Just as our plight seems endless, fall winks at us
I got a carton of eggs for a buck the other day.
Ponder that a moment. I mean, how do chickens do that, squeeze out a dozen eggs at those prices, when I can barely afford a car?
They weren’t jumbo, but they were really nice eggs — $1 a dozen, 8 cents apiece. Wasn’t so long ago you couldn’t even find eggs.
California was about to price me out when this egg purchase came along. John and Ellen, two of our favorite neighbors, just sold their handsome little hut for $1.2 million.
That’s insane. You smile, and praise God for the equity, but what’s the trade-off? Your hard-working kids can’t get into the market, your niece flees to more-affordable Chicago. Will they follow?
In rare moments of contemplation, I think to myself: “If my daughters ever move away, I’ll be toast. Who’ll re-fill my gin glass? Will Smartacus change my diaper?”
Then along comes these eggs, 12 for a buck, reminding us that the world is still full of little miracles. Maybe the best miracles are small and you just have to string them like pearls? Maybe that’s how you cobble together a worthy life? Maybe that’s the best equity of all.
Weird week, and we’ve cobbled together a few of those as well. On Tuesday I wondered (on Twitter) how we have little problem sending 18-year-olds off to fight ridiculous wars, in obscure deserts, yet we won’t send them out to play college football in carefully controlled environments where they will be mommied the entire way.
Just an observation. Just pointing out an odd double-standard.
Twitter is so cute when it’s mad. You can throw followers into a white-hot rage just by suggesting nectarines are superior to plums.
Besides, note that the sweaty and slobbery NBA is getting by just fine, without a single COVID case. And truthfully, if COVID were so fiendishly lethal, no grocery workers would be left standing.
Maybe we don’t need to approach everything like fretful kitties.
That’s my two cents, which is probably worth a penny. I never said I was Socrates.
Then Angie Dickinson proposed, which was nice. It’s been a long courtship, yet we hadn’t chatted in a while. When I called, she was watching “Perry Mason.”
“Hold on a second while I turn up the sound,” she said.
Such a wise guy.
We talked about my recent road trip, and visiting the Grand Tetons.
I said, “Angie, if anyone knows about the grandness of Tetons it’s you,” since she vacations there every summer.
She laughed, because like everything I say, there was some sort of entendre involved — double or triple, I’m not so good at math.
Fortunately, Angie comes from a time when people laughed a little. She also knows, as George Will once put it, that “the world has sharp edges and abrasive surfaces,” which apparently is news to any cupcake under age 30.
Next thing I know, Angie offers to take me to the Grand Tetons for our honeymoon – “Two days, not four” – and I said, “Angie, is that a proposal? Let me think about…OK, I accept!”
So, obviously, my luck with women is turning a little (take that, No-Kiss Kelly!).
I am now loosely engaged to Angie Dickinson, a gorgeous bowl of big-screen butterscotch with a keen mind and a smart mouth, which has always been my fever dream. Late at night, in my deepest of sleeps, I’m Frank Sinatra.
Anyway, so that was my weird week, how was yours?
Twitter is so cute when it’s mad. You can throw followers into a white-hot rage just by suggesting nectarines are superior to plums #ChrisErskineLA #twitter #getalifeTweet
Meh? Listen, I’m tired of hearing how broken everything is.
We have baseball back, and it’s different but it’s there. And the NBA is about to enter the playoffs in fine form. No fans? So? Watching those rich dolts in the expensive floor seats used to bug me anyway.
I am also enjoying the early eps of “Hard Knocks,” HBO’s amazing documentary on NFL training camp, the presumption being there will be an NFL season. I can go a long way on a little hope. I mean, look at me and Angie, a relationship that started with cheeseburgers and fries.
“Oh, you’ve got to get a milkshake,” she said at the time. “They have the best milkshakes.”
Which is when my vision went hazy and love arrived. I was bewitched.
Point is, those NFL players are marching ahead, making the best of things, just as we mostly are.
The week got even better. Neighbor Nick gifted us a couple of giant slabs of tuna. I made poke bowls – imagine that? Me, a good goy from the Middle West pickling cucumbers and dicing the tuna and adding some sriracha mayo and sesame seeds.
Will wonders never cease? I can make rice now! My son Smartacus even went back for seconds, and he never goes back for seconds (Like a cow, he has 10 stomachs. But they are tiny stomachs, and are mostly filled with burps and bubblegum).
And when I was buying those eggs the other day – 12 for a buck! – I noticed that the Halloween decorations were already up. Too soon? Too late? I can’t decide. These are ghoulish times, after all. And it’s the year of the mask.
In any case, I always get a slight buzz from seeing the first pumpkin of the season. Just as our plight seems endless, fall winks at us.
Even better, the toilet paper aisle at the supermarket was fully stocked.
If you squinted a little, it looked like a Lutheran wedding dress exploded. If you squinted a lot, you couldn’t see anything.
So don’t do that.
But in these weird and wacky times, if you squint just a little at the wonders all around us, you can still cobble together a decent day of tiny, wistful, hazy pleasures.
You can be bewitched.