Allo Allo by Les Sans Culottes

Alternative Energy : An Ok Oh Study of the Systemic Experience

Kathy Grant, an effortlessly positive influence on the world around her, died a couple weeks ago at the age of 89.  One of the last remaining practitioners who studied with Joseph Pilates, her rarified blend of dry wit and the sort of piss & vinegar wisdom one can only hope to earn by old age taught a generation of instructors and enthusiasts in the uber-pragmatic approach to movement, body and by natural progression, mind.  Rumor has it that not long after her death, Pilates aficionados from around the country started inquiring after the remaining equipment in her studio; original equipment designed and built by Joseph Pilates himself. Like the fanatically religious looking to procure some mystical relic.  Or like some cynical bumpkin hoping to cash in on some future bodyworking edition of Antiques Roadshow.  Either way, from what little I know of Kathy Grant, I assume she'd rather burn the stuff than have it paraded around as trophy.

As we hop out of the car, an exercise to which I am wholly unaccustomed in context, the Jamaican sounding meter maid approaches. We protest.  The cleaning truck had already passed and we were just dropping our kids off at school anyhow.  Five minutes, that's all.  The meter maid waves the back of her hand.  This confuses us.  Pardon, but is it ok?  Are you going to give us a ticket? Can we take our kids to school?  The meter maid waves the back of her hand, again.  We nod slowly, gingerly crossing the street, checking back over our shoulders. As I shuffle out of the school, fresh hug in mind, The other parents spot an Indian sounding meter maid approaching.  Look, watch out for your car! I bounded across the street.  No, no, the other meter maid was just here, she said we could drop our kids off, she was just here!  Well, where is she, I don't see her.  You are not supposed to be here.  She was just here, she just walked around that corner, I am dropping my son off, the cleaning truck has already gone by! I encroach, animated. I can feel my rising physicality.  The meter maid backs off a little, wagging his finger.  The other parents are watching. I imagine the scene as apprehension-tinged entertainment.  It's not happening to them, but it might, and I am cutting a humorously insistent character.  The meter maid relents, showing me the back of his hand.  You can't give me a ticket, the other lady said I could drop my kid off!   He waves the back of his hand again, but you are not supposed to be here.  He turns his back and walks away.  No ticket?  Back of the hand.  I flash the other parents winking grin. 

The background noise is building, elbowing foreground.  Obama has called for Hayward's head.  Hayward has entered the historical lexicon.  The English are bitter at the American anger.  The Exchequer has tasted xenophobia.  Facebook is rife with righteous pronouncements.  The news flows.  There is endless talk of clean up, like the gulf is some sort of dirty bathroom.  Some executive claims it will be clean by the end of the year.  Some Coast Guard admiral claims it will be clean by the end of the year.  But, he says, the environmental impact will be felt for years to come.  My son, upon returning home from his third week of school sang us a song, clean up, clean up, clean up, as he put his wooden train pieces away.  He put the wooden pieces in a wooden box.  We use Mrs. Meyers to clean our bathroom.  There is some rumor that corn stalks suck up the oil right out of the salt water.  It's like magic!

Today I drove my son to school because I had to drop off the laundry bag.  At 36 pounds and with painfully thin carrying straps, the ten blocks to the laundromat are apparently out of my bag carrying range.  That is, a few years ago I forgot my skateboard at Diner one night.  When I returned, it was gone.  So much for rolling the laundry down the street.

I'm going to have cheese triangles! Sarah exclaims.

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