From this week’s New Yorker Magazine, the poem “Sixtieth Birthday Dinner” by Michael Ryan:
If in the men’s room of our favorite restaurant
while blissfully pissing riserva spumante
I punch the wall because I am so old,
I promise not to punch too carelessly.
Our friend Franco cooks all night and day
to transform blood and bones to osso buco.
He shouldn’t have to clean them off his wall
or worry that a customer gone cuckoo
has mashed his knuckles like a slugger
whose steroid dosage needs a little tweaking.
My life with you has been beyond beyond
and there’s nothing beyond it I’m seeking.
I just don’t want to leave it, and I am
with every silken bite of tiramisu.
I wouldn’t mind being dead
if I could still be with you.
If your life is too hectic for you to keep a cactus alive, you have bigger problems than a lack of greenery in your environment.
The March/April edition of Mental Floss has an awesome article on parasites. One kind attaches itself to the tongue of a fish, feeding off the blood supply until the fish’s tongue drops off. Then the parasite serves as a surrogate tongue..
Just as good is the female Sacculina, which starts out as a sluglike thing floating around in the water. It finds a crab, and then stabs one of the crab’s joints with a dagger-like appendage. The Sacculina ooooozes into the crab through the hollow dagger, leaving an empty shell outside. Once inside the crab, the gooey parasite takes root, wrapping around the crab’s eyestalks and legs, growing until a little bit of it pops out of the crab’s shell. Then it begins to steer the crab wherever it wants to go. (“Sacculina! You’ve just successfully overtaken over the body of a crab, thereby ensuring propagation of your larvae! What are you doing next?”)
Sort of makes intestinal worms seem cuddly.
-We should have brought some Trivial Pursuit cards with us.
-Ahhh. We don’t need the cards, you can do that shit impromptu. It goes like this: “What the fuck was that one movie, the one where the guy had the sled?”
-Ha. All the Trivial Pursuit cards should start like that.
-Geography, “Where the hell was that one place where…”
-Literature, “Shit, who wrote that thing about…
-Sports, “Who won that fucking series? Why can’t I remember this?”
As we’re leaving the car rental place, a guy at the gate stops us. He nods and hands Bryan a large clipboard with a form to sign. Taped to the bottom of the clipboard are two photos. One is of gate guy holding a giant sea skate and grinning, and the other is a woman in soft focus. She is slightly overweight, her hair has been recently curled, and she is busy seducing the camera. Her lips slightly parted, her eyes uncomfortably intimate.
“Uh, where do I sign?” Bryan asks. The gate guy touches his pen to a line that is just left of his girlfriend’s ample cleavage.
“Thanks.” Bryan says, and we drive away.