OCTOBER 20, 2008

Its been a quiet week on the Island, our hometown set here on the edge of the San Francisco Bay. What is called Indian Summer interrupted our forward march into the next Season, but despite the 80 degree days, there remained a chill in the shadows and all the dahlias by the Old Fence developed mold and decay, right on cue as squadrons of Canadian geese arrowed overhead. Tomatoes are still ripening on the vines and someone at Marlene and Andre's place on Otis put up a bright UFW flag in the middle of the jasmine there, which flaps gloriously in red and black when the evening breezes come around. Si se puede!

As of this weekend, the fogs rolled back in again to a symphony of foghorns and the evenings have returned to chilly enough for sweaters weather.

The drought continues, as EBMUD reminds all of us, so water rationing remains in place.

The preliminary reports coming back from the Front indicate that preparations for Saving Pvt Opus may have begun too late to rescue the noble bird from his fate. It seems a Ms. Hatchet serving as Security and Front Desk Operator at the Bloom County Animal Shelter misdirected our team, who asked to be admitted to the cell of a certain incarcerated, talking, somewhat Liberal, penguin with affinities to the political cartoon world.

This is whom they encountered.


Back to square one with Ms. Hatchet.

Once again after much trial and tribulation and more descriptives (no, no, no -- much cuter, harmless-looking, and a bit daffy) as well as the filling out of forms on the bench with Group W (see Guthrie, Arlo and Alice's Restaurant) the group was ushed to another holding cell with yet another inmate, manifestly penguin in breed and demeanor.


* * Sigh! * *

Let us not go into the debacle that ensued by the parallel effort to locate and rescue Bill the Cat, which involved some nasty business with an unsavory character known only as "Garfield".

Our official Dandelion Patch Preparer is left to sit back on his haunches while all his good work goes to waste. Still, on a bad day, or any day at all, its a fine thing to go whoompf! on your back in a decent dandelion patch. One with sincerity, as Mr. Schultz might add, were the august man alive today.

Over at Marlene and Andre's squat, all the folks gathered around for the famous Marlene Spaghetti Dinner, rendered famous in that food was available enough for all that came, for enough was an adverb seldom encountered during the past years of the Bush Interregnum.

This spaghetti was no normal spaghetti, for it included the last of the year's tomato crop, cuts of garden oregano, thyme, basil and wild onions, tattered remnants of peppers, plus the addition of "found garlic" and sauces collected from the back of the fridge.

It was a kind of blowout, for almost everybody felt that the time of the Pernicious Republican was due to end and the time of Common Sense would ensue.

Over twelve people now live in the two bedroom apartment rented under Marlene and Andre's name, a function of the landlord gouging and reasonable adaptation to such greed. No fool can afford the rents demanded under supposed "market rates", so everyone has sublet a portion of their space, some by virtue of time. You sleep here in the bunk 8 to 8 and I sleep there 9 to 6.

The enviable 24 hour spots are located in undesirable zones like under the coffee table and in the walkway. Location, location, location, is everything, as the Realtors constantly din our brains.

All over, retirement portfolios have dissolved under the bright light of reality and the scam thrust upon all of us. You, middle-class citizen, you who voted for the consummate idiot, The Confabulator Ronald Raygun, will learn to live like Occasional Quentin But that's okay. We all have lived like that for years and years. We know how. Now you must learn.

And so, the fogs roll in while Jake Blues spins the music. Distant fog horns announce the presence of ships far out in the Bay and the hours roll over into the new day. From far off comes, almost as a memento mori, the long ululation of the through-passing train as it winds its way through the dark and shuttered Jack London Waterfront.

That is just the way it is on the Island. Have a great week.