Like Ants Cursing the Rain

Hillside of a golf course

“So what exactly are you saying?” Dasad asked, stirring the wasabi.  “That Star Wars should be added to the New Testament?  Some sort of sequel to Revelation?”

Murph gurgled some imperceptible response from his miso soup, inciting a sudden fit of coughing and drooling.  Dasad sighed and returned his attention to the green lump dissolving in his soy sauce.  Murphey had invited Dasad over the house for pizza and games earlier that week.  Dasad had accepted the invitation but neglected the hour-old pizza already ripped to shreds by the fraternal horde, Murphey’s younger brothers and sisters.  Sensing some internal struggle between hunger and disgust within his friend, Murph had suggested carry-out at the local sushi place.  Lenten Fridays restricted most fast food without scales and fins — excluding Taco Bell whose mushy meat remains to this day a zoological enigma.  Carting their repast home, Murph had suggested some minor alterations to 2010’s Holy Week. Continue reading

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Stamped Out

The concept of a coat of arms, consisting of a personal crest or mark,  has captivated me ever since creating this blog . . . no, that’s not right.  It was earlier then that, sometime around fourth grade, I think.  Beowulf, the adventures of Arthur and his knights, or some other tale of chivalry occupied the whole of our afternoon literature assignment.   After completing the unit, Mrs. Limmer had asked the class to construct a shield from the various flotsam scattered around the room: construction paper, assorted bunny stickers, and select clippings from discarded People.Wisely I discarded the Madonna splashed magazines and relied upon my Crayola markers and one or two angry(-ish) bunnies.  The result, an orange triangle adorned with clovers, a poorly drawn ant/horse, and one or two favorite quotes, time has since buried amid report cards and eighth grade book reports.  Still I took special pride in the project; after all, in the story, the brave knight’s coat of arms embodied his beliefs and values, a symbol — of sorts — for himself.

That was cool for me. Continue reading

A Question of Blasphemy

The automatic doors did not open immediately, but seemed to pause and consider the visitors waiting at the threshold first.  After several minutes, the glass panel shuddered and cracked, sliding slowly open.  Having been deemed worthy by the electric bouncer, Dasad and I rapidly passed into the Best Buy and past the greeter before the machine changed its mind.  Walking out of habit to the New Release stack, I pointed out a few titles but met with no reaction.  My reticent companion had kept to himself for much of the afternoon, which suggested some work-related problem, failed romance or indigestion.  Either way time would work out the truth.

“You know, Murph,” he said to me as I checked the price tag of a Ben Hur Blu-Ray, “so much of your religion seems situated around full heads of hair and long-flowing locks.  Did you ever think about that?” Continue reading

Discussions with My Teenage Sister

The three girls were still chattering in the back seat when Dad called.  On the beltway, traffic slowed, stopped, and surrendered to inertia.  Dudes volleyed footballs between station wagons.  A band of wandering gypsies built makeshift hovels from the roof of an abandoned Prius; tires were piled and set alight for warmth.  Slipping Mom’s Expedition behind a ransacked Hostess truck, I nearly missed the phone call: my ring tone the ultimate loser in a three-way battle between the radio and the three preteens in the backseat.

“Hey bud,” Dad chimed over the speaker.  “How ya doing?”

“We just finished discussing the niceties of shaving our legs.” Continue reading

Destination Unknown

The travel-bug has infected me as the snow-drifts melt around the house.  Ryan calls it Spring-fever; I call it unemployment, but it amounts to same thing.  Technically, the disease is a perennial one — for me at least — like hemophilia or guys born with three nipples; my whole lifestyle, a pastiche of half-finished novels, video games, comics, manga, and Lego castles, stems from this unquenchable need to explore, to vacate, to drive child-stuffed vans across state borders.

Yet this whole . . . condition does seem to strike more violently in March.  Mostly it’s the anticipation of travel, the need to get away from these four walls for a while.  Spring for all its pleasantness offers little in the way of excitement in Baltimore.  I mean, the leaves return if you’re into that.  Birds chirp; flowers bloom; bees freak me out by dive-bombing my ears.  And the weather . . . of course, the weather’s nice, providing a time and place to which to travel.  School, college and homework crucify any and all travel plans. Continue reading

I Hate Cows

My cowHamburger, cheeseburger, chili, steak, meatloaf, and hamburger helper.  Ten o’clock at night, I continued to repeat my delicious resplendent mantra, which proved the sole remaining argument for another tour of the neighborhood.  Twenty-minutes ago, Shannon had bounded downstairs just as I decided to pop some Final Fantasy into the Xbox.

“Need any help?” I asked, believing his excitement to be physics related.

“Yeah, the cows got out again.  Get dressed.” Continue reading

A Warning

Suddenly Shannon dived across the driving wheel, grabbing the switch for the Explorer’s high beams.  The oncoming Lincoln Towncar and its senior pilot, soaring down the highway nearly ten miles below the speed limit, were well-warned of the speed trap on the far side of the reservoir.  My brother seemed pleased with his stealth attack — despite the fact that I nearly lost control of the car.  He had won.  I had lost.

“We’re thirty feet from the cop car, dude,” I screamed.   “A red and blue flashing atop hill, visible for half-a-mile.  Why flash my own lights?  It’s like pointing out the obvious.” Continue reading