I love wild animals yet I know that some cannot love me back because I am human. Them’s the breaks. Still, I do my best to be friendly to the peripheral critters who hang around my hometown in abundance. Yet no matter how much I try to ingratiate myself to the wild things, some refuse to look past my status as a human being.
Fortunately, no majority of any wild species finds me disdainful, only a few devout misanthropes and the occasional bad apple. To be fair, I would say that a higher percentage of people find me objectionable than do, say, Voles. But, sadly, there have been exceptions to the tranquility.
In the past I have been dive bombed by Crows for daring to pass within thirty feet below their nests; shamefully scolded by various Squirrels for running out of sunflower seeds, and one time four young Raccoons found it amusing to bar my exit from the laundry room in the courtyard of my building– Juvenile delinquent Raccoons, smiling hoodlums that I named Pesci, Rickman, Van Cleef and Misty (I have bad luck with persons named Misty). They come around for shakedown Cheetos about once a week.
Just the other day I had my most harrowing wildlife experience. I was on a short “nature trail” (which is never farther than a hundred feet from an ever-expanding housing development) when I came face to face with a Deer. We were both on the trail, headed in opposite directions.
Deer are common around the edges of my town. In springtime, you usually see Moms teaching the kids where the easiest rose bushes are to hit and run. And at the start of November (which, not coincidentally, kicks off hunting season) you see them all over because they somehow have learned that hunting is illegal within city limits.
I’m not an expert on Deer. But a lack of horns (or antlers or whatever the hell they are called) and her size, somewhere between a Great Dane and a Donkey, inferred a doe. I’ve read somewhere that you risk being charged by wildlife if you stare the forest beast in the eye. Everything from a Butterfly on up to a Grizzly will interpret that as an aggressive action. Normally, Deer avoid humans on sight. But this one just stood there, about five feet from me, for maybe three seconds, that played out like as many days. I remembered the eye thing and looked down. I heard her snort with mocking glee, and I looked up and glimpsed her loping effortlessly off into the brush. Her insolent attitude toward me suggested that her name was also Misty.
My experience has made me philosophical about the human condition. Maybe the critters are smarter than us. You don’t see a Squirrel ever painting herself into a verbal corner, utterly clueless as to how to segue to the introduction of weekly stories, do you?
Still, it certainly was a human being we saw, and plenty, in the great Tom Sheehan‘s latest appearance The Thursday Night Woman, which led the week off. A lesser hand would have made a salacious, possibly even dirty mess out of this. But Tom’s honesty and craft carry the day. Last time out, I mentioned that Tom will have something featured in every weekly wrap at least well into the summer–and he has labored on that streak since.
Yours Truly made the show on Tuesday. You don’t have to be high to get something from PDQ Pilsner Playhouse Proudly Presents, but it helps.
TL Tomljanovic appeared a second time on Wednesday with Black and White Christmas. The wonderful little observations, the controlled tone and the way this piece moves make this a story that needn’t be read during the yuletide to appreciate. I particularly admire the setting. I felt as though I was there in the car, trying to get warm.
Thursday welcomed Cy Hill with his site debut The Cartoon. The map says I live twelve miles west of where this tale takes place. Cy describes Seattle’s Pike Place Farmers Market exquisitely. Despite the name of the place it is as bohemian as you’d want it. And Cy’s tale of artistic “capture” has wonderful flow and an understated complexity.
Todd Mercer closed the week Friday with his third story with us, Van Damned. It too deals with capture, but of a much different flavor. I for one enjoyed the matter of fact tone of the MC as he engaged in far from matter of fact activities. The funny thing is, I have no doubt that the situation presented is commonplace in certain parts of the world.
Let’s have a hand for, well at least four of this week’s writers (Tuesday appears to have passed out). And if you haven’t read these, please do. And maybe even leave an encouraging word here and there if so moved.
This week’s big finish features nine of my favorite remade songs and the remaking performer (the original artist in parentheses, just like this set). The final slot is left open for the audience. Contemptuous (or otherwise) Wildlife are welcomed to join the conversation
- Sound of Silence-Disturbed (Simon and Garfunkle)
- Heat Wave-Linda Ronstadt ( Martha and the Vandellas)
- Mr. Postman-Carpenters (The Marvelettes via Beatles)
- Lollipop-Bad Manners (The Chordettes via Hugh Cron)
- The Man Who Sold the World-Nirvana (David Bowie)
- Hallelujah-Jeff Buckley (Leonard Cohen)
- My Sweet Lord-George Harrison (first done, according to civil court, as He’s So Fine by The Chiffons)
- Hurt-Johnny Cash (Nine Inch Nails)
- Rocket Man-William Shatner (Elton John)