Monday, February 27, 2017

Writing feverishly

When a really terrible viral infection started killing off millions of people in 1918, Europe was still having what we call the First World War (they called it the Only World War). To keep up wartime morale, newspapers in countries like Germany and England didn’t report on the deadly epidemic. But Spain was neutral, and those death tolls were made public earlier. So that’s why it got called Spanish Influenza, though it actually may have come from Kansas. Graham crackers also come from Kansas, and are sometimes given along with lukewarm tea to people who have the flu. Coincidence? Perhaps.

Monday, February 6, 2017

My golden hour

I like going to Walmart, because that’s where America is. One time I was in the Walmart in Lewisburg, West Virginia, and a little girl said, “Come on, Daddy, the shoes are over yonder,” and he said, “Alright.” Bet nobody says yonder at Nordstrom. Yesterday I rode to the one on Tchoupitoulas and we were all cheerfully bumping into each other and saying excuse me and I got 11 dollar pants and a cellophane package of Israeli tea biscuits. The package fit nicely in my shirt pocket, so I rode my bicycle home at dusk, eating cookies all the way.