Forget that stuff I said last week about foreseeing my death on a bicycle. I saw it for real today — the Grim Reaper will be at the wheel of a late-model SUV, talking on a cell phone.
Two close-ish calls yesterday — at freeway speeds! aiiieeeee!!! — and another today, although today’s would have been merely a fender-bender, caused by a guy coming up in my rear-view mirror who was both talking on the phone and READING SOMETHING he had spread across the steering wheel. He looked up just in time, chirped his tires a little in stopping, then cut across three lanes of traffic to make a U-turn.
So much for evolution.
And just for a jarring transition, how’s this: Yesterday we went rug-shopping. Didn’t buy anything — it was strictly reconnaissance for a down-the-road purchase. But we wandered into one place, and I immediately saw the rug of my dreams. One look told me I couldn’t afford it, but I could certainly appreciate it in the store. Its lines were so delicate they seemed to have been drawn with a Rapidograph, and one pass of the hand over its surface gave the telltale feel of ahhh, silk.
That is one beautiful rug, I thought, drinking in its detail and explaining its excellence to Kate (who couldn’t have been more bored). Time to check the price tag. I was guessing somewhere in the $12,000 range.
No. Thirty-nine thousand dollars.
Now, I know there are many rich people in the world, for whom $39,000 is the equivalent, in our household, of maybe $500. And I know that a $39,000 silk Persian rug costs that much in part because it’s durable, and woven to be an heirloom for generations. But even if I had their money, I still would spend my days fretting. “I hope the dog isn’t throwing up on my $39,000 rug,” I’d think. (Hell, he’d better not even walk on it.) I’d ban shoes and offer foot-washing supplies at my front door. I’d stop serving red wine. I’d put down those little plastic runners beloved by ethnic grandmas all over the U.S. This magnificent piece of art could actually make my house look worse. It would call attention to itself in all the worst ways.
That’s the test, then — not whether you can afford it, but whether you can afford to use it. I happily — relievedly — fall short.
It’s a tough town: DETROIT — School safety worries resurfaced dramatically Thursday when two students were stabbed in the chest during a fight with another student’s mother outside one of the district’s most prestigious schools, school officials said. I’m sure she had her reasons.
Shelley Winters, a woman after my own heart:
Tough-talking and oozing sex appeal, Ms. Winters was blowzy, vulgar and often pathetically vulnerable in her early films. … Even when she became the dominating force in many of her later movies, Ms. Winters often played vulnerable monsters. …Shrieking, shrewish, slutty or silly, Ms. Winters always seemed larger than life on screen. …Off screen Ms. Winters lived with an equal gusto… With a hearty appetite for food and men, she was not hesitant about naming the actors with whom she had shared a bed…
All the good ones are dying, eh?