Thursday, May 31, 2012

There Is No Crime in Destrehan

So they make their own up as they go.

This just in:
An 18-year old Destrehan man was arrested Monday after authorities say he pretended to be a cop as a joke on a friend last month.

Taylor Gorman, 18, of ... Destrehan, was booked with impersonating a police officer. He was released on bond a short time later, St. Charles [Parish] Sheriff's Office spokesman Sgt. Dwayne LaGrange said.

LaGrange said Gorman was driving a white Ford Crown Victoria when he pulled up next to another vehicle being driven by someone he knew. ... As a prank, Gorman allegedly flashed red and blue lights in his car.

 "They apparently didn't think it was funny and notified us," LaGrange said.
Can't anybody take a joke any more?

What exactly is the definition of impersonating a police officer anyway? Shouldn't it require more than what is detailed in this story?

I'm just sayin'.

Outside the Picture: What You Don't See

This is a picture of a ship cruising along the Industrial Canal. Just ahead of it, to the right, is the St. Claude Avenue Bridge, a drawbridge, which is in its upright position to allow the ship to pass. The bridge is one of the things you do not see because it is outside the frame of the photograph.

There is something else you do not see. We'll get to that in a minute.

On this day, I had taken Bobby out to a little place we had recently discovered that sells hot tamales, a delicacy Bobby requires from time to time. It's a small food stand situated in that little wrinkle in the road where St. Claude Avenue transforms itself into the St. Bernard Highway.

It was on our way home when we were stopped at the bridge, and I took a series of pictures culminating in the one you see here.

After taking the photographs, I settled down to wait for the ship to reach the other side of the raised bridge. It was then that I became aware of movement in the car ahead of us.

The driver, who was alone, opened his door and eased his legs out. He unfolded himself onto the road, this "old grey black gentleman," and looked around.

He started to walk in our direction.

I was thinking he was stretching his legs, but, no, he indicated he had something he wanted to say to us. I rolled down my window.

He leaned in and said, "I have to urinate."

I said, "Okay. We won't watch."

Muttering that he was just coming from the grocery store, he went back to his car and opened the trunk. He pulled a drinking glass out from one of the bags stuffed in there and walked up to stand near the dividing line next to the passenger window of the eighteen-wheeler in the left lane and behind a white van parked in front of him.

I turned to Bob.

"Why didn't he stand between us and his car? Everybody can see him."

But nobody came running.

When he had finished, he soberly placed his glass on the railing to the right of the road, waved at us and smiled, and folded himself back into his car. The bridge began to lower itself, and in a short time, we had all gone away.

The whole event reminded me of something I had once read. Julian of Norwich, in describing God's mighty design, wrote, "A man goes upright and the food of his body is sealed as in a purse full fair; and when it is time of his necessity, it is opened and sealed again full honestly."

In other words, when ya gotta go, ya gotta go.

Just do it outside the picture.

Friday, May 25, 2012

To All the People Who Hate My Guts ...

... Chew on this!

My internet buddy, Rick, surprised me this morning with this little "tribute" on Google +.

I'd like to point out that I am not really a hundred years older than he, it just looks that way to him—and feels that way to me most mornings. I'd also like to make clear that, upon reading this, I became neither swell-headed nor teary-eyed as Rick may have feared I would (okay, I do admit I cried). I found Rick's remarks be both accurate and appropriate, and they all fit me to a T.

This is what he wrote:
Red Door Hinge (for Glenn)

Like many of the pics I post here, the one below was originally posted on my blog. In that blog post I dedicated the pic to my longtime blogging buddy +Glenn. I first "met" Glenn online (we've never met face to face) sometime around December of 2006 (if memory serves.) And, strange as it may seem, this Canadian in Japan and that American in New Orleans became friends, and are still friends today. (It's not all in my head, is it Glenn? We're buddies, right? LOL!)

