Blueberries for Sal.

This weekend’s cognitive dissonance moment came on Saturday, pedaling uphill in a light drizzle. My eyes lit first on the bumper sticker: A picture of a gas-pump handle and hose, and the proclamation, “Remove Bush’s feeding tube.” An unusual sight in GP, I’ll grant you, but then came the camera-pulls-back moment, in which I saw it was decorating the bumper of…anyone? Anyone?

A Cadillac Escalade. Combined MPG: Around 15.

I was home before it occurred to me the sticker may have been a prank, something young Nicholas’ “problem” friend Eric stuck on his dad’s SUV, in lieu of throwing a bucket of blood on it, because that would be, like, vandalism. The other day I rode the park bus — yes, we have one; another post — and sat in front of a quartet of teenagers, who boarded talking about, I swear, world events. I can’t tell you more, because the bus was noisy, but I distinctly heard “foreign aid,” “Tony Blair” and other phrases that seemed to indicate the kids had actually read a newspaper or newspaper-like product sometime in the recent past.

You don’t want to discourage any young person who’d rather talk about the London bombings than X-box games. When the young person seems to be a charter member of the Limbaugh Youth, though, you can be, er, conflicted:

First kid: It’s the federal spending that’s out of hand. Like, $75 million to promote the blueberry industry in Maine? Come on.

Second kid (sneering): Yeah, like Maine’s a great place to grow blueberries.

Adult sitting in front of them (thinking): It’s impossible for anyone to be this ignorant.

I considered asking our young deficit hawks when they were enlisting in the War on Terror, but figured, hey, it’s summer. Everybody needs to lighten up.

It finally happened. Saturday, the widely scattered thunderstorms that have been the only weather we’ve had for weeks and weeks finally scattered themselves our way. It rained buckets for about two hours, and I learned two things. One, we really should have cleaned the gutters before this; and two, this area has a combined-sewage overflow problem, at least to judge from the smell and color of the Milk River, which is the tributary to Lake St. Clair where our boat is floating. Things were marginally better by Sunday, when we went out for a very short sail in air so dead we were actually being besieged by flies, but we still came across not one but two floating condoms.

(I’m sure there’s a clever name for those, given that floating tampon applicators are known as “beach whistles.”)

And it did make this vessel’s name seem a bit less preposterous:


Today’s high: Ninety-freakin-five. This isn’t summer, it’s an affliction.

Bloggage: Oh my God, who knew? Ahem: New investigations by the Saudi Arabian government and an Israeli think tank — both of which painstakingly analyzed the backgrounds and motivations of hundreds of foreigners entering Iraq to fight the United States — have found that the vast majority of these foreign fighters are not former terrorists and became radicalized by the war itself.

Sometimes I wish I lived in Detroit, where the elections are never boring.

Less often, I wish I lived in the Bible Belt, so I could picket idiots like this. (I’d move back out as soon as the demonstration was over, though.)

Even less often, I wish it didn’t have to be hot for so long. Carry on.

Posted at 9:17 am in Uncategorized |

10 responses to “Blueberries for Sal.”

  1. joan said on July 18, 2005 at 9:26 am

    I grew up and Long Island and lived in Manhattan for a while…and we used to call condoms-as-flotsam “Coney Island whitefish.”

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  2. mary said on July 18, 2005 at 10:15 am


    Our variation was Hudson river whitefish.

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  3. Dorothy said on July 18, 2005 at 10:18 am

    Off subject, but I was sort of stunned to see one of the flying pictures on Nance’s Flickr link. “Could that be BILL CLINTON??!” I asked myself?! And surely it was! Zounds.

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  4. John said on July 18, 2005 at 10:35 am

    I grew up in Virginia and recall the term “white fish” as well. Although they were practically banned there prior to the ’70s.

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  5. mary said on July 18, 2005 at 11:41 am

    It’s not implausible that the kids who were talking about blueberries put the bumper sticker on the Escalade. I doubt if they would see what was wrong with it.

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  6. Claire said on July 18, 2005 at 12:51 pm

    Heh heh, the whitefish discussion above gives me pause as I think of a town on Lake Superior in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan called, Whitefish Point!

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  7. Mindy said on July 18, 2005 at 2:35 pm

    I recall the ridiculousness of an Indiana environmental license plate on a Ford Expedition mentioned in an old column once upon a time. And this was when gas was something like eighty-eight cents a gallon.

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  8. mary said on July 18, 2005 at 4:25 pm

    Off topic…

    Today’s Jeanette Walls gossip column talks about the similarity of celestial drops (Katherine Harris’s thing) and kabbalah water (Madonna’s thing) as well as giving a link to Mariah Carey showing her midriff with an airbrushed sixpack.

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  9. Michael G said on July 18, 2005 at 4:26 pm

    Not long ago I saw the following personalized license plate on a vintage Cadillac Convertable: “9 MPG”

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  10. alex said on July 18, 2005 at 5:51 pm

    My fave personalized plate? It had the handicapped (wheelchair) symbol on it. “BLIND” it said.

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