Somehow two months has elapsed since the last post. I wish I knew how that happened. Actually, there are a lot of things I’ve been wishing for lately and I feel like I should share them. This is actually a great tactic when you have a bunch of random things that have cropped up and you happen to be writing a post but don’t have an overarching theme to write about. I feel like overarching themes are also overrated anyway. So let’s get started.
One of the things I wish I’d known sooner is when to use “a while” and when to use “awhile”.
I’m going to take a gamble here and assume that most people want to know this information because otherwise why would I continue the post? But we all have to find something to cling to, to give us hope.
Use “a while” as a substitute if you happen to be writing a sentence that refers to a period of time such as: “I’ll get up in five minutes Mom. Stow the cardioversion paddles, would you?” Instead you could say, “I’ll get up in a while Mom. Stow the cardioversion paddles, would you?”
Clear? No pun intended.
“Awhile” is an adverb. Use it to qualify a verb. Here’s an example: “He had been sleeping awhile when his mother came in and out of sheer desperation, cardioverted him to try to wake him up.”
Clearly, there’s a difference between awhile and a while. No pun intended.
This blog is actually looking pretty promising so far because I have a fairly long list of things I’ve been wishing for and I might end up having to break this post into two closely-spaced parts to cover them all, thereby compensating for missing a post last month.
I wish that one of my old High School friends, “Harris” (not his real name) could keep better track of his clothes. He came for a visit a few weeks ago and after he left, he called me three times over the next few days. He was calling to know if he had left behind various items of clothing. These items were: his favorite headgear, a sort of knitted gnome-cap which I didn’t think was all that impressive but “not my circus, not my monkey” as the saying goes, his favorite vest which again, didn’t get top marks in my book and lastly, his favorite North Face wind shell which I thought was actually fairly righteous.
Turns out “Harris” had, in fact, left all three items of apparel at my house. The watchcap/toque/gnome-cap was under a pillow on the sofa. I have no idea how it got there. The other two items were hanging on the front hall coat rack. “Harris” was relieved but also surprised that he had somehow managed not to drive home in the nude. I was relieved that he had somehow not managed to make off with Sarge’s new raincoat and possibly one or more of my Converse sneakers.
I was tempted to keep the North Face shell but I returned all of the gear, including the gnome-cap, via our mutual High School friend and “Harris’s” personal clothing organizer whom I’ll call “Taylor” (not his real name either). In case you were wondering, none of us who hung out together in High School ever referred to each other using our first names. We’re still not doing it. Old habits die hard, I guess.
All this clothing-associated monkey business opened an old wound for me. Back in 2017 I had an issue involving my Converse. (Not the same Converse mentioned above.) “Harris”, “Taylor”, somebody I’ll call “Quinker” (not his real name) and I had gotten together for the weekend and not long after that I noticed that one of my Converse had suddenly changed color. Closer inspection revealed that it wasn’t even made in the same country as its running mate. No pun intended. And I swear I’m not making this up.
I suspected that “Harris” had absentmindedly swapped one of his Converse for mine but he denied everything and the case went cold. Now with this latest development, I feel like I might have to reopen it.
Speaking of reopening an old wound, I wish I hadn’t watched this new NetFlix animal documentary, cataloguing various animal “superpowers” including empathy, infrared sensing, navigating by magnetic fields, gourmet cooking, and conversing by means of record-and-play pushbuttons. One of the featured animals was Bunny The Sheepadoodle, up to her old tricks again, expressing her undying love for Alexis, her human Mom, and also inquiring if she (Bunny) could have some peanut butter toast. Actually, I’m lying about the peanut butter toast but the bottom line is that Bunny basically has never shut up since she learned how to use her buttons.
Sarge, on the other hand, has remained abysmally mute since his brief foray into assistive speech devices last Fall. He was off to a pretty good start but I made the fatal mistake of dicking with the buttons and moving them around. Since then, and despite my daily, faithful modeling of the behavior, pressing the “Eat”, “Go outside”, and “Finish homework” buttons at the appropriate times, Sarge continues to stare uncomprehendingly at them like he’s never seen them before, ever, in his entire life.
But! I remain optimistic. It’s that hope thing again. Sarge is now 11 months old, firmly in teenagerhood and rumor has it that teenage Berners enter a period of transient global amnesia in which they temporarily forget absolutely everything they’ve learned except how to beg for food.
Moving right along, I wish I knew exactly how two men became trapped in a tank of powdered chocolate at the Mars Wrigley plant in Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania. Details are scanty. Apparently the men were doing maintenance work on the tank and somehow found themselves inside it, waist deep in dry chocolate powder and unable to get out. Rescuers had to cut a hole in the bottom of the tank to fetch them.
Nobody’s talking and I’m puzzled. Is it just me? If they fell into the tank, that implies there was at least a man-sized opening at the top, like a hatch on a submarine, possibly. How did both of them fall through the hatch? Were they up there, like, Greco-Roman wrestling? Were they covered in olive oil and somehow accidentally slithered into the tank? How did they get up there in the first place? By ladder? Stairs? If so, why couldn’t rescuers have just gone up the same way, dropped harnesses down into the tank and winched the prisoners back out, oily or not? Why the heck did the rescuers have to cut a hole through what was undoubtedly stainless steel, to get at them? That’s no picnic. So many unanswered questions here…
I wish I knew why my wife and I showed up a week early for a barbecue we went to this past Sunday. We were somehow convinced that it was for the previous Sunday although we wondered why it was being held on Father’s Day. Nevertheless, we forged ahead, rushed around to get ready, got to the house thirty minutes late and found there were no cars in sight. I was all for knocking on the door anyway but we consulted the invite one last time to discover that we were 168.5 hours early. Could have been worse, I guess. At least we were in the right month.
The last thing I wish is that I could somehow bring myself to wear long pants when I trim the edges of my lawn or else install the guard that comes with the string trimmer. Three years ago, I did this whilst edging the lawn:
It wasn’t a total loss though because I was able to make a fairly accurate estimate of the RPMs for the rotating trimmer head based on the number of lacerations and an assumption about my reaction time.
A week or so ago I did this with a newer, smaller trimmer:
I only incurred one laceration this time around (no pun intended) but that made sense because the whirring of the trimmer was lower in pitch so I knew that the RPMs were lower and I had lots of time to move my leg.
Speaking of time, I probably have too much of it on my hands and I probably should put the guard on this new trimmer. But like I said, old habits die hard.
Anyway, I gotta go. I feel like I need to take a quick look at the labels on my Converse.