ways I love “Thanks, but no thanks,” I’m bothered by any sign, no matter its purpose or intent, that ends with “This means you!” Sadly redundant. And sadly sad.
• Nothing says you’ve given up like a stretch waistband.
• Those “Except Buses” traffic sign addenda that have appeared downtown confuse me. All other traffic signs tell me what to do or where to go (or not), but these tell me where others (namely, bus drivers) should go. From that information, I’m expected to deduce what I’m allowed or forbidden to do. I’m being asked to drive while assembling a Venn diagram in my head.
• I’ve learned to love our urban tree canopy in a new way. At most traffic lights, I can wait for the green under the shade of a different green.
• This summer I succeeded in a long held goal. I killed my lawn. In its place I planted Dutch white clover. Lush and green, without mowing. It’s like having a child that stops growing at eleven years old, just before they begin causing trouble.
• “Divorced” is disappearing as a marital status. A Facebook friend this month switched from “married” to “single” on the day his divorce papers came through. I don’t know if this change makes things better or worse. Probably both.
• If I could improve the Eugene Celebration Parade in only one way, it would be to have it not begin and end at South Eugene High School. It’s already perceived as too south-Eugeney and that doesn’t help. Why not start on campus? Or across the river at Alton Baker Park? People must learn how close those are to downtown. Sometimes you can change people’s minds only by telling their feet.
• If I could improve the parade two ways, I’d recruit more monster trucks.
• Several people complained to me at the Eugene Celebration that they weren’t seeing as many friends as they did in years past. But in every case, the complainer was seated.
• How did the phrase “So help me” get inextricably connected to threats?
• Whenever I’m beside myself, doorways suddenly feel too narrow.
• Has anyone ever properly accounted for the lure of carbonation? The sugars in soda have been endlessly analyzed, but what about the bubbles? Lively action inside the mouth is a sensation unlike any other.
• If I could put my belt on first every day, I would.
• Why do middle-aged people feel compelled to announce when they are changing elevation? Exertion to get up makes some sense, but the sigh of relief with every descent sounds too loud.
• Usually when I feel rebuked, I can’t recall the original buking.
• Sometimes words stick in my head that make sense only by their order. Like these: The taller they still, the faller they will.
• You think leaf blowers are bad, but lawn mowers are OK. Explain.
Don Kahle (firstname.lastname@example.org) writes a column each Friday for The Register-Guard and blogs.