Saturday, October 07, 2006


She Who Must Be Obeyed and I are in Denton, Texas, visiting Morris William (the Kid Bro d’SWMBO), his lovely wife Rebecca, our four-year-old nephew William, and brand-new niece Madison.

Interesting family, this.

Morris William was a mere sprat of nine when I first met him more than thirty years ago. Now he’s forty, and the father of two. He and I share a twisted sense of humor, the possible result of my having taken him to see Animal House when he was a lad of ten years.

This morning we were on our way to pick up SWMBO, arriving on an early flight at DFW. Morris William and I were discussing spiders – not one of his favorite topics, by the way – and the remarkable tensile strength of their webs. I speculated that if there were a way to gene-splice a spider with a cow, perhaps the resulting Chimerical Beast could be a source of high-strength fibers, a sort of walking Kevlar factory. What to call such a beastie? We both blurted it out at the exact same moment:


It’s scary, I tell ya.

Rebecca is another story. She is a confirmed animal lover - possibly owing to a bit of Native American in her ancestry - and a breeder of Arabian horses. Whenever she comes across a lost or sick animal, she will find it a home, take it in, nurse it back to health...whatever it takes. When she finds a dead animal, she will, like as not, boil it down until clean bones remain in order to fashion a Spirit Stick with its skull.

[There’s nothing like a Squirrel Skull Spirit Stick with which to stir your Spirits. Enough gin, and pretty soon that little fella looks like it’s talking to you.]

And then there’s young William, sitting patiently in the back seat. But not too patiently, for out he comes with this pronunciamento:

“Is this taking forever, or what?

Kids. Don’t they say the Gawd-damndest things?

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