Culture vulture

Photo By I. Daphne St. Brie

The days go marching 1x1
Standing here watching the lights change at the intersection of Nothingness and Eternity, Culture Vulture takes a deep, sighing breath through an oversized schnoz and reflects on the beauties of early autumn. There are a few overanxious maple leaves collecting on the patio. Mostly, thanks to the immutable laws of gravitational and meteorological improbability, in my dogs’ food bowls.

For some reason, I find that amusing. So much nicer than the slugs that find their way into those same bowls during the moist spring months.

Even if you can pick one up, it’s not that much fun to dangle a slug in front of your dog’s face and ask in an absurdly affected cartoon voice, “Where’d this guy come from, Sammo? You invite a friend over for dinner? Hmmm? Sharin’ the wealth? You a big commie now, Sam? Hmmm?” But it’s the work of a non-slimy-fingered instant to pluck a maple leaf from a dog bowl and twiddle it by its stem in front of an inquisitive dog nose while waxing interrogative in the same absurd voice, “Oh! Stella’s turning vegetarian? Got a little salad goin', sweetie? Falls right out of the sky into your bowl? That’s a pretty good deal huh?” The potential paths for interspecies improvisational comedy are, perhaps, a tad more limited, but the fact that you can discard your prop without a pang of conscience or the necessity of scrubbing slug slime off your fingers makes the leaf gag a lot more appealing.

The dogs, it must be conceded, are equally appreciative of either strain of jokesterism, especially if the encounter’s denouement includes the arrival in their bowls of some actual fresh, untainted by slug or leaf, dog food. And, of course, a hearty pat on the head and a breathily whispered “What a good doggie.”

None of which, be it ever so pleasant, moves us one iota closer to the ostensible, or at least originally intended, goal of this column, which, if the mental gears had meshed as anticipated when I sat down to write it, would have already arrived at and begun discussing, or imparting, Culture Vulture’s reflections on the significance of another early autumn day exactly four years previous to the one on which I find myself writing this column.

On that Sept. 11, Culture Vulture, along with most of the other citizens of these good old United States was made cognizant of the extent to which our seemingly sheltered and charmed lives had become the focus of hatred for people in places we knew next-to-nothing about. People who were willing to sacrifice their own lives to deliver a symbolic bullet to the head of our military industrial complex by flying passenger jets loaded with innocent people and tons of fuel into the World Trade Center, The Pentagon and, presumably, the White House.

Despite the originality and desperation of the act, the world has not been perceivably improved and very little altered, in the years since that event. Good, well-intentioned people continue to perform good, well-intentioned works. Violent people continue to perpetuate violence. The vast majority of human beings—who simply want to live out their lives working decent jobs, enjoying their families and friends and a few creature comforts—continue their pursuit of contentment.

And Culture Vulture will persist in goofing with the dogs.