Category Archives: Essay

Critters

bug on the subway

Whatever we’re up to, it probably won’t work.

“Wouldn’t you know it,” my wife says.

We pull up to a red light a mile from our house.  It’s 7:00 a.m. Stopped in front of us is a pest control truck. On the back of it, facing us, is the company name, telephone number, and an all-star list of domestic pests that, if you don’t watch it, can get out of control. Wasps, ants, termites, bats, raccoons, ground hogs, mice; each pictured with a larger-than-life-size photo for the reading impaired or animal challenged, or both, on the back of the truck. Continue reading

Stand Short

tall boy short girl

Short people of the world, unite!

My wife and I are having breakfast one morning at a local restaurant. In this establishment, you stand in line and place your order at the cash register. You take a number, find a table, and wait for your food.  We’re here early. The restaurant is full of men. It’s the power breakfast hour.

While we wait for our food we watch more men come in, many of them dressed in summer business casual.  A couple tables over, two guys with a laptop talk in hushed tones. At the table next to us a guy leans over a legal pad, checking his notes. He’s wearing a black and white gingham shirt, jeans, and running shoes.  He’s got serious, shiny, freshly-combed-back Gordon Gecko hair. In a couple minutes he’s joined by another guy in jeans. Their meeting begins. Continue reading

Bridge

power-double-sketch

In the end it all came down to two points.

My freshman year of high school the wrestling team had no one to put in the 95-pound weight class. That meant at every meet the team would forfeit that match, giving the opposition five points for free, and an automatic advantage in the final score.

The coach at the time was a guy named Jack Curl. He was a big guy with short blond hair and an easy smile. In the fall he coached football. That’s where his heart was. He also taught gym, although “taught” somehow seems like the wrong word. “Moderated” or “presided over” or “benignly neglected” might be more accurate. I recall him walking around the gym holding a clipboard, blowing on a referee whistle he wore around his neck, yelling at kids. Winter semesters he coached wrestling, which as the phys ed guy he probably had to do. I don’t think he knew much about the sport. He referred to it as “wrastling.” Continue reading

Coffee Me

Photo Mar 29, 9 36 48 AM

Where to find good espresso in Italy

Everywhere, of course.

But what is it about train stations in Italy and coffee? Train station bars have the best coffee ever. You order at the cashier, present your receipt at the bar, and get served coffee that, well, just makes you want to travel by train, every day, if possible, or live close enough to the train station that you can get your morning, mid-morning, after-lunch, mid-afternoon, and after-dinner coffee there. Train station bar ambiance is not so great. But the coffee? A life-giving elixir. Continue reading

The Enjoy Agenda

medusa

I’m not feeling so good

A couple Sundays ago we spent the afternoon in the emergency room in Santarcangelo di Romagna.  We went to Santarcangelo because it was a sunny day in April. We went because it’s the beginning of pea season.  We went because we thought we might shop around a little and then have lunch.

We were in this store and my wife was looking at sweaters and I was trying on a pair of pants in a changing room in the back when I heard her say, Oh. Continue reading