Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Again with the Whatifs!

Whatif ~ Shel Silverstein

Last night, while I lay thinking here,
some Whatifs crawled inside my ear
and pranced and partied all night long
and sang their same old Whatif song:

Whatif I'm dumb in school?
Whatif they've closed the swimming pool?
Whatif I get beat up?
Whatif there's poison in my cup?
Whatif I start to cry?
Whatif I get sick and die?
Whatif I flunk that test?
Whatif green hair grows on my chest?
Whatif nobody likes me?
Whatif a bolt of lightning strikes me?
Whatif I don't grow taller?
Whatif my head starts getting smaller?
Whatif the fish won't bite?
Whatif the wind tears up my kite?
Whatif they start a war?
Whatif my parents get divorced?
Whatif the bus is late?
Whatif my teeth don't grow in straight?
Whatif I tear my pants?
Whatif I never learn to dance?

Everything seems well, and then
the nighttime Whatifs strike again!


Oh Shel, Shel ... what an amazing life. So many of us know Shel Silverstein's name from Where the Sidewalk Ends and A Light in the Attic, but did you also know the Shel wrote the song, A Boy Named Sue, and one of my all-time favorites from childhood, Boa Constrictor, both performed by Johnny Cash? Or One's On the Way for you Loretta Lynn fans.

I saw Julie and Julia tonight starring Meryl Streep. [Excellent movie BTW.] Streep sings another of Shel's songs in Postcards From The Edge. I'm Checking Out ends the movie.

What a big life.

I started out wanting to write about the poem ... the whatifs that plague us/me each day. He hits both the minor (Whatif the bus is late) and major (Whatif I get sick and die). I simply never realized the size of his life before. The contributions he made. The lives he touched in so many different formats. What a life.

We worry about so many inconsequential things in our lives. So many whatifs that never happen. So many whatifs that keep us from pursuing our dreams in the first place.

Whatifs never stopped Shel Silverstein. Whatifs never had a chance.

Whatif we could all have as big a life?

Monday, August 10, 2009

Battle for the Butterfly

The main battle has taken place ... minor skirmishes have followed.

And, no, I don't care if I've set feminism back 2- 50 years; when a friend offered this morning to stop by and man the spray, I took him up on it with the glee of a woman NOT being stung.

I stood not so bravely by the door ... okay ... inside the door ... while he sprayed down the butterfly stone and shot the occasional returning wasp. I thought I'd have to wait a day or so before trying to figure out how to get the nest out but, "what's that you say, do I have a screwdriver? Why yes, YES I do." My friend figured out how to take the bottom off of my solar-powered butterfly and found three nests - a large on on the butterfly and two smaller ones.

More spray, some knocking on wood, and the nests were casualties on the battlefield called my balcony.


I thanked profusely ... then left the battlefield to let the blood dry before cleanup.

I came back later alone and, feeling quite the victor, stomped on the nests to ensure complete desolation. Yeeeeah ... so ... don't do that. Weird pink gooey stuff does not go well with my tennis shoe or deck. Blech.

I swept the bodies off the battlefield then quickly retreated when more soldier wasps returned home to ... well ... visions of Luke running home then staring idly into the sunset come to mind. Seriously ... this one fellow stood off to the side all contemplative.

Until the evil empire struck again and sprayed his ass. Oh yeah. I killed three more and retreated again. I was feeling all Mel Gibson waving the "watch this" flag in Braveheart when I noticed yet another casualty of the mayhem. But this wasn't right ... not right at all!

It was darkening outside by this time ... but remaining dark on my balcony as well. Alas, stone butterfly remained dark. Was the unleashed stream of killing spray too much for her??!!!!


But wait ... wait ... 20 minutes later - enter R2D2 all fixed and shiny during the victory ceremony!

She's all bright now! My butterfly survived and shines brightly on my abode. WHEEEE!!!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Wasps and Butterflies

I have wasps. I hate wasps. There are wasps on my balcony impeding my enjoyment of a perfect little chair with color-coordinated cushions and side table ... all waiting for me to sit and ponder shit. But I can't. 'Cause I have wasps on my balcony.

I also have a butterfly. A beautiful solar-powered butterfly ... a stone with a cut-out that lights up at night. I've had this wonder rock for a couple years now and it still shines bright. Kinda bright. It's little light is dimmer now ... BECAUSE I'VE GOT WASPS!!!

Yes, the wasps have made their den of buzzing evil INSIDE my beautiful butterfly. I see them flying into it ... crawling over it. I cringe. I HATE WASPS.

Today I bought Raid Wasp and Hornet spray. Killing spray. It says to use at night or early morning ... you know ... to lessen the chance of the evil wasps yelling charge with their sharp stingers of pain and targeting oh ... I don't know ... MY EYE!! Lessen the chance ... "when insect activity is minimal." Minimal. Not NON-EXISTENT. Minimal. That means little Wilbur the Wasp who drew the straw for night duty will be on guard waiting ... waiting to finally seize the night/early morning ... AND MY EYE!

I'm faced with a dilemma. Do I brave these fears and spray the butterfly den myself with the full knowledge that screaming and bottle tossing off the balcony are very real possibilities? Or do I beg for assistance ... you know ... from those guys. Those guys who are likely to drink too much beer and attempt to pick up a rattlesnake. The same guys who climb up a ladder to try and cut down the beehive. Those guys.


Anybody know those guys?