The stars belong to everyone, they shine there for you and me.
The flowers in spring, the robins that sing, the sunbeams that shine, they're yours, they're mine."
"Old song. Bing Crosby sang it."
I sighed. I tried. "An old proverb?"
"A pithy saying. A general truth. A piece of advice. Think: saying, axiom, adage, precept, word of wisdom."
"Socialistic crap. Very un-American. We buy our way to happiness. The more stuff we have, the more money we have, the happier we are."
"And, more important, the healthier we are."
"A healthy economy is a happy economy. A happy economy is a healthy people. Everybody knows that. Spend your way to prosperity. Kennedy said that. Good advice. I'm headed out to buy an iPod."
"An electronic gizmo. The latest. For playing and storing digital audio and video files. You stick it in your ear. Ever done that?"
"Stick it where?"
"You can watch movies, hear music, walk around."
"...and chew gum at the same time?"
"I think that was Lyndon Johnson. Yes, it was. 'He's so dumb he can't walk and chew gum at the same time.' He said it about Gerald Ford. Goodness knows what he'd have said about George Bush."
"You're so smart. When?"
"How in the hell did we get here?"
"Well, I had six honest serving men..."
" Not so nuts. I always loved Rudyard Kipling. Did you read The Jungle Book?"
"No but I saw the movie in 1974. Walt Disney. Wasn't he the greatest? Rich, I tell you. Had his body cryogenically frozen. Now that's class."
"No, he didn't. Died of lung cancer, though, and contributed to anti-communist hysteria. Big time."
"Smart man. I'll bet he wouldn't claim the best things in life are free."
"So what else is new?"
"Here we go again."
Unfortunately we were seated in the same car. Front seat. I drove. There was no escaping this moron. "Where are you headed? I mean after we get to town and go our separate ways."
"Why do you ask?"
I felt like responding, 'so I'll be sure and go in the opposite direction', but I was polite. "I'm just making conversation." I still had three honest serving men left to help me out of this miserable quandary.
"I keep six honest serving men, they taught me all I knew. Their names are What and Why and When and How and Where and Who."
"Servants? You got six servants named Where and Who and...?
I named those left.
" When iPods came along, they vanished down the memory hole."
"The memory hole?"
" Orwell. 1984. An incinerator that destroys inconvenient truths. Al Gore was correct, too. We rewrite history to suit the party line. Truth vanishes. Poof."
"You're weird and you're gonna get in trouble."
"No doubt. How is the hammer."
I hummed. Journeys end. We parted.
|Bettejo a few years back playing checkers|
with her nephew...