14 September 2003
Inquiring minds, and so forth
Well, I asked for it. Thank you for playing Let's Bend This Guy's Mind.
If you were crazed enough to post questions in response to this call, your answers are just beyond the MORE link.
Susanna Cornett wants to know:
I am surrounded by stuff, and lots of it, but most of it is fairly ephemeral and to at least some extent replaceable; even the overpriced wall hangings and the rare recordings can probably be found with a little bit of effort.
So this narrows the field down to things I can't replace, and ultimately I identified three, which are listed below:
3. A brass tie bar, approximately the width of the widest tie I own. This was given to me in 1967 by the kid sister of my best bud at the time; she apparently was not fond of my tendency to fasten down my tie with a paper clip. (Yes, Virginia, we wore uniforms in those days.) It is a measure of something, I suppose, that it was nearly thirty-five years later that it first occurred to me that she might have had another motive.
2. My high-school class ring, dated 1969, which I gave away once. (It was returned after a couple of weeks due to parental pressure. Both sets of parents, in fact.)
1. A replica of a goldfinch, circa 1976. During my mother's last days, she tried to keep as busy as she could; at some point, she dabbled in arts and crafts, and one day she found this 3½-inch model of a bird, painted it, and showed it off. Somehow I wound up with it, and the little bird has followed me around ever since; today, its little wire-frame legs long since twisted away and lost and the paint on its beak beginning to chip, it's perched (via some of that sticky stuff you use to hang posters) on the corner of my computer monitor, watching me type.
For all three items:
Joe Goodwin asks:
All my cars have had names, and usually it took a couple of drives before that name became apparent. Susannah (with an H), my first car (she was a '66 Chevy II Nova with the 250 straight six and Powerglide), scored her nomenclature the first time I got behind the wheel; on the other hand, Dymphna, the '75 Toyota Celica I got in the separation agreement (though I had been driving her for some time), took a while to make herself identifiable.
I have never driven any Hyundai, but a coworker owns an Accent sedan, in refrigerator white, and somehow it looks kind of Darla-ish.
Alan Sullivan came up with:
I live alone in a small, untidy flat surrounded by tar and cement; there's scarcely any reason for me to own a hose at all, let alone to take it out.
However, when I was married and lived in a house and there was an actual garden to tend, I always made sure to put it away neatly after use.
Requested by McGehee:
I wasn't especially impressed with any of the songs mentioned; the best of the bunch is probably Carol Mosely Braun's pick, Des'ree's "You Gotta Be", which manages to be both catchy and soulful. Joe Lieberman gets a raspberry for mentioning Fleetwood Mac's "Don't Stop", a song which was boring at its release and became annoying when it was adopted by the Clintonoids.
And for Dennis Kucinich, a variation on a theme:
Three questions, from the triumvirate at Blog o'RAM:
I don't think I've ever really invented anything, though I have been known to jerry-rig quick and dirty stuff when necessity (who, as the saying goes, is a mother) demands; so far as I know, I am one of only a handful of people on earth who has made duct tape work on an automotive exhaust.
If an elephant's eye is the standard what do you use as a point of reference in Oklahoma? (punctilious)
Ten yards. If there's one thing you learn early in Oklahoma, it's how far you need to go for a first down.
If you are again passing through Northern Ohio may I buy you a beer? (rammer)
And it, in turn, will pass through me with dire speed, but you're on.
Paulsmos tosses in a heavy-duty query:
Excluding people with whom I've already broken bread...well, there are too many fictional characters I'd want to inquire about, so I'll confine myself to eight persons who actually existed, some of whom are still around:
Richard I, known as "Coeur de Lion", king of England: It is possible, I discovered, to trace his descendants all the way to the one girl I dated in high school, and, well, I'd love to see if there's any resemblance.
H. Allen Smith, writer/humorist: I'm apparently not ripping off his style effectively enough.
Barry "Dr. Demento" Hansen, musicologist and radio host: One of two people in the music industry I genuinely revere.
Stan Cornyn, former VP of Warner Bros. Records: The other one.
Clara Luper, civil-rights leader: She led the first widely-publicized "sit-in" in 1958, right here in the Okay City.
Dodie Smith, British author: She wrote I Capture the Castle, my favorite novel for decades now.
Deborah Gibson, singer/composer/actress: A test of my longstanding fanboy adoration.
Catherine Marie Charlton, composer/pianist/acoustical engineer: Just to see if she's as brilliant in person as she comes off on her CDs.