deus ex machina

I got an antique typewriter today, and I wonder what's been written on it. Love letters? The Communist Manifesto? The lyrics to "Macarthur Park?"

And why not leave the cake out in the rain? I've oft wondered.

Of course you'd be daft to leave cake out. Flies and pets will get it. People will think you've gone a little wonky. But what does rain have to do with it? Frosting erosion? Scared it'll catch pneumonia?

The more you think about this, the more ridiculous it gets. Exponentially. It doesn't take long to get to a walled exercise pen in a mental institution here, but we're not sure if we're visiting the person who put out the cake, or whoever penned the lyrics.

I remember, from reading it five years ago, a partially eaten ham sandwich left halfway up the stairs in The Virgin Suicides. Creepy enough when all your daughters are killing themselves, but something really went over the top when I read about that ham sandwich. The stink of death infused the carpeting. Future owners of the house wondered if they'd made a terrible mistake.

You could stick a plate of spaghetti nearly anywhere and invoke something, depending on the company: put some Italians in the room, and you've got a birthday party. Leave a kid alone with a TV tray and Magnum P.I. reruns, and you've got a single mom working two jobs. Pan from the plate of spaghetti up to a teenager making a sour face and you've got a high school cafeteria. Turn off the lights, stick your hands in it, and you've got a plateful of brains at a Halloween party .. and so on.

But eat half the spaghetti first, or take a bite out of a meatball, and you've got something else entirely: a crime scene; a phone call from the hospital; an anorexic; a seriously bad cook. A first date gone horribly wrong.

Now what happens when you leave the spaghetti out in the rain?
I don't think it invokes absolute madness, like the cake. 
It might just be a rained out picnic.

Certainly not, say, weapons of mass destruction.

Ok, now I bet you're wondering how I got from point A to point B there (the first meaning of the title, I'll give to you for free). So let me back up a second.

My imagination has been stretched to the limit. When I was a kid there was no internet. I mentioned this to a seventeen-year-old recently and he "hmphed" me. I clarified: "no, I don't mean like 'when I was your age I walked to school in five feet of snow, uphill both ways' ... there really wasn't." For better or worse, I could not have predicted this world. We can videoconference (ala phone calls in The Jetsons); a digital photograph can be sent through the air in seconds; anything we seek knowledge of is at our fingertips; but still we tolerate politicians who expect us to believe that, for example, they're not really convinced about global warming when in fact by melting the polar icecaps they're exposing new (profitable) oil reserves?

(but why stop polluting the ocean if all the fish have gas masks?)

Tomorrow I get to step into a voting booth and choose between two presidential candidates I believe in.  And one happens to be a woman, and the other a black man. Is this the same country that elected George W. Bush twice? I'd like to shake that man's hand, because if it weren't for his reign of terror, we might not be so anxious to put Politician Beta to rest, so ready to embrace the future. 

Well done, sir. I finally understand what it is you were put into office to do. Now go home, and take your mission from god with you. We've got some celebrating to do.  

You have pulled back the slingshot. You are sending us to the moon.

No comments:

Post a Comment

(comments moderated to prevent stalking, stupidity, solicitation and jehovah's witnesses. reasonable wisecrackery is welcome.)