Saturday, May 19, 2007

My New Happy Thought

Sometimes you just need a new (or a few extra) happy thoughts.

Recently I've been glum.

Japanese news reads something like this:

A kid shows up at a police box with a black bag and says he just killed his mother and her head is in the bag (he wasn't kidding). He cut off her arm, painted it white and buried it in a planter as well.

Some kids decide they are going to beat a girl, cut her hair and then chop off her finger and put it in their curry.

Two young parents have the bright idea to go to the pachinko parlor on their scooter. Their one-year old has nowhere to sit so they stuff him into the helmet section of the bike. They check on him after their bout of pachinko playing, lo and behold he's dead. They've been doing this often, it seems.

A pretty English teacher ends up cut into pieces and buried in a bunch of dirt in a bathtub. The police come and knock on the murder's door, he answers, and somehow escapes. They still haven't found him.

I won't go on. I could. Like the pieces of body that were discovered floating around my father-in-law's fishing spot awhile back.

Cho goes nuts and everyone here clucks their tongues at America's Gun Society.

Like I said, I'm fairly blue.

So I was looking for anything happy, anything to make me smile when J came in yesterday and said, Mom you gotta go outside! You should see all the bats!

We've always had bats here, but I'm usually inside at dusk when they do their dizzy, bug eating thang. I really, really like bats, despite their diseases and neck biting and nest-in-hair making tendencies.

When I was little they were my most hated of animals. I was convinced (or had been convinced) that they'd land in your hair and make a sticky nest that you could never get out. I also thought that airplanes and helicopters would shoot you down if you didn't have a hood on your parka. We lived on an Air Force base in Alaska. The older kids were assholes.

In enclosed spaces bats aren't so swell -- I've had my brush with that -- but, bats are cool.

So I sat out their on the hood of my car relaxing and communing with dozens of crazy flying rodents. I also tried to take their pictures. Have you ever tried to take a picture of a bat? Those suckers are not only fast, but they don't fly anywhere where you think they are going to fly. In this picture there are five bats. Well, there's supposed to be.

My new happy thought: Bats.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

The Problem with Me

I'm walking the dog. We get to the school. There is a small river that runs by the school. In it live ducks and carp and great white crane-like birds. I like this river. Every morning I make it a point to stand on the bridge and say hello to the ducks and the carp and the great white crane-like birds. I do so this morning.

I notice some teenager on a scooter parked up a ways but right next to the river. He is wearing a helmet and is furiously smoking a cigarette. I walk towards him knowing full well what he is going to do. My evil eye is building in intensity. And he does it. He flicks the cigarette into the water. I crack. I say, "ASSHOLE!" directly to him. And then an uneasy feeling comes over me.

He starts his scooter and rides down the bank towards me, towards me...

That is when it becomes clear. About the time he grumbles "Good morning" in my direction as he is one of my son's teachers.


And not just any teacher but the one who while strict has always been so kind to me even when others have not.