Thursday, May 25, 2006


Another wasp or hornet flew in the same window, so there must be a nest out there. We had the handyman build a screen for that window. Problem solved.

For some gift-giving day when I was a kid, I got my father this little figurine of a cartoonish, frustrated character with furrowed brows and clenched fists saying "What a beautiful day! Now watch some bastard come along and louse it up!!"

My mother gently tried to dissuade me, but I insisted. I thought it was ultra-funny, and perfect for him. He had a very sour, angry, nearly paranoid outlook on life.

I think that a little worst-case analysis is usually a wise thing, but he let his appetite for disappointment rule him. Some of the things he said were just plain crazy.

So the day came, and he opened his present. My mother must have already told him what it was. He said "That's funny, but I already have one."

"You do?"

"Yeah, the guys at work gave it to me."

At another time I learned that they also had a nickname for him that riffed on his dourness. This tells me that I am not alone in having perceived what he was.

My father was immensely egotistical and self-pitying. He declared, for example, that Anna Karenina was the closest thing he'd found to a description of himself in literature. "I am Anna," he once said.

To his credit, though, he displayed the figurine for years.
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