July 19, 2005

Curiouser and curiouser

Apparently this Alice ate more than one cake, or so her internist has implied. She missed a page in Owners' Manual: What Happens After You Turn 40 (a work in progress by Alice, Uptown).

In large, bold type, the page says, turn 40, quit smoking, overlook metabolism grinding to a slow crawl, increase body weight by close to one-third. Whoops. Alice now outweighs her 95-pounds-and-holding, late 60ish mother (age not available upon request) by a solid 30 pounds.

Pass me a cigarette, please? In the past, the only thing to be said about Alice's diet was, vitamins cover a multitude of nutritional sins. Now she must join the off-White Rabbit in sharing his vegetarian repasts. Carrots are fine, but broccoli? In this lifetime? Without hollandaise sauce?

What on earth is a calorie or a carb and how can these affect Alice? Will she shrink to normal size again? Will she have the patience? Discipline? Learn to exercise? So many questions, so few answers. Never before has she felt the need for immediate gratification so acutely.

* * * * * *

Among other oddities: the Lexington Ave. downtown bus was diverted to Second Ave. yesterday due to "police action," and all cell phones in the vicinity were jammed for the duration, whatever that was. According to one friend, this has happened almost daily on the subway since the London bombings.

Another says the city's fire department, police, and emergency medical services have been conducting practice drills. Rehearsing for the Big One -- without notifying the public that any such thing might be the case. We don't need to know when ; it would just be nice if someone in government saw fit to let us know we are in dress rehearsal mode.

What I don't get is, my little town has been on the same level of heightened alert (can't remember the color scheme) since the color-coding has been in place. Now the rest of the country is on our level of alert. Shouldn't we be up a notch?

Why is it that we remain the same color as before, but now we have this huge rehearsal going on that one would theoretically expect at a different level of security? In other words, if this is S.O.P. for orange or yellow or amber or whatever hue, why has it taken so long for the city to act "as if," without raising our security flag a notch?

Am I the only one to believe that if something's going to happen, it will happen, regardless of how much substance there may be to our "security"? (See my thoughts on the TSA: airport security, substance or pacifying illusion?) Call me a fatalist, but here, past performance does seem to be an indication of future results.

In my life I have missed one coup attempt in Haiti by one week, and the next coup attempt merely one-half hour after my plane took off. I am fairly sure that if there is a next time, they won't start the revolution without me.

I missed a category 8 (ranked from 1 to 10) typhoon in Hong Kong by that same half-hour.

Didn't get so lucky with the category-4 (out of 5) hurricane that doubled back and smacked St. Martin. It hit in the middle of the night, when 14 people were sharing two double rooms in the ostensibly safer part of the hotel. That would be the area where the air conditioners blew into the rooms and the sliding-glass doors shattered, glass flying as it can only in 140-mile-an-hour winds.

I feel fortunate to have natural distasters on this, our "small island off the coast of America" as Nell's British husband describes it, restricted to summer tropical heat on concrete and winter Nor'easter storms and blizzards.

Earthquakes and tornados need not apply. We have enough suspicious packages to more than cover our share of disasters of all stripes. But if you'd like to send some Belgian bittersweet chocolate, properly iced, I wouldn't turn the package into the cops, even if it were ticking.

* * * * * *

One more thing: how can the Rolling Stones' tour be sponsored by a mortgage company? What happened to gathering no moss? I suppose on the retirement-funding tour, irony is non-starter.


Blogger The Misanthrope said...

The Stones gathered moss I would say about 20 years ago. They are just a very good nostalgic act now.

10:47 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home