Wednesday, April 16, 2008

The Luthier

After the tragedy, the luthier gently glided into town with enough wood for 33 guitars. Looking around and seeing that no one wanted a guitar after the tragedy, the luthier, enjoying the sun and the brisk breezes the town offered, strolled to the park, across the street from the school, and pulled out his sketchbook. He drew up some plans. They looked like this:


The luthier decided his unused guitar materials would better serve the children of the town. While everyone was at the funerals or pitching in for the clean up effort or discussing preventative measures to avoid another tragedy, the luthier set to work. The adults looked at him with scorn for not being in attendance at one of the funerals, or pitching in for the clean up effort or coming up with preventative strategies. But what were they doing with their scornful looks? What was the good in that?

It looked like a skate board ramp but it wasn't. When the kids found out it wasn't going to be a skateboard ramp - they found out by walking up to the luthier and asking: "Hey. Are you building a skate ramp?" Luthier: "No." - the children looked upon the luthier with scorn. School had been called off indefinitely in the wake of the tragedy and when you're a kid, if you're not in school, you're either skating on a skate ramp or looking on scornfully waiting for one to appear. And that's OK, kids.

The luthier painted it in graduated shades of blue from a deep cobalt at the top to a light robin's egg near the bottom and then slowly, slowly into white. He painted one black stripe at the bottom. It did include a third dimension, not illustrated in the plan, but no one was for sure how deep the luthier went with that dimension. 33 guitars deep, I suppose.

The luthier finished and promptly left town. He headed for the city to hear some blues at a blues club he knew where his cousin was the chef d'hotel.

It was quite pretty. And slowly, because it still kind of looked like a skate ramp, the children approached it. They sat in its bottom. They said nothing to each other for hours on end. Eventually, school started back up, but the kids would all end up there after school, just sitting and being quiet and thinking. Or not thinking. It was nice. It was a dream.

One of the mothers of the tragedy could be found sitting there most mornings, while the kids were taking their lessons. The squirrels kind of liked it too, but couldn't manage to climb its sides. That was funny to watch.

But eventually, the kids realized it wasn't their dream, it was someone else's, someone strange. Before school let out for summer, two weeks later to make up for the time lost to the tragedy, the kids had kicked it down and used the wood to build a small skate ramp that they quickly lost interest in by mid-July.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Best Teacher of USA!

Best Teacher of USA!

What a great group! But back to Graz where they will lift weights and practice their English so that one day, they, too, may be Governor of California.

So, would this certificate, with its grammar mistakes, be a white elephant, a trojan horse or a pyrrhic victory? Or is there a better word for such a well-intentioned gesture?

Friday, April 4, 2008



No football. No handball. No badminton. No yard darts. No lawn bowling. No archery, croquet or cricket. No jacks, craps or nine ball. No golfing, dog-walking or court jestering. No tomfoolery. No birdwatching. No regarding this grass with disdain. No running. No coveting the patch of grass. No imagining a freedom picnic taking place here - past, present, OR future. You may, however, light up a fag and drink a Carlsberg Special Brew out of a brown paper sack. That's just bloody well fine, now, innit?