More people than all those that died in the the Vietnam war have died as a result of this typhoon. I was thinking about that today as I was in line buying cat litter at Costco. The lines were ridiculously long, and one woman “excused me” past my cart and met her husband at the front of the line next to me with a couple last-minute items. As she pushed her cart between the two lines and unloaded her items onto the conveyor belt, an old man in a long coat and hat with a feather began to rumble. His voice was deep, gravelly, and surprisingly powerful given his age – I remember thinking it actually reminded me a lot of my own grandfather’s voice.
“Hey,” he bellowed, “What’s all this crowding at the front of the line?!” “Why does she get to go in front of all us?” The woman’s husband turned and said, “She’s my wife sir,” at the same time the woman was saying, “He’s my husband, we’re one family.” The old man kept hollering about “cutting in line” and “we’ll all be here for god-damned ever if they let everyone cut.” Finally, the woman’s husband turned in line and said, simply, “Merry Christmas, sir.” It was the perfect response to the situation, and it made me smile. The old man was furious, cursing and shaking his head, but he managed a more sheepish than powerful, “Happy New Year,” as an attempt at an equally witty response.
Prior to the exchange, I had been thinking about the typhoon… and the more than one-hundred thousand people that died. It just struck me how mad this old man was because the lines at the local warehouse food-store aplenty are too long and he’ll have to wait 10min to spend his money on gallon jugs of liquor, fresh-ground gourmet coffee, and 3lbs bags of luncheon meat. Not that I’m on the next Red Cross plane to Phuket to help with the relief efforts or anything, but hey anyone can talk big on the internet.
Last night it was rainy and windy in Northern California. I turned in around 1am, and listening to the wind blow the rain against the windows… I imagined I was on ship at sea. In the old times, mind you. Y’know… some kind of “galleon” or end-of-Goonies-lookin’ pirate ship. Perhaps under sail in the dark of night… headed towards some island to trade silk for molasses, or gold for salt, or something. Maybe running rum from the East Indies to the colonists who aren’t to prudent to party, or skirting the shoals of Southern Africa en-route to a spice dealer in India.
I didn’t write yesterday because I was at Anthony’s doing an all-day Lord of the Rings marathon. While I know it’s extremely D&D nerdy, we queued up all three extended edition DVD sets, which, at two discs and several hours each, put us firmly entrenched in the world of Middle Earth for eleven hours. We came up for air every three hours or something (and by air, I mean pizza), but other than that it was a solid loaf-a-thon. A good way to waste a day of vacation, and since it was raining I didn’t miss out on working in the yard (which was the real goal of this week off).