If I was indolent over the weekend in my bloggage, I have an excuse: Our street had a block party. What a great end-of-summer idea — throw up barricades at the end of the street and drag some tables and barbecue grills out there instead. The kids get the primal thrill of riding their bikes all over the street and we get a similar charge out of sitting in a lawn chair eating a hamburger. The thing started at noon and broke up at 8 p.m. I came and went several times, even pausing for a nap for 90 minutes or so.
Yes, it was a potluck. “What are you bringing?” Alan asked.
“I thought I’d bring my beet sal–”
“WHY DON’T YOU JUST BRING KIPPERED HERRING?” Alan exploded. “I MEAN, FOR GOD’S SAKE.”
If he had heard me out, he’d have heard the whole plan — Waldorf salad for the rank and file, beet salad for the brave. Both were eaten to the last scrap. Revenge!
Because it was a neighborhood party and the policing is community-oriented, an officer dropped by, with his drug-sniffing dog. The kids were thrilled, especially when the dog peed on command, which is evidently something you have to teach a dog that spends most of its day riding around in the back seat.
The dog detected no illegal drugs at our party, although he seemed intent on the hamburgers.
Called Carolyn today, after I heard that Hurricane Jeanne took much the same path as Frances, which hit them pretty hard. She was, as usual, at work. No rest for the weary during a four-hurricane month, at least not for a weary Florida journalist. She told me funny stories about watching the network-news bigfeet take turns wading into a huge puddle to do their live stand-ups. My favorite, though, was the part about sleeping on a cot in her office, watching the storm rage outside the window: “There’s this green lightning, and at some point all you can do is just sit in awe and watch it.”
That’s the best part of journalism — the sitting-in-awe part.
Carolyn’s house is fine and they got their power back pretty quickly this time. And her paper’s website is getting a zillion hits a day.