Vol. 12, No. 2,856W - The American Reporter - March 18, 2006


Ink Soup
WUGENE THE OCTOPU.S. AND OTHERS

by Clarence Brown
American Reporter Correspondent
Seattle, Wash.

SEATTLE, Wash. -- Thank you for calling Ink Soup. Your reading o= ur column is important to us, so please be patient while the author is thin= king of something to write.

All of his brain cells are busy just now with other clients, but as so= on as one of them is free, your call will be answered.

In the meantime, if you are hearing this Ink Soup on a touch-tone= phone, please press 1 now.

Thank you. Now please listen to all the options before selecting one.=

If you or any member of your family ever voted for Richard Nixon, please= hang up now.

For those still on the line, here are the further options. If you regu= larly have or have ever had nightmares about being ingested by an octopus n= amed Wugene, press 1.

If you have not had such nightmares but are interested in the possibilit= y, press 2.

To hear these options again, please hang up, jog slowly around the block= (in an anti-blockwise direction) four times, then call us again. Thank you= .

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From The Journal: Utterly empty day. I replanted some bulbs that= had appeared on the surface of the ground under the little rhododendron by= the front walk -- dug up, evidently, by Oscar the squirrel, but then rejec= ted.

I dead-headed the geraniums in the planter beside the entrance. I was= hed my sheets and made my bed. I bought Huck a new flea collar. It is whit= e and mauve, and we can't keep him away from the mirror in the bathroom. I= wrote a column about the game of solitaire.

Future Historian: "This was the day when he composed that divine= little essay on the game of solitaire, published first in the Times of = Trenton and then in anthologies everywhere, a work studied by schoolchi= ldren all over the world, and yet it seemed to him ... an empty day! It is such modest self-deprecation that has endeared Dr.= Soup to generations of readers."

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God's Email: My cousin Dr. Michael Watson, the grand old man of = Bamberg, S.C., sent me a joke. God sends an angel to earth to report back = to Him. Angel says: They are 95 percent bad, 5 percent good.

Depressed, God sent another angel to check. Same story. God decided = to email the 5 percent good to encourage them. Do you know what the email = said? No? You didn't get one either?

Ha ... Ha. South Carolina humor.

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Vomitus Rex: Instead of exercising in the gym, I went to the bea= ch, fed the pigeons, and then walked for half an hour. Bright warm sun, co= ld air fresh off the Puget Sound, sea lions barking in the distance, white = sails pregnant with wind.

The pigeons at this time of the year are famished and go mad over my s= imple birdseed. The white bird that is a special favorite of mine, and wil= l even allow me to pick him up and stroke his head, trod in his own egesta = and then wiped his feet on my sleeve -- there's gratitude for you! But unm= erited suffering is redemptive.

A young couple came by and admired the birds eating out of my hand. I o= ffered them handfuls of seed, and they knelt down to let the birds feed, bu= t ... nothing doing. Even starved as they were, the birds would not acknow= ledge them as qualified feeders. I smiled inwardly, may Godforgive me, whi= le commiserating outwardly.

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Bah, Terrorists!: This email from my youngest brother, Doug: We d= epart for Kenya and Tanzania on Saturday. We are to return December 3/4... = .

Now that is the way to live. A fig for the terrorists. An end runaroun= d Thanksgiving. Go on safari! An attachment with the E-mail directs us to= use the cell phone numbers for emergencies only. So as not to frighten th= e wildebeests and egrets and giraffes. To say nothing of the native bearer= s.

Clarence Brown is a cartoonist, writer, and Professor Emeritus ofCompara= tive Literature at Princeton University.

Copyright 2006 Joe Shea The American Reporter. All Rights Reserved.

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