January 13, 2009

Making a Crack, Taking a Dig, and Riding a Bike

Along the lines of pithy insults, I just came across this passage in Robertson Davies' excellent and odd novel, Fifth Business in which the narrator describes his childhood years and his best friend/nemesis, Percy:
…I had a turn for sarcastic remarks, which were known in our group as “good ones.” If I was pushed too far I might “get off a good one,” and as our community had a long memory, such dour witticisms would be remembered and quoted for years.

I had a good one ready for Percy if he ever gave me any trouble. I had heard his mother tell my mother that when he was a dear little fellow, just learning to talk, his best version of his [own] name, Percy Boyd, was Pidgy Boy-Boy, and she still called him that in moments of unbuttoned affection. I knew that I had but once to call him Pidgy Boy-Boy in the schoolyard and his goose would be cooked; probably suicide would be his only way out.
In totally unrelated news, the New York Times has a profile of bicycle advocate Earl Blumenauer. E. Blum has been our local representative since 1996, and after a dozen years of lobbying for sustainable transportation causes, it looks like his time may have come. (Translation: I really hope his time has come.)

These are excellent and odd times to live; the air is mixed with equal parts optimism and dread. (If we could just filter some pollutants out, we'd be getting somewhere.)

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