Nuggets of Nonsense: Troisième Part

  • My sojourn in Quebec was a wonderful experience but hard to explain in words. I suppose that’s the difference between a vacation trip and a pilgrimage: ineffable souvenirs.


  • I want to learn French better. So many French-speakers approached me – evidently I look like I belong to them – and many knew no English. Yet despite the language barrier, they were so kind and pleasant. One elderly lady wanted to show me that there were better souvenirs than the one I was holding; she pantomimed and even moved her hands like runway guidance torches to show me the way. This desire to learn French was sorely lacking after I returned from Paris – but such is the power of the Quebequois and the Haitians!


  • A good traveling companion is the difference between a good trip with inconveniences and a penitential journey with bright spots. My roommate had the same sense of humor and similar interests. The humor was especially important when we awoke at 2 am to the drunken singing of a young woman in the alley below our window (no AC in the dormitory, either).


  • Music really is the universal language. Notre Dame du-Lac featured a series of musicians and singers on the feast of the Assumption. One of our party was dancing in her wheelchair while listening to a Gospel choir from NYC. The Haitian choir waiting their turn saw her roll past, clapped for her, and started seat-dancing with her. Joyeux!


  • I didn’t miss social media or radio. Everyone’s main concern was weather reports and an up-to-date itinerary (particularly supper time!). But a baseball fan asked me to text my younger brother a single important question: Did the Cubs win? (No, they did not.)


  • Several things changed while I was away – the temperature and the gas prices rose – but the grass scarcely grew at all.

  • Spiders took over La Casa de Tontería.  Baseboards, ceilings, vents – I took them back from arachnid invaders!


  • Some teenaged boys – a little husky-voiced for the Middle School Mafia – have taken to shrieking and death growling in the neighboring street. Perhaps they’re wearing headphones and are therefore unaware that they stink at  metalcore. Or maybe they’re just jerks. Their voices carry quite a distance.


  • I wish my garden hose were longer. Sometimes I also want a paintball gun.


  • The morning after my return, I started preparations for work at the Young Human Factory. Technically this is my last “free” week, but another colleague will be sharing my room. The drop in shipments of young humans has led to a consolidation of buildings.


  • Yesterday a friend I haven’t seen in TWO YEARS stopped by. When last we met, he had been considering moving out of state. His sudden silence from social media and his disappearance from local haunts had me convinced that he’d made some drastic change. Fortunately, he hadn’t joined a cult or anything. He just went to back to university and now is gainfully employed as a radiology technician.


  • Today I went to one of our closed facilities in search of a small desk with drawers. The cast-offs were arranged by type in separate rooms. The experience was like entering a time-capsule. Here was a heavy wooden desk that might have served a Gale Gordon character.  An avocado ’70s monstrosity – with fake wood-grain top – sat in another corner. Atop it stood a flimsy-looking fiberboard one; the shiny socket-head cap screws were the only durable things about it. I’m guessing it was built in the Aughts.


  • This afternoon had an autumnal coolness, so I left the windows open. From the sounds floating in, a neighbor is using a chainsaw to deforest his property. Someone else is knocking down houses with a bulldozer and running them through a woodchipper. There was even someone wasting ammunition in the marsh. The neighborhood dogs protest these disturbances.


  • Just now someone just started honking the horn because he’s too lazy to get out and ring his girlfriend’s doorbell.


  • I want a tranquilizer gun. And a pony.