Showing posts with label Eating a chair. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Eating a chair. Show all posts

Monday, August 14, 2023

Under the Maple Tree

Ah, good conversation — there's nothing like it, is there? The air of ideas is the only air worth breathing."-- "The Age of Innocence" by Edith Wharton "



The protagonist of The Age of Innocence,  Newland Archer, addresses his feelings about the shallow and often misguided world in which he lives. Here he praises the collaborative power of the mind, suggesting that it is in conversation with one another that we discover our best ideas.


After I completed my memoir, now titled Come On, I Dare You (to write your own), I came out the other side feeling happy. And with that, the idea of another blog gave me a thump.


While it appears that most conversation turns to the dismal, the depressing, and what's wrong with the world, what if we had a safe place to go, to sit under the tree in my backyard while sipping coffee, tea, or wine, we talk of good things, not bad, of Spirituality not sad?


So, what's it with you?


As we sit under the tree, we can first go around the group and tell how our lives have been this week, and let's insist that it's a two-minute gripe. (Write out your gripe below, it will make you feel better.)


My gripe of the week is AI and cloning, and now they are altering faces and putting words in people's mouths that they never spoke. Computer programs can do that. Now, we must work hard to discern what's real and what's not. If I find out I'm a clone I will be livid, they could at least set me back to where my body worked better.

That's my two minutes. See, it didn't even take that long.  


But, notice how we want to continue with the computer program gripe and wring it a bit more. It's hard to switch, isn't it?


After a while, we might start laughing at all the wrongness we can come up with. And then we might be anxious to speak of things that make us laugh or motivate us to new heights. We may be into something creative we want to share, a new thought on an old subject, something inspiring. a positive think tank of sorts. 


While writing my memoir/adventure, travel special interest story, I began looking to the positive and read Robert Fulgrums* story about two college boys who were eating a chair. 


At that writing, the boys had consumed a rung, two legs, and a back piece. They had been rasping off fine particles and sprinkling them on their granola and salads. Their professor told them to do something they had never done and to write about it. 


In that vein, I asked a lady at the grocery store if anything funny happened that day. She thought a minute and said, "No, not today, but yesterday a lady came into the store with no pants on. Will that work as funny?"


I laughed and told her she made my day.


Come on over and sit a spell.




Add to the conversation and add a gripe, a funny or profundity in the comment section. 





*What On Earth Have I Done? By Robert Fulghum


Monday, May 22, 2023

The Best Story I've Read All Week

A few days ago, I pulled Robert Fulgum’s book, What in the World Have I Done, from my cupboard bookshelf, and read the best story I have read all week.  


Fulghum is the author of Everything I Needed to Know I Learned in Kindergarten. (1988) His book stayed on the best-seller list for two years. 


In his What in The World book, he told the best story I have heard all week. 


He had offered two college boys on his street a ride to work. He asked what they were doing besides school and work.


“We’re eating a chair.” 




A chair! They were eating a chair. The college professor had given them an assignment to do something unusual, something they had never done before, and to write about it. 


“This is going to fry the professor.”


They bought an unfinished chair and, so far, eaten the back and one of the rungs.


Every day they shave off a fine dusting of wood and add it to their morning granola. At night they sprinkle some on their salad. They asked a doctor if it was dangerous, and no, it wasn’t in small doses. They may not get it all eaten by the theme due date, so they have asked if others would help them and found a willing bunch.


To further carry on the conversation, Fulghum asked what else they were doing.


Well, they have been running around the lake each morning to keep in shape. However, they were tired of running in circles and decided to see how far they would go if they ran in a straight line. They got a map of Washington (they live in Seattle) and were mapping out a route. When they almost reached Portland, Oregon, they decided it was boring and chose a European map. Now they are finding interesting things to do along their trail. And they are seeing that large tasks done in small doses can get the job done. 


Fulgrum stopped worrying about the younger generation.


Inspired by Fulghum’s wanderings, his speaking with people, and finding funny tales, I decided, last night as I set off for the grocery store that I would buy groceries and find something funny.


I asked the solemn-faced kid who checked out my groceries if anything funny had happened that day. Nope. Nothing funny.


So, I walked down to the live-wire lady with white hair and a limp, who was nearly always laughing and was manning the empty self-checkout line. I asked her if anything funny happened that day. “Not today,” she said, thinking, “but something happened yesterday.”


“What?” I asked.


“A lady came into the store with no pants on.”


“Really? Was she completely naked, or did she have underwear on?”


“I don’t know. We scanned the store but couldn’t find her. Does that story suffice?”


“Great. Thanks. You saved my day.” Thumbs up, I exited the store. 


Not that funny, but fun.