"I tried being stupid, but it didn’t work."
– Joel Oppenheimer
Did you see the cloud shaped like a thimble over Boiceville last Tuesday?
Dear Articulate Observer:
In November, the sun gets brighter because the leaves no longer block it. I never noticed this before, and I’m 48 years old!
ALL SLOGANS ARE ARBITRARY
A Second Letter
Dear Mr. Pioneer:
At this point, deer have only one natural enemy: automobiles.
"The other day I saw my neighbor walking in a rainstorm with his mop," Carey Fews told me. "’What are you doing?’ I asked him. ‘This is the only way to really clean a mop,’ he said. ‘Walk twenty minutes in fresh rain, and all the mildew’s gone.’"
A Third Letter
The 4 inch high maple saplings also experience autumn. Their leaves turn yellow, but cling longer than the leaves of their parents. It’s late fall, and they still haven’t made the 3 1/2 inch journey to the ground.
WHY IS SATANIC HEAVY METAL ALWAYS
BETTER THAN CHRISTIAN ROCK?
A Fourth Letter
Dear The Honorable Mr. Sparrow:
Once our nation becomes peace-loving, the Veterans of Foreign Wars will be replaced by the Veterans of Foreign Stores. People who have gone shopping in other countries will gather in these centers to drink beer and reminisce.
Shandaken Poetry Portfolio
I am born when
a poem begins,
die at the end.
– Roger Triest
line-breaks in this
poem are all
– Alice Goball
Interview With An Exercise Innovator
I spoke to Danny Hockler, a private trainer.
Sparrow: You have your own exercise regime, isn’t that so?
Hockler: One day I was walking up my stairway and I thought, "Couldn’t this be the basis of a useful exercise?" My friend Harry is a chiropractor, and he gave me some books on physiognomy. Soon I developed a regime of "staircase yoga."
Sparrow: Staircase yoga?
Hockler: Simple exercises which stretch the back and neck.
Sparrow: Can you give me an example?
Hockler: I must be cautious, speaking to a newspaper audience. So much depends upon the exact size of the person, and the size of the steps. But here’s one simple stretch: lie upside down on a stairway, with your head on the third or fourth step. Slowly lift one leg up and latch it onto the banister. Then lower that leg, and lift the other. Do this for just three minutes at first.
Sparrow: Does that exercise have a name?
Hockler: I call it the "Reclining Salamander." And here’s another: curl into a ball at the base of a stairway. Gradually raise your arms, and drape them on the steps. Creep up the stairs, undulating like a snake. That’s the "Ascending Asp."
Sparrow: Are there other secrets to your exercise system?
Hockler: If the steps can activate acupressure points, that is most beneficial. I’m collaborating with an acupressurist on this theory.
Sparrow: What about the future? Are you working on any new exercises?
Hockler: Right now, I’m developing a series of stretches involving a ladder and a garden hose.
For more information, see www.hocklerforhealth.com.