Friends, Readers, Spambots!

‘course I have lots of friends.

If you are new to this collection of my writing, you might not remember the previous electronic incarnation: my floating ahead against a Pacific expanse of blue, a quirkily non-standard setup and, on my end, a more painstaking and often unreliable process of getting posts out into space. An occasional complaint, too, was that there was no mechanism on the old site for readers to offer comments.

Now, this one – and thanks again, Dan’l Jones! – is a more industrially standardized vehicle for wordiness, and has what people seem to expect: a ready option for feedback (though still, I hear, lamentably short on photos and winkin’n’blinkin do-dads). The only thing is, nobody comments. Not that I have many readers, but still the score is Spambots 78 106, Human Beings 0. Yes, I do have the doubtful comfort that a small battalion of automated, cyberspace “first responders” are clamouring for my attention. In the absence of sentient response, I will share with you some of the delightfully arcane comments that my robot friends offer.

Insanity Workout Review! had this to say: This is reportedly a few tips that you do month two before you throw yourself into this category of body shapes hourglass, pear, apple, h-shape, v-shape, and Oval shape. And don’t think I’m not grateful! Many are clumsily earnest in their praise of my superb writing, so they can’t be all bad. For example, Ferragamo Handbags said (and wouldn’t that be a great name for a character in The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy?),  Great piece of information! May I reference part of this on my blog if I post a backlink to this webpage? Thanks. It was so kind of Ms. Handbags to ask.

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Too Much Honey on the Bagel, Honey

It’s the silly season for angry men, namely this one. Object of my double-plus un-equanimity this morning? A Wonder brand square bagel. (No wonder I was pre-disposed to out-of-proportion rage: what overwhelming consumer need led to this creation? Who decided it was essential to our civilization’s contentment that we jam a rectangular innovation into a round tradition? And so on. Mumblegrumbleargh…) The Princeling wanted a second honey-coated, microwaved WonderBagel. The Princeling is not ready to do the basting himself. (Allegedly.) I was the nominee and, it’s true, I had been given my instructions.

“Make sure there’s not too much honey, okay Dad?” (Can you do this as well as Mummy, old codger?) I dutifully halved what I would’ve slathered on a dry, whole-wheat brick like this, and humbly presented it to my four-and-a-quarter-foot petit prince. He looked like he was sucking on a sourball. “Too much honey!”

“Just eat it, bud. We gotta go. I had enough with the battle over your clothes this morning.” Whining engines revving. Eyes scanning for Mummy’s second opinion. “Two choices. Eat quietly, or I’ll be glad to eat it myself.” Dad the Stern and Impatient. This-or-that. Simple. Luckily, Just and Compassionate and Eminently More Practical Mummy sailed in just at this moment; otherwise I wouldn’t have a thing to write about on a sun-baked vacation day. A truncated and partly imaginary transcript sort of follows:

Oh, yuck. That IS too much. No princeling of mine…
No fuss. He’s hungry or he isn’t. Simple. By the way, who asked you, beloved?
Honey’s too sweet. Knife. Scrape. End of problem!
Now the whining volume is higher. Thanks. Don’t you have to pack the car?
Such a big deal about honey. Why so stubborn?
Why intercede? Why undercut your parenting partner?
But it’s so easy to solve!
But you make a bigger problem than what you solved! Pickiness. Privilege, and the never-ending negotiations over meals. This is why. Case in point. This is exactly the problem. Paradigm! And so on.

Square bagels are fine for throwing, or at least I was burning to test out that impetuous theory. Didn’t, but I muttered in my head. Fifteen minutes of pressure cooking, introverted flame. Sheesh. Control freak…why contradict me…why argue when I’m right…no surprise the kid can debate…angry over bagels, for cryin ‘ out loud…gotta be mid-life…symbolic of our differences…my father’s frustration…kitchen equality…this bird don’t fly…apologize…for her error?…you’re brooding over bagels, idiot…square ones, too…tough turf to defend…must be other battles…hostile…ten-dollar feelings in a five-cent frame…head-shaking time…maybe there’s a stream