Riddley Walker

Words in the air pirnt foot steps on the grown for us to put our feet into.–p. 121

I finally finished Riddley Walker and so I thought I’d write about it while it’s fresh in my mind, instead of packing or doing dishes or laundry or anything more pressing.

Walker is set in a post-apocalyptic future, where the human race has been bombed back into the stone age and laws and theology are communicated via puppet show.

The titular character inherits the role of making the connections between the puppet show and what’s going on in the community.

The plot is fine and interesting, but the language, a kind of broken pidgin English, is so beautiful it makes you want to read the book out loud and the hints of spirituality are fascinating.

I recognized a lot of stuff from germanic beliefs and I imagine someone more steeped in Celtic beliefs would find other resonances.

Of course, my favorite character was the Tell Woman, who seemed responsible for reading signs and omens and helping to keep the luck of the community going.  I don’t have to tell you how old that idea is, but it was treat to see that that’s one of the things that survived or came back.

There’s also a sense in the book of the almost magical power of words and the importance of myths and stories in our efforts to understand something deeper about our own experiences.

I can’t believe I hadn’t ever heard of this before, but I liked it.

There Can Be Only One

I went over to see the Wee Highlander at lunch and he’s amazingly cute, which you can tell if you get drunk and squint at this picture.  He stuck his tongue out at me a couple of times, which makes me suspicious that his dad might have already had a little heart-to-heart talk with him about me.  Roger Abramson was there, as well.  That’s his lovely shirt and tie in the picture.

Mrs. Sarcastro looked fantastic and is in good spirits and is just as proud as can be.

Wee Highlander

The Wee Highlander and Other Men Who Make Me Tear Up

1.  Not many folks can run around saying, “I’m Connor MacLeod of the Clan MacLeod,” but there will come a day when Baby Sarcastro can (if he goes by his grandpa’s last name).  I hope to see his dad’s face when Exador buys him his first sword.

I also hope to get over to the hospital today to lay eyes on the wee Highlander.

2.  A man reading poetry is like a man in a good suit; if y’all had any idea what that did to those of us sexually attracted to you, you’d run around in suits with Bukowski in one pocket.

3.  Jebbo, your post ripped my heart out, took it for a walk around the block where it showed it tiny baby puppies who gave it tiny baby puppy kisses, and then returned it to me.  And that was before the part where you mentioned me.

4.  Yesterday, Mack said to me, “I like your voice, I like your face,” which tickled me but it got me to thinking that he’s not the first person to mention liking my voice, which means that, perhaps, I am closer to realizing a career in the phone sex industry than I give myself credit for.

5.  Smiley, are we going to lunch or what?

I’ve Got a Tiny Hippo In My Bed


I totally want Beck to come out with a song called “Tiny Hippo,” the chorus of which would go, “I’ve got a tiny hippo in my bed” so that I could sing that to Mrs. Wigglebottom every morning.

It’s hard to look all fierce and scary when you’re walking around the neighborhood in the morning when someone has to stop and graze right on the side of the busiest street.

Who’s afraid of herbivores?  No one.  Even hippos, which Mrs. Wigglebottom resembles and which are actually dangerous, are hard to get worked up over.

In other news, my cell phone camera is crappy, but crappy in a way that really pisses me off, because, if I were any sort of artist, I would be able to use that crappiness to my advantage and take such awesome photos that y’all would lay in bed thinking, “God, that Aunt B., I wish I had her phone.”