Thursday, March 24, 2011

Today at the Circus

Life generally is a circus, but today I actually attended a three ring event. Under the big top. Well, actually under the barn roof at the Fairgrounds. Each year I'm asked to go and narrate the circus for kids from the Columbus School for the Blind-they listen on headsets. Some have parital sight-some have profound disabilities. All enjoy the day out. This is made possible by a group of Bell System retirees. I get a free trip to the circus and I get to spend the morning with scads of little kids. It's a circus in more way than one, and it's a joy. The challenge is to keep the banter up for the non sighted kids. And how many variants can you use to describe the same beefy Russian woman in pink tights? Is an elephant always an elephant? Maybe, but you can describe what the pachyderms are doing-and with all those ACCIDENTS! Nobody was eating poop this year.I work hard to keep the kids engaged.

Today a young boy with partial sight sat in back of me. He wanted to be buddies and he certainly was chatty. He wanted badly to pet the animals, and told about his love for snakes. "I've touched them at the zoo!" Wow. Not me. In front me sat a 12 year old boy with profound disabilities. He couldn't sit still, wore diapers, didn't speak. His aid-a saintly, patient young woman-said to me, "I don't want to bother you, but he wants to sit on your lap." He does? The honor is mine and God knows there's room. He sat on my lap, which quieted him while I helped him eat lunch...and the show, lions, tigers and bears...and the beefy ladies and elderly pigs and horses...went on. A good way to spend a morning.

Monday, March 14, 2011


My mother would be 90 years old next week. Mass is being said for her at her church in Lexington, a church to which she was devoted and muy pissed when in my teenage rebellion I refused to go. It was a bit sad to call there and arrange this Mass and realize nobody is around who remembers her. She died in 1986.

Well, I remember of course. Herewith some of her best sayings:

Wearing her mumu, Bud Lite in hand: "What time is the 5 o'clock mass for crissakes"?

"Your poor father's sisters are lovely women. Could never live with them."

"No beer? There's no beer?! Get in the car an go over to your Uncle Jack's basement. He always keeps a stash...never mind breaking in , just do it!"

"I think its very nice your friends are gay. Young people should be happy."

"If the nuns are gonna walk around without the habit they may as well go to the damned hairdresser. They all look like men."

"Glory be to Peter!"

When as a five year old I asked why a nun never had a baby she replied, "Jesus Mary and Joseph! God love you...ask the pope!--the schools today are much too progressive..."

More to come!