Stormy Weather

Every region of the country seems to take a perverse pride in its own brand of nasty weather. “If you don’t like the weather in (Texas, Georgia, Maine, Wyoming—you fill in the blank) just come back tomorrow.” People love to boast of their triumph over adversity. “Why, it was so cold, the firemen just turned on the hose and then shinnied down the icicle that was formed.” It also is axiomatic that however bad it is now, it was worse back when. “Hot? Why back in the summer of (insert preferred year here), it was so hot that folks were baking cakes on the screened-in porch.”

The Simple Life

Toddling off to bed was an important part of the simple life, as one usually got up before dawn to start a fire and haul water from the crick for the morning latte. Bed is also important for filling the otherwise endless space between dusk and dawn when nothing much is going on anyway, and you couldn’t see it if it was, what with burning brands not giving off all that much illumination.

Let Them Eat Cake

While Marie Antoinette gets credit for the “Let them eat cake” line, it is doubtful that she ever said it. And if she did say it, it is doubtful that she was referring to what we call cake. (That “she didn’t, but if she did” construction is called pleading in the alternative for you fans of arcane legal practices.) But I digress.

Lions and Tigers and Bears

I bought a book off the discount rack at a local bookstore not long ago entitled Quintessence: The Quality of Having IT. On the jacket fly, the author explained the book’s purpose. “This a book about the objects of this world that transcend their form and function, that offer more to us than we ask of them—that rise above themselves to assume iconic stature.”