The Water Feature contractor came today. He’s the new guy. Just signed on to the team. Burly mofo, too. I think that’s his new name for the duration of this episode of contractor clusterfargery. (Boy, I’m not swearing as much as possible, eh? The Water Feature does that to me.) But he’s a genial guy, so I’ll call him G. Burlymofo. He took a look at the project, and since it’s hard to tell what’s wrong by looking at dirt and a pile of rocks, I filled him in on my suspicions: insufficient water in the lower tank, and /or a fatal leak somewhere. Keep in mind that the contractor told me a few weeks ago that his new guy pegged the problem without even examining the site: not enough water! Apparently that was a different new guy than G. Burleymofo, because he was agnostic on the issue of water volume. 

He said he’d have it up and running the next day. I smiled and said he didn’t have to say that. Really.

“There’s no reason we can’t,” he said.

Sigh. I wanted to give him a volume I have in the archives downstairs, a book about Strange and Curious Things science can never explain. One of the chapters left a deep impression on me as a kid, because it involved pirates, buried treasure, fortune hunters, ruined lives, and all the good stuff. That’s what I have in my backyard. I have the Oak Island Money Pit. We’ll see tomorrow; I would not be surprised to find G. Burl sitting on the edge of the stone wall, weeping.

I am writing in the kitchen with the windows open. It was seventy-five today. Spring is here; spring has settled in. It will not snow again. It must not. If we got six inches of snow in a week people would go absolutely daft, and commence to wail and rend their garments. But parkas are made of thick material, not easily rended. Which is why people look so downcast and miserable at winter’s end; it’s like deciding to saw your wrists open and finding out you have skin like the Thing. You look at all the busted teeth of the hacksaw spattered around your feet, and think: doesn’t this just take the cake. But today, ah, today: the breeze not only had heat, it had heft. It had weight, as though the sun had doubled up on the photon count. The grass looked greener; if you listened closely, you could hear that most miraculous sound of the daffodils and tulips pushing their way up through the dirt. Kids on bikes appeared on the street, as if by spontaneous generation; at dinnertime you heard doors bang again and again as the neighbors trucked plates of meat out to the grills. Now the wind is bothering the trees: what next, eh? What do you say, lads? About time for some leaves, no?

“It’s summer!” Gnat exclaimed on the way home from school. “Well almost summer.” Then she fell silent. “Your friend is about to have winter, I think.”

I knew who she meant.

At the grocery store we handed in her Hoppy Easter drawing. They have coloring contests for the kids; everyone’s entry gets posted, no matter how horrid. It’s a picture of a bunny leaping over some flowers. Gnat was delighted by one picture: it had Elmer Fudd with a gun, hunting the wabbit; underneath the flowers was a big jagged-toothed trap that read ACME. The store manager gave her a chocolate rabbit and a balloon, and I explained to her that this was the important man, the Principal of the Grocery Store.

“Thank you!” she said. She turned to me and whispered: that was for the chocolate and the balloon.

“Caught you on Hugh Hewitt last week,” the manager said. In this neighborhood, that’s like someone slipping you a copy of Emmanuel Goldstein’s “Theory and Practice of Oligarchical Collectivism” at the cafeteria.

I exaggerate, of course. Anyway. I’ve gone on too long; busier than a one-legged man filing discrimination complaints against the sponsors of an arse-kicking contest. Counting this – which I really shouldn’t – I will have filed eight pieces in 24 hours around noon tomorrow. Yes, that’s my version of “24.” At least I get to sleep and use the bathroom.

After that, sweet release; I’ll have a night to attack the tottering stack of email and surface mail, both of which have accumulating it hearteningly large amounts (thank you!) and work on the movie, if there is one. 

So, links:

Happy egg song! Go eggs go!

The Woman Who Mistook Her Hat for Hat: a snapshot of the hermetically sealed world of Park Slope. (For the record, Gnat went to school today in a pink dress and blue shoes.)

The goat is on the pole. You know that, don’t you? Because it’s true. There is a goat ,and there is a pole, and the goat is on the pole.

The white line is a recognition of temporary political realities, and by no means intended to express an uneradicable division. On the contrary.

Today's "what's wrong with this strip" feature: as much as I laud the sentiments & general idea, isn't it more likely that the space would be rehabbed? Almost every single chain-store coffee shop in this city is located in an old storefront.

He drinks, he smokes, he shoots, he scores. But of course you'd expect me to agree; I’m one of those flaming fascists who loves Chris Hitchens more than, say, George "Show us the shekels" Galloway..

For Broadband: Bill Murray exhausts every single scrap of goodwill generated by “Groundhog Day.” Or not; heck, a payday is a payday. But still. Man. Stuff like this paves the way for an all CGI “US Acres” movie.

While you’re up, get me a Grant*: and some say modern art has abandoned its search for truth and beauty.

New Quirk & Motels; see you tomorrow.


*liquor slogan in the 60s. I'm hardly the first.





c. j lileks. email may be sent to first name at last name dot com.