Dumping your Load

There is a time and place for everything, or so I’m told.

Imagine you’re sitting in your parlor having tea with the Ladies Historical Society of Cherokee County, when suddenly something putrid wafts your way. You can’t avoid the smell and you are fairly certain you aren’t the cause of it. Fairly certain. What do you do?

So far, the other ladies don’t seem to notice. Trapped in their heated discussion of the Battle of Harvey’s Well during the War of Northern Aggression, they keep flitting with nary a turned-up nose or look toward the window. But you KNOW something is amiss.

Do you have to wait for noses to hit the air and conversation to stop before you comment on the odor?  

Better yet, think about sitting on the front porch of your double-wide when you watch the action happen. I’m not talking about a bear in the woods or a vagrant ‘dropping the kids off at the pool’ in public. I’m talking about a truck dumping 350 – 1940 cubic feet of sewage down your avenue. (And it is stunning how readily available the average payload of a sewage truck is on Google.)

You can’t make this stuff up. 

Sometimes a blogger is stumbling in the dark looking for material for his weekly edition and sometimes it literally is dumped in his lap. Fortunately, not actually into my lap, but a county nearby – and I don’t even live in Florida! This happened last week about fifteen miles away and I can still smell the funny.

I noticed it on Twitter and thought, “Those poor buggers.” Then I realized it happened on roads I have travelled. I have tracked that highway. Skidded down that intersection. Of course, I was laughing so hard there were tears in my eyes! 

This tweet is comedic gold when you have the maturity of a seven-year-old. It begs for captioning. Here are my top so far:

  1. The last time I ate Mexican, I dumped my load in several locations too.
  2. “I told you Leon’s skid marks were legendary.”
  3. “With mud tracks like that, we’re gonna have to throw this pair out.”
  4. “Sir, we called Hazmat and they said they wouldn’t come because they’re sick of your $hit.”
  5. This one falls into the “you can’t make this crap up,” column.

Now that you’re giggling, I would like to turn this around as a teachable moment. Remember, if you drop your load on a public intersection, you might find it on Twitter… or somebody’s blog.

On Genre

In honor of World Book Day, I thought we could have a discussion on genre.

What’s your favorite genre? Do you switch around or stay put?

I’ve been reading so much over the past couple of years that I’ve meandered through several. I always have a tender spot for the classics – especially British literature, but I took a long detour through the science fiction/fantasy aisle that led me into some pretty fantastic worlds (GOT, WOT). I always enjoy a thriller/suspense novel that keeps me guessing and I’ve read some good modern lit lately. I also have a soft spot for guy humor (it’s a guilty pleasure but Tropper makes me laugh out loud.)

I love to read and now that I’m not knee deep in baby dolls and Barbies, I’ve discovered a thing called “time”. When the kids got their cars, it went from “Daddy’s Home!” excitement to “see you later, old man” in what feels like the blink of an eye. But I’m not complaining; I want them to be independent and get on with life. It’s good for them and leaves me time to read.

I listen to books on my commute, too. Do you consider that reading? I do, but some people are opinionated about it. I will always be partial to paper and there here have been a couple that I’ve stopped listening to because the language was so beautiful I wanted to see the printed word. The Goldfinch was one of those.

I stumbled across a title that intrigued me recently: They Both Die in the End. It was listed as YA – which isn’t typical for me. About a year ago a trusted friend recommended a YA book and one of my girls asked me how my vampire love book was coming along. To be precise, it was vampire-werewolf love and It wasn’t going well, either. I don’t understand love on the whole, nor do I want to read about it – especially across monster species.

Anyway, They Both Die in the End has a fantastic premise – there’s a company that knows the day you will die and as a service to you, they let you know early in the day. That way you can do whatever you need to do to make your end day count. We’re introduced to these two young men who both got the call. They are very different, but meet on the “Last Friend app” and spend their time together.

It was so well-written. The characters leapt off the page and the story: WOW! The takeaway is that we should all live every day like it’s our last – a lesson I have learned the hard way. Check out this line, “Every new minute we’re alive is a miracle.”

It is a great book – even with a little romance thrown in because it was handled so well that a guy who doesn’t like to read love stories (me) was okay with it. Anyway, it wasn’t until I was sharing the link to it with my book friend that I noticed on the details tab that it isn’t just YA, it was YA-LGBT – a genre I didn’t know existed. At the same time, I also realized the genre label didn’t matter all that much to me. A good book is a good book.

I’m not sure how 25-year-old Mark would have responded, but the 51-year-old version is much more mellow about such things. Actually, I do know how that young, judgy knucklehead would have responded and it makes me a little sad. These days I think that books should be judged by the content of their pages, not what label classifies them. And we readers should read whatever genre we want or read them all.

Whatever makes us happy.