Krystal (large thing in purple shorts; local whore): How is your daddy?
Rusty (little green squid with red mullet): Oh, he's good, he's good. Just got out of prison not too long ago.
Krystal: No, I'm sorry, who . . . I mean who's your daddy?
Rusty: Uh, Early Cuyler.
Krystal: Tall guy?
Krystal: Big belly?
Krystal: Red hair?
Rusty: Not the one.
Krystal: Kinda looks like Charlie Sheen?
Rusty: Not him neither.
Krystal: Or IS Charlie Sheen?
Rusty: No, not Charlie Sheen.
Krystal: Is he a football team?
Krystal: Is he the groundskeeping crew for the football team?
Krystal: Are you sure it's not Charlie Sheen?
Rusty: No, Mama!
While laying today on the park bench, on my back, on my mid-day mid-way daily bike torture, I listened to a rather young, long-haired fellow reading a book to a child under a shade tree. That seemed very nice. As I listened to his soft words, I watched buzzards high overhead, maybe a thousand feet high. I was surprised when I spotted a “V” formation of five pelicans also up there. It never occurred to me that pelicans might soar like eagles and vultures but then I considered their large wing span and figured, “Why not? It’s a great day to be alive, man and bird.” Since both the buzzards and pelicans were far above their food source I realized that these big birds were just enjoying the warm day in the lifting thermals. In almost no time—maybe two minutes--they rose so high that they were barely visible.
As I left the park I gave a “how ya doin’?” to the guy and the kid. I really wanted to say something more, like, “I used to read to my kid too,” or “Enjoy it . . . it’ll be over before you know it,” but the man’s curt response suggested that his joy with the child did not extend to strangers and I let it drop.
As I was pedaling along in Englewood, I noticed an older gentleman outside a small barbershop; I was also surprised to see him holding a handmade sign and sitting on a motor scooter. “More haircut, less cost,” he hollered to me as I passed on the sidewalk. When it finally dawned what he had said I merely pointed to my bandanna and shouted back, “No hair!” Poor guy. Times are tough. I almost wish I had hair, just to give him some business. I’ve had similar feelings when passing shoeshine stands wearing sneakers. “No sale,” the faces of old black men seem to say as they glance forlornly at my feet.
As I approached the south drawbridge—no bad karma here--I looked at a sign I had seen a hundred times outside one of the deep-sea fishing docks. “Jumbo Shrimp,” read the sign. Isn’t that an oxymoron, I asked myself? I think it depends, I answered myself, on which came first, the adjective (“shrimp,” meaning a small, puny person) or the noun (“shrimp,” meaning that shelled delicacy so many people peel and eat with shrimp sauce).
Finally, after I reached the island I stopped at a bar and went in. I had long ago noticed a sign outside advertising special prices on this or that product and since I was in the market for such a sign I asked the owner where she got it. Nothing came of the affair but I was surprised how large and clean the tavern was. I’ve gone by here a thousand times but never gone in.
So ended yet another exciting and adventure-filled 20-mile ride on my bike. Wow, blogging is slow stuff these days; I need some geezer gas pedal crashes or a major pit bull outbreak to liven things up.
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