Vol. 22, No. 5,514 - The American Reporter - September 7, 2016

Clarence Brown
American Reporter Correspondent
Seattle, Wash.
October 8, 2003
Ink Soup

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SEATTLE, Wash.-- For the first time in a year at least I've been making a few notes on the little pocket recorder.

I took it with me after lunch when I went down to Golden Gardens park to feed the pigeons, which I have not done in months. But this was a nice gray cloudy day and the kids are all back in school, so I thought it safe to try. The pigeons and I would start all over again, I thought.

There were very few of them around when I parked. But when I got out and put on my blue windbreaker, I heard the whirr of wings at my back. They mobbed me-even flew at once to the regular table and waited for me. I was astonished! And touched. It was as if I'd been there every day for the past twelve weeks.

Judith the Yard Lady has been here since early morning. She has taken out the groundcover along the north side of the front walk-all that stuff turned out to be only four plants!-and has mercilessly trimmed back various shrubs and bushes that had run amok.

For much of the morning I sat watching the Twins beat the Yankees in the opening game of the AL division series. Jeff Nelson, discarded by the Mariners and immediately hired by the Yanks, came in to pitch one at-bat. When he walked the guy, Joe Torre came out and took the ball from him. I felt for Jeff.

But my rooting for a team seems to carry the kiss of death these days.

The best part of the whole experience was Joe Morgan's saying, after some fielder dropped a fly ball, "That's a tot lougher play than it looks!" And neither he nor his ESPN partner seemed to note the spoonerism of the season.

But the tremendous news of the day is this. I left at the usual time to go to the gym. The parking lot was strangely empty. I walked to Northwest Market, as usual. But that street was jammed with fire trucks. Sidewalk blocked. I asked a fireman whether I could get to the gym, and he merely escorted me across the street and said I could cross only at the intersection. Which I did. But the entrance to the gym was blocked.

I encountered Adam Richter, editor of the local weekly, which has offices in the building, and blamed the whole thing on some fiery editorial of his. He laughed with courteous restraint.

Walking up to the 22nd street entrance I found Chauncy and Jade slumped against the building. The gym had been evacuated. I could not get from anyone what exactly had gone wrong-not even from Ted the Kraut, who knows everything-only that the smoke and fumes in the lower level had made it a hostile venue for human life. Adam's paper will have screaming headlines explaining the whole thing, but for that I'll probably have to wait until next Wednesday, since the chances of their having it on page one tomorrow are slight.

So, after shopping at the QFC, I headed back up the hill, sans exercise, sans sauna, sans shave, sans shower.

Huck was parked in the soil of greenhouse. I plucked a catnip leaf and gave it to him, causing him to go insane with lust for another, but I am reluctant to let him know that it comes from a tub only inches from where he likes to nap.

Wait a sec! You mean the tape has been running all this time ...?! Clarence Brown is a cartoonist, writer, and Professor Emeritus of Comparative Literature at Princeton University.

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