"I dislike meeting people, but I love being met."
– Patricia Arquette
"When I was a boy, we had a battered old television," Gene Pilnatt remembers. "After you watched it for two hours it would start to smoke, sometimes. Once the Marlboro Man was smoking — and so was the TV!"
My Dear Mr. Sparrow:
I met a furrier named A. Vespa. His body was covered with black hair, especially his chest and arms. His beard was profuse, his hairdo untamed. A. Vespa was a furrier furrier.
A Second Letter
Do suburban punks dye their lawns purple?
The Need for Elongations
I spoke to Irving Korten, a local proponent of Rural Language.
Sparrow: I understand you have an unusual linguistic theory.
Korten: In the city, people need abbreviations. There are in a rush. Here in the country, we have too much time. We should have the opposite of abbreviations — elongations. For example, I live in Mount Tremper. I’ve started to call it "Mount Trempertown," or sometimes "Mount Tremper, Home of the Fat Half-White Skunks." (We have these strange skunks here, with especially wide white stripes.)
When I tell my wife we need to buy milk, I’ll say: "Let’s go purchase some liquid cow- offerings!" And instead of saying "my friend Tony," I’ll call him "Tony, Who Taught Me How to Paddle a Kayak, Out in Lake Hill."
Sparrow: How do you describe yourself, in your language studies?
Korten: I enjoy referring to myself as a "freelance elongater."
Sparrow: Well, thank you for your theory.
Korten: Instead of "You’re welcome," I like to utter: "Anytime you need me, I’ll be on one of my three chairs, so never be afraid to visit!"
Shandaken Poetry Encyclopedia
My copy of
Leaves of Grass
– Arnold Ledman
This poem is all on one line.
– Shari Grande
I have begun
– Mickey O. Rall
Fold a clean bandanna into a hammock shape. Place inside:
1/2 cup corn meal
1/6 cup milk
1/8 cup chopped dates
1/8 cup sorghum syrup
Knead into cakes, and saute in peanut oil.
[Thanks to Mary Robsonn for this recipe.]
Did you see that cloud resembling a legal tort over Shandaken last Tuesday?
A Third Letter
Dear Gossip-master Sparrow:
I have an old broom, and as I use it, its straws fall out onto the floor. I spend much of my time sweeping up the broom itself.
Compost Welcome Mat
"My friend Cindy had a compost pile right in front of her house," Duke Fendett recalls. "You had a step over the pile, to get in the front door. This was 1978-9. It started because she was lazy. She got tired of carting the cornhusks into the backyard. Besides, she didn’t like visitors much. I asked her, ‘What about the smell?’ and she answered: ‘I relish the smell of decomposition.’"
"I want to put on a bear costume one summer day, and see how many tourists I can fool," Ray Denners told me.