One singular sensation

9:41 AM Children’s Dentist office. Christmas carols above, and I mean Christmas carols; O Holy Night is playing, one of the more stern and exalted of the standards. FALL ON YOUR KNEES. It is not a request.

The magazines are the usual numbers – People has a story with Kenny Chesney on the cover. “My Side of the Story.” “In an emotional interview, the country star talks about his breakup with Renee Zellweger.” He is wearing the usual headgear you find in the country genre. But no real man talks to People, emotionally, about his marriage. All hat and no mettle, if you will.

It’s going to be a very long day, and that’s fine. After this, it’s home for lunch, then I pack her off to school, go to work. After work it’s Chuck E. Fargin’, since Wife has her monthly henfest. Somewhere in there I have to get the podcast done.

They always follow the devout carols with a secular one; now it’s “Here Comes Santa Claus,” who is coming right down Santa Claus Lane. Where is Santa Claus Lane? If it’s up at his North Pole HQ, I think it’s safe to say the man has a gift for the obvious, or is a complete control-freak megalomania. You have this industrial complex all to yourself, complete with elves and one spouse (that we know of) and that’s not enough; you have to name the main drag after yourself. Bit of a Caesar, that Claus.

Hey, they have Highlights! The Goofus and Gallant feature is rather poorly drawn these days, and I’m surprised they still go with such insulting and subjective names. At least the Timbertoes are still around, although much less woody. Their essential woodiness has been toned way down. I protest! Things are different than when I was young! It’s all going to hell since they stopped making two-peny coins! My bunions!

There’s also some Reader’s Digests. The joke pages are smaller. For that matter, the end-of-the-story jokes are much smaller, not as dense. What in Crom’s name is the world coming too when they have to dumb down the Reader’s Digest because the joke pages have too much text? I expect this in newspapers, as part of our murder-suicide pact with our readers – we’ll kill your interest, then destroy what makes us different – but in RD? I should check the vocabulary page and see if they’re using real stumpers like “Stumpers” or “real.”

Hah! First word is “veritable.”

Did an interview this morning for Cities 97, and that was fun. On the other hand, I would have liked another hour of sleep. We’ll see if I can find it. Okay, I’d best get some work done while I’m here; later.


2:17 PM At the Strib. Jeez. It’s a holiday week ahead, and that means nutball deadlines; I have to get three columns in tomorrow, which means tonight. Wonderful. At least I know what I’ll be writing about, so there’s that.

The dentist’s visit went well; the doc praised Gnat for being so polite. I should note, with pride, that she does not demonstrate the scary Bad-Seed politeness that just makes you think the little creep is manipulating gullible elders. It comes from her nature, which is cheerful. I can’t take credit for that, entirely, but I have worked on the manners thing for a long, long time, as well the idea that the adults should be treated with respect, not as oversized peers. All part of her training to be a shill for the Establishment, you say. Exactly!

“That was easy,” Gnat said. “It wasn’t like the doctor’s when I had all three shots.”

“Those weren’t fun,” I said.

“Especially the last one.” She shuddered. “That was painful medicine.”

You know, maybe I should have her do the podcast tonight. NO! NO NO NO you say, fearing 11 minutes of cuteness and malapropisms. Don’t worry. If I do, I may let her choose the music - but rest assured that I will play no more than excerpts of the unbearable stuff. But I will play it. To paraphrase Neil Innes, I’ve suffered for her music. And now it’s your turn.

Went home, made another failed attempt at lunch – nothing is acceptable these days, so it may be time to bring out the Pork Brains – and went down to catch the bus. It was early. It’s never early. New driver. This makes six. The number of consecutive days in which the same driver shows up for work never exceeds three. Finished up a column and filed it; got a call from the publicist – two more interviews, and a Mall of America appearance Saturday Dec 3. Nice. See you there, if you’re a Twin Citizen. Anyway, it’s off now to write some more, then Chuck E. Fargin’. Back later.


Okay, one done. These things just write themselves.

But of course:
New today!
The world would be so much simpler, and so much more comforting, if I could read this and say “well, it’s all a lie. Or if some of it’s true, it’s irrelevant.” But I cannot. Because I am nuts.

Proof of which, I suppose, can be found here, where my comments on the Hewitt show are transcribed. (Thanks, Radioblogger.) I was rather exercised, and I have a dim recollection of referring to the Senate as opportunists, boozebags, kluxers and well-oiled weathervanes. Well, if the shoe fits, drive it up their hindquarters. You could say I’m overreacting – well, I dearly hope so.

Immediately afterwards I did the Bleatcast, and it’s rather obvious I was A) still seething, and B) had nothing in mind. It’s rather free-form. The result, I think, is a fairly representative example of a night at Jasperwood. As threatened, I let Gnat have the mike. It’s is longer than usual; it lasts about 18 minutes, and can be found here.

So that about covers it for this week, no? Five Bleats, a revised Joe, a matchbook, six Quirks, a double Screedblog, a Patriotica addition, and a podcast. Something to disappoint everyone!

See you at Orchestra Hall on Sunday if you’re in town – 2 PM is the start of the Minnesota Youth Orchestra season, and I’ll be there as usual. Otherwise, it’s Monday. See you then.