Sunday, June 26, 2016

Odds & Ends







THEY FOUND NO DIGITAL EVIDENCE ON HIS HARD DRIVE.”


HE WAS GETTING PRESSURE FROM THE RIGHT SIDE OF HIS CAUCUS.”


HOW COULD YOU NOT NOTICE A MAN PUTTING A BANANA IN YOUR TAILPIPE?”


When Donald Trump spews and pontificates, his mouth reminds me of a Parrot fish. Well, actually, more like a Puffer fish.


Are you just as tired of that Trivago guy as I am?


Or of people who keep asking 'What's in your wallet?'


Or those Mesothelioma warnings that have been on T.V. for a million years?





IT'S ABOUT RENEWABLE RESOURCES





Sunday, June 19, 2016

SHOESTRING IN THE NAAN



One evening Jon and I ate dinner over at Michael's house.
 I remember that Michael was playing JETLINER and FLY LIKE AN EAGLE by the Steve Miller band..."Time keeps on slipping into the future.”
These songs seemed to be about our adventure in Afghanistan.
As Jon was applying some butter to his naan,
 he remarked how we would all be"lucky to get out of OUT OF AFHANISTAN alive"; and then just as he took the first bite of his bread, he said, 


"I'll be *###*! What in the hell is this?"
It turned out to be a shoestring embedded in his nan. 


Michael chuckled, but I laughed loudly.


 All Jon could say was, "What's next?" 


The extra ingredient was not a mistake. 


The naan bakery-stand probably wanted to play a joke on Jon, since they knew him as one of their steady khareji [foreigner] customers.


I always looked forward to the ritual of buying my nan each day. 


I spoiled myself, and I would wait a little longer for a hot slice fresh-out-of-the-oven pit.  

Nan is shaped like a snowshoe.


 It is made from flour and water (and sometimes some charcoal pieces that slip in from the ovenpit).


 I never had a shoestring in my naan.






IT'S ABOUT RENEWABLE 

RESOURCES AND NAAN


Tuesday, June 14, 2016

THE PIGEONS





I loved to watch the pigeons fly. 
A man kept dozens of pigeons on the roof of his building. 
He opened the door to their "pigeon house", and then...swoosh!
 They all took off and flew in formation all over the city.
 And as if by magic, they reappeared when their owner waved a towel (or blanket...maybe it was his turban!) in a circular motion.
 One big swirling mass returned to the cage.
 This occurred once per day about sunset. 
I guess this Afghan raised and sold pigeons.
 I wondered whether pigeons still delivered air mail messages.
 There was something poetic and beautiful about pigeons flying.

 IT'S ABOUT RENEWABLE RESOURCES AND PIGEONS




Thursday, June 09, 2016

THE HOLE IN KABUL






One winter evening I walked out to my backyard to take out my trash. 

The ground was covered with snow and I had forgotten about THE HOLE. 

THE HOLE was over a cess pool to my house.

 All the human waste from my house (and wherever...and WHENEVER...else) had accumulated in THE HOLE. 

The liquid was now at ground level.

 As I took a step over THE HOLE my left leg went in. 

With my right leg, I was able to hop out just in time. 

My left Italian hiking boot had gotten totally immersed.

 I quickly returned to my house and took off the boot. 

I began pouring pinesol over it, and I kept imagining what might have been if I had stepped with both feet into THE HOLE.

 It was not a pleasant thought.


I started a fire, became warm and cozy, and forgot about THE HOLE experience.  


IT'S ABOUT RENEWABLE RESOURCES AND THE HOLE

Monday, June 06, 2016

AMOEBAS TEA AND THE HEADS OF LAMB




I almost stopped drinking coffee when I lived in Kabul.

Tea was poured and imbibed 24-7.

Tea, tea, tea.

Would you like some tea? 

Yes.

 More tea?

 Why of course.

It was the first thing you did when you visited anyone.

Tea, tea, tea.

No teasers...and, please...

NO COFFEE!

*

Amoebas and not the Taliban were THE ENEMY when I lived in Afghanistan.

Boil your water or you'll get Amoebiasis!

Boiling water was also something that was done 24-7.

*

Men carried the heads of lamb on platters on top of
 their own heads.

I never ate any of these heads.



IT'S ABOUT RENEWABLE RESOURCES AMOEBAS

 TEA AND THE HEADS OF LAMB


Wednesday, June 01, 2016

FOR SALE







I could barely pay my rent.
I didn’t have a full-time job.
And I bought beautiful things that I didn’t need.
I bought a brass, Tiffany desk lamp.
I thought it was beautiful.
I bought an authentic Morris chair.
It wasn’t that beautiful, but I liked its wide arms, where I could sit my cup of coffee on one side, and my books on the other side.
I bought my white, convertible 1964 Pontiac Catalina when I did have a full-time construction job, but it ended, and that’s when I bought my Tiffany lamp and Morris chair.
I was broke.
I needed cash.
I sold all three things.
I sold them as easily as I bought them, because I sold them at very low prices.
My Tiffany lamp: $25
My Morris chair: $45
My Catalina (and this hurt the most!): $75
Here
Today
Gone
Tomorrow.




IT'S ABOUT RENEWABLE RESOURCES


Sunday, May 29, 2016

MY LIFE AS AN ACTOR



Jon and I decided to become actors for a short while. 
 I was performing the part of Francisco in Shakespeare's The Tempest.
 I forget now who Jon was.

 We practiced on the grounds of the British Embassy with some very good actors from England and France, and we rehearsed only for a short time.
 But it was fun.
 I felt like a real actor.
 I remember one night we had dinner, followed by desert, coffee, and cocktails. 
 This was the life!

The evening of our play performance we were asked to lay off the liquor, but I was so nervous that I kept tippling the bottle, and before I knew it I had imbibed one bottle of wine and half a bottle of Sherry.
I was very tipsy.
It was, after all, a drowning scene. 
My fifteen seconds of fame had arrived, and I elocuted (or executed!) my lines on the outdoor concrete 
stage, then quickly exited. 


But on my way through the 

archway 

my right hand clipped a standing and 

burning torch, 

and the burning torch 

was now falling to the ground. 

I caught it just in time!  I could have 

ruined the whole production and my 

 career as an aspiring actor.




 IT'S ABOUT RENEWABLE 
RESOURCES AND ACTING