The days absolutely fly by, don’t they? One minute you’re up on the 48th floor, on the same level as urban birds of prey and the oddly scary and precarious-looking helicopters outside your window and the next minute you’re on the 47th floor, where you, uh, pretty much see the same thing…
If there was a point to any of that, it’s been lost. I think it’s best we just move along.
But where to, we ask ourselves? I’m tired of making my own decisions, being all self-determining and all that, aren’t you? Why not just consult Pearl’s iPod as she makes her way into work this morning?
It’s Friday. I’ve got my portable tunes, I “get to” wear jeans to work, and the playlist on this morning’s commute is about to tell me what I can expect. Here we go:
Straight to Hell by The Clash
Cult of Personality by Living Colour
Tukka Yoots Riddim by Us3
Outta Space by Billy Preston
Wild, Wild Life by The Talking Heads
Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger by Daft Punk
Downtown Train by Tom Waits
So that about answers that, huh?
And now, we return to our other Friday diversion, the serial posting of the Jefferson Hillbillies, the lurching humanoids who moved in four houses down and who quickly became a topic of neighborhood bewilderment.
As a precursor, I live in Nordeast Minneapolis, a neighborhood of artists, working folk, retired people, people who walk their dogs and plant flowers. Our lawns are small, and, for the most part, neat. There are bars and restaurants and churches and various shops in walking distance; and in a land that became a state in 1858, we are proud of the houses in our neighborhood having been built between 1898 and 1904. We are secretaries and writers, musicians and plumbers, machinists and delivery men.
And we’re a fairly tolerant group.
Welcome, ladies and gentlemen, to this week’s installment (the fifth?) of The Jefferson Hillbillies.
The Mysterious Egg Meteors of ’08.
It was a summer’s day like any summer’s day in Minneapolis. In other words, it was warm; and we were thankful. We’re a pathetically easy group to impress from April to August, whereupon it gets ridiculously hot and we lose our perspective.
We had not yet reached that point.
I live across the street from a park; and on the weekends, I feel it behooves me to pop over there, pick up some garbage, check for bums, that sort of thing. We don’t have a big bum problem in our park, although I did once throw away the world’s smelliest pillow.
So I grabbed a plastic bag, my trusty stick-with-a-nail-in-it, and set out to rid the world of unsightly trash.
And who should I run into, just four houses down, than Boris, Number One Square-Headed Son in a family of square-headed sons. He was sitting on the hood of a car.
“Hey!” he called.
“Hey,” I said.
“You got any money?” he called.
“Yes,” I said.
“Can I have some?”
“Pssssss,” he hissed, as if my failure to share with him was an unbelievable turn of events in his life.
I kept walking.
“Let me know if you find anything interesting,” he called out.
Yeah, sure, I thought. I’ll call ya.
Now, I’ve found on these walks, as has been previously disclosed, the world’s smelliest pillow. I’ve also found an iPod engraved “To Olivia, with all my love, Daddy”, large numbers of beer cans, plastic cups and plates, and a cell phone.
But I’d yet to find eggs.
And there, less than a block away, I found them. Dozens and dozens of eggs, most of them smashed on cars, some on houses. Some were splattered impotently in the streets, others lie crushed and gooey on the sidewalk.
I was furious.
I called the police, who, in bored tones, told me there had been several calls already. They were on their way out.
I cut my garbage-walk short and went home the way I’d come. Boris was still on the car.
“Find anything interesting?” he sneered.
“Not really,” I said. I was so angry I was dizzy. I’m a scary person when I’m angry, and I thought it best to keep moving.
“Nothing?” he pressed. He was smiling in a this-neighborhood-is-mine sort of way.
He thinks he runs this place.
I stopped abruptly.
“Well someone did a really crappy job of making breakfast,” I snapped angrily, “but most likely that person’s got some sort of mental defect and won’t be around much. Ya gotta feel sorry for people that stupid.”
And while he stared, I turned and walked. And when I got home, I sat down in front of the computer and told Willie I was going to contact their landlord, just as soon as I could figure out who it was.
We’re a tolerant group, not a stupid one.
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