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So I open up the Joe Ohio mailbox, and there’s a piece of spam, sitting like some unflushed effluent. It’s from someone who wants to sell me uniforms. (Cheap.) My uniform needs are easily met, which is to say they don’t exist, but I was noted an url in the the subject matter. I checked it out, and discovered one of those websites that just make you cry, because you know someone paid 2005 money for a 1999 design. A whois search identified the domain as the property of a formal-wear shop in New Jersey. And he was sending me mail . . . why? So I opened it. The email began with the usual disclaimer – hey, don’t get mad, we’re only sending this because you have contacted us in the past. Sure. Like Joe Ohio is sending tux rental requests from the fifties. There was a link to click if I didn’t want anymore mail, but I usually suspect these to be a sneaky form of email validation. They went to a bulk mailer that had, huzzah, a webpage that promised a stern opposition to spam. (coff.) This is like the IRS webpage announcing its strict no-tax policy. There was an email link to report abuse, however that might be defined – and a phone number.

So I called it. Got right through to a cheerful operator who gave a prompt apology, and told me to click on the email address. I said I didn’t trust anyone in this business, frankly, no insult intended, but let’s do this now. I wanted to say “you just make some typing noises and I’ll be temporarily mollified,” but I didn’t want to give him any ideas. He understood; he removed my domain from all their lists, first making sure that I was aware of the consequences: I would not receive anything from any of their 25,000 clients.

“It’s a risk I’m willing to take,” I said.

“Okay!” Typing noises. “I’ll go ahead and remove your domain from our records. Thank you for calling!”

“Thank you for your courteous assistance.”

I hung up feeling a bit disoriented; it was like phoning Hell and getting a nice young demon who promised they will never bother you again with temptation. Would you like to opt out of all the deadly sins, or just some?” Gluttony and envy for now. Avarice keeps me working hard. "Alllrighty then!"

That was my highlight. I suppose the great anecdotes of the day would have come from the vet visit, but Jasper has regained full mobility, and the vet said there wasn’t any reason to bring him in – we can deal with it at his annual next month. Gnat was in a rambunctious mood, demanding another UNO tourney. She has picked up my oaths, and said “You scoundrel” under her breath when I laid down a killer card. In the morning I finished two columns and filed by noon. In the afternoon we got groceries. I can hardly bear this breakneck pace.

Let’s check the matchbook folder for tonight’s exciting episode . . . aw, jeez, not this again. I love how some of the books are forcing me into a plot, but I did this one, more or less. Well, let’s set the timer and see what happens.

Back. Okay, well, I didn’t expect that, but I didn’t have much of a choice. In case you’re following this stupid thing, I should note that I do know where the Indianapolis plot line is going. I figured it out pretty quickly. There are three plots going on at once here, with a fourth hanging around in the background, and yes, I will force them all into a jolly conclusion eventually.

Before I go, some of that famous Self-Correcting Blogosphere Stuff: I wrote a column awhile back about the German women required by welfare rules to take jobs in brothels. The column wasn’t about that specificially, but it used it as an example of those Wacky Europeans. Turns out Snopes says nay. But some have their doubts. I would be abashed for using the story, but it came from the Telegraph, for heaven’s sake, not Predatory Bird Claw News Network.

And now I wrap up a long day, a good day, by sitting down in front of the tube with a bag of salty popcorn to watch “Sphere,” which I know in advance isn’t any good. But it’s High-Def! And sometimes you want a disappointing movie that lets you shut it off in the middle and go to bed without feeling as though you’ve missed anything.

Oh: I mentioned yesterday that I wrote a column on Intelligent Design. Basic point: I don’t think schools should be required to teach it. No. But science classes might profit from the occasional discussion hour where students get to speculate about these things. I’ve never thought evolution was in conflict with the idea of a Maker, but that’s just me; everyone tries to square the Mysteries of the Universe with the intellectual emotions that give them a sense of satisfaction and completeness, so if you come up with a cosmological model that feels satisfying, you should worry. That said, I can easily understand how some see God everywhere in creation, and somewhat baffled by those who see God nowhere. I admit it’s hard to square the idea of an intervening diety with human suffering – why didn’t He stop the tsunamis? But that’s like saying that the existence of an intact anthill in Rio disproves the existence of my left foot, when it might mean I just haven’t had the chance to get on a plane to Brazil and kick the thing over. I don’t trouble myself with the micro aspect of theology, since God would seem to be a Macro kind of guy. My only point is that leaving speculative discussions out of science – if only one class, once a year – is like teaching kids about the Constitution without having an hour to discuss whether rights are granted by man or inherently endowed by a creator. Can we talk? As a great bony deep thinker once brayed.

And now to the sofa.