So, what does all that have to do with the pic below? Well, my buddy Glenn also takes pictures. He takes damn fine pictures, in fact, and has been doing it a lot longer than I have (of course he's also a lot older than me--about a hundred years older, I think... Haha!) And back when my own interest in taking pictures was transitioning from "guy who can take family pics without cropping everyone's head" to "guy who's becoming interested in something more than just heads-intact family pics," well, back then Glenn was my first source of encouragement. And he remains my strongest source of encouragement. (I don't want him getting all swell-headed, or worse, teary-eyed (LOL!), but I always wonder... before I post a picture, I always wonder if Glenn will like it. There you have it.)

Why did I choose this pic to pay respect to my good buddy? Did he teach me some secret to shooting door hinges or something? Well, no, not exactly. I don't think Glenn has ever, in any formal sense, "taught" me anything about taking pics. But, as I said, he has always been generous with his encouragement. And I've had the benefit of seeing every picture he's posted for the past several years. They're all good. This may seem like a strange compliment... Glenn never taught me how to take a picture of a door hinge, but if I'd never met him, it might never have occurred to me that a picture of a door hinge could be interesting, or even beautiful (and I'll exclude the present example from that judgement!)

Please do yourself a favor and check out Glenn's blog My Life in the Quarter. You won't be disappointed.

Thanks buddy...
You're welcome, grasshopper ;-)

This is what growing old should be about: tributes and unconditional love. I feel like Betty White!

I confess I did cry a bit when I read this, but that's what old people do. We cry. And pee. Mostly pee. A lot. (Be right back).

Rick, you are the son I never had. Which, of course, means that I am not bound by the Napoleonic Code, so don't expect an automatic inheritance. You gotta keep being nice if you want in on that. Don't feel bad about it, though, it suits you, this niceness.

You should keep up the good work with your little snapshots, too.

And the gratitude? It never hurts ;-)

Thursday, May 10, 2012

The Listeners

I'm the kind of person other people do not listen to. You know the type. We come along and open our mouths, your eyes begin to glaze, you start stifling yawns, we fade from your consciousness as you sidle away.

I'm not complaining. Don't get me wrong, I don't mind. I'm of the strong, silent persuasion, anyway. I'm sure I must have mentioned that before. Maybe you just didn't catch it as it sibilantly sailed across the space that lay between us.

I've learned to not expect people to pay me any mind, so I tend to keep my thoughts and stories to myself. Saves embarrassment all around.

On the up side, though, there's this, that people other people do not listen to are listeners themselves, if not by nature, then by nurture. We are the confessors, the confidants, the bearers of secrets, crimes, and deceits.

Once we were the children whose ears the snakes came and cleaned so we could hear. We are the ones who paid attention in school. We heard the lessons the speakers ignored.

Now we leave them scribbled on scraps for others to stumble upon later and wonder at.

Or not.

It all becomes the same to us as we retreat deeper into our caves.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

36

It was thirty-six years ago today that I snapped on my old ball and chain. That's more than half my life, thirty-six years. Lately I wonder sometimes if it was worth it.

Bobby's gotten mean and cranky as he's gotten older. He doesn't like me to speak to him if he's watching a trial on TruTV or if he's skimming though his mail or talking on the telephone. Those same rules do not apply to me when I am engaged in some similar activity, though. I am fair game, 24/7.

He's started complaining about people we encounter on the street. He has told young men with thick arms and dirty hair to get out of his way and to stop playing guitar outside his gate and to go and get a job if they want a cigarette. He's begun to refer to pedestrians by rude, nasty names while riding in the car, loudly enough for them to hear him.

He'll say to me, "Do you think she heard me? I wanted her to hear me. Yes, I called you a cow, you heifer!"

He's not above dumpster-diving if he believes there might be something there that he can use. We have a coat rack in our living room he found this way. It's held up by a web of fishing line attached at strategic points to the wall behind it.

Every time we leave the house, he insists on snipping gardenia blossoms off one of his bushes and passing them out to the shopkeepers on the block, whether they like gardenias or not. He also saves our plastic shopping bags to distribute to those same shopkeepers so they can recycle them.

Thirty-six years.

I wonder sometimes what might have been if I had not said yes thirty-six years ago.

It's like one morning, you roll over and open your eyes and look around the room, and you see that, while you were sleeping, your whole life happened.

For better, for worse ... and all the rest of it.
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