Were driving home. Twilight.
Can God hear whats in our brains?
Several possible responses. Yes, so be careful what you think. No, so think whatever the heck you like. Yes, but Hes rather busy. Sure, if Hes curious. Or the general see-where-this-is-going reply: He can do lots of stuff. Why?
Because I thought in my brain that I wanted him to make it summer.
Ah. Well, He doesnt take requests. Not like that. What if someone else wanted it to be winter?
Exasperation: He could change it and then change it back. Cmon, were talking GOD here. Can he hear in both our brains at the same time?
Yes, which is why He always wins at UNO.
God doesnt play UNO, Daddee. She snickers.
Silence for a few miles. Does God eat?
If He wants, but He doesnt have to.
Is there food in heaven?
I dont know.
If there isnt Ill starve!
Here we go again with the specific nature of the afterlife. You dont have to eat in heaven.
Now were in difficult territory. Think fast. They have cake. Angel food cake.
Oh. Pause. How do they make cars?
With unionized workers and robots. Then I explained about metal and plastic, again, right down to the cow skin on the seats. I think shes content just to hear me babble. We had spent the entire day together and were coming back from Taco Bell, where we had salads, thank you. There was some high school girl chattering on her cell phone faux-fur lined coat, long hair, and the same name as Gnat, we learned when her friend shouted out her name. Wow, Gnat said, awestruck. When I grow up Im going to be just like her.
Naturally they were joined by a dodgy-looking fellow in his mid 20s: Every Dads Nightmare. Of course, the entire world is every dads nightmare, if he has any sort of memory. Well, Ill always have the recollection of days like today, complete with UNO tournaments, Barbie.com troubleshooting, mac-and-cheese left over from her sleepover (organic mac & cheese purchased to meet the dietary requirements of her friends; more barftacular than the Kraft stuff, which is saying much; I cant smell it without the sudden conviction that an Alien fetus has quickened in my gut and has decided to take the elevator up) and the rest of our daily routines. All the while I worked on this and that two columns out the door by noon, then phone calls and dusting and emails and dusting and other means by which we make the daily deal with entropy.
Ive been watching the second volume of Treasures from the American Film Archives series, and was fascinated by a couple of early color film experiments. Behold: a still from an early 1929 color ad for Chevrolet, no doubt played before the movie:
So commercials at the movies are not necessarily a new invention. Although if theyd had a spot telling people to shut their phones off, half the audience probably would have gotten up, gone home, and pulled the wires out of the wall.
Name this year:
Its 1916. An early Kodak experiment. Not hand-tinted; those are the actual hues of the era. Later this year when I get the book out and can get back to site improvements, Im going to scan great swaths of my mid-30s Montgomery Ward catalog (I almost wrote Monkey Ward, but I hate that term) (I dont like monkeys, for what its worth; they annoy me) (in the general sense, not the Bombay-monkeys-bolting-in-the-window-and-snatching-my-lunch sense) just to show you what hues they favored.
This caught my eye as well:
Newark on the cusp of the Depression. Its a useful reminder for people such as myself, who first encountered the Depression as a time when everyone was too poor to afford color, and all human activity ceased except for standing on the corner selling apples, and shuffling grimly through a soup kitchen.
Anyway, its a fascinating shot, and as usual it makes the cities of the past look far more lively, dense and somehow bigger than the cities of today. I suppose thats why I enjoy writing the Joe Ohio stories. And you say: well, duh. And youd be right.
Speaking of which, I didnt get to write one this afternoon, so Id best do it now. Back in a minute.
Back in 32 minutes, as it turns out. Whoa. Hmm. As Ive noted before, I have no control over which matches show up; theyre all presented alphabetically, and I dont look at them until its time to write. Todays installment is one those cases where I really want to know what happens tomorrow. It helps if youve been following the story, too. Not to oversell it; this is still cut-rate fiction spun in haste. But I didnt see this coming, whatever it is.
I do have some ideas, however.
Perm link: here.