News and reviews of recent events in and around the Manor.
—When you are a squirrel, and you use a hind leg to scratch a flea or a mite or something, said leg moves faster than the speed of light.
—There is no rug so long, so large, or so thick, that these cats cannot Somehow propel it around the room as if it were weightless.
—I have obtained Scientific Proof that dust bunnies are created by cats. Dust bunnies are (nearly) everywhere in this place. Every morning, I awake to a new and forbiddingly large crop. These must be soon Dealt With, lest I become trapped in here, unable to get out. There is so much material there, in the daily haul of dust bunnies, that I am thinking of discovering a means by which to spin it into clothing. I will then become a dust-bunny-sweater magnate. But there is one room in the Manor where the cats are not permitted to go. I go in there, but not them. In this room, there are no dust bunnies. Never have been. This means I do not make dust bunnies. And neither does anything else. Only cats make them.
—The deer known as Mom has shown up here pregnant again. Apparently this is an annual thing with her. Clearly, there needs to be a Study as to the availability of birth control among deer. She don’t look so good as she did last year. Guess this pregnancy is harder on her than the last. In this, she is like the woman at the lawyer’s office.
—Whenever I lie there wondering, “how come I haven’t seen any skunks lately?,” somewhere outside, usually directly next to the Manor, a skunk perceives a Menace, reacts accordingly, and then all the air belongs to stench, and I must reach for the gas mask. Therefore, I try not to have these thoughts.
—Also in the olfactory arena, whenever I am running short on sleep, really need to get some, and have to be up very early for some law project, just as I enter dreamland, some cat proceeds to the catbox, and there blats forth a load so poisonous and extreme it requires evacuation of the entire neighborhood, and the arrival of the HazMat team.
—There is a very nice washer and dryer combo in this place. However, I have come to Know that these units are from space, and from the future. They are studded with many mysterious controls. And although I have tried to master these, I have come to reluctantly learn that once I press “power” and “start,” my control over these machines ends. They then take over completely. For instance, the dryer will display a digital read of the time remaining to do its thing, but will then change its mind numerous times, shifting the digital display accordingly. It will tell me, say, that the clothes will be dry in 35 minutes; I will arrive back in 30 minutes, only to find the thing switching from 5 minutes, to 15 minutes. Right there in front of me. There is no digital time display on the washer, and no way of ascertaining just how long it thinks it needs to run to wash the clothes. I am helpless before it. Also, the washer flooded the Manor on Christmas, and on Easter. Only on those two days. What this means is obvious. Some people see Jesus in a tortilla. Some people see Jesus on their windshield (see photo above). I have Jesus in my washing machine.
—When you are in a city, the police station is a hulking, menacing, brooding, fortified compound. It is like you are in Iraq during Operation Iraqi Fiefdom. You can be arrested, or even shot, simply for looking at it Wrong. When you are here, there are daffodils around the police station. And sometimes you can see the police tending them.
—Serious eccentricity is permitted here. And only a block from the police station. For there is the lair of Rat-Dog Man. The ground level of a perfectly nice house is eschewed by Rat-Dog Man, who chooses instead to dwell in the basement. And down there in the dark, he cohabits with a coven of rat dogs. I discovered this upon one nerve-wracking afternoon, when I was wandering areas outlying the Manor, because the young-un cat had gone astray. I saw this open basement window, and, thinking maybe the young’un cat had jumped in there, I leaned down and called his name into the darkened basement. Only to be immediately assaulted by the hideous yaps of multiple rat dogs. This, I believe, was a good test of the valves to my waste-disposal system: as I did not void any substances, I think they remain in good shape. In any event, Rat-Dog Man regularly permits his herd out of the bowels of the basement and into the yard adjoining the unused house, so that they might offer up their wastes. Occasionally—usually in the rain—Rat-Dog Man will bark at them nastily to hurry up. The rat dogs have been known to object to this, generally by bolting out into the alley. We call this The Great Escape. Rat-Dog Man then climbs into his car and proceeds to slowly roll down the alley and neighboring streets, bellowing at top volume for them to return. It is for reasons like this that we do not need television here.
—The police also turn a blind eye to the wanton Crime Lords of the feed store across the street. Because the state legislature here is infested with howling imbeciles, there are many Laws forbidding—under penalty of fines and imprisonment—the feeding of various wild animals. The Crime Lords know that we free human beings alive on this earth don’t care about these Laws, and so they offer up innumerable vast bins clearly and contemptuously marked with such legends as “squirrel mix” and “deer treats.” This, legally speaking, is equivalent to a pharmacist setting up prescription-less shelves cheerily offering such goodies as “Friday night coke” and “mushrooms for the masses.”
—There is still the hideous belching from the lube shop. Not today, though. For today is Sunday. And the lube shop is closed. It is the day of rest.
—Hunter Thompson once said: “when a man gives up drugs, he wants big fires in his life.” I don’t know about that, and anyway it’s April, and so here the season for big fires has passed. However, I have discovered that, here in my dotage, I require decorative switchplates in my life. I did not know that such things even existed, until a few weeks ago. And maybe they didn’t. ; 0 Now, though, I need them everywhere. They have become a Requirement. When you go into the tubes, you will find that there are creative men and women, all over the land, bringing art to switchplates. And they will send this art to you, if only you give them just a little Money. So this I am doing. Pictured here is the dragonfly switchplate I obtained and affixed by the front door of the Manor. It is beyond godly.
—I have been here a year now, and still the ants continue their ceaseless march to and from the attic. There have been days when they’ve been sluggish, and days when they’ve moved but in ones and twos, but never has the march ceased entirely. They are like a perpetual motion machine. I still have no idea what they’re doing up there. But because there has never once been a single ant actually inside the Manor, I stick still to the agreement, set forth in the link above, that they be permitted to go their own way, without any snooping from mine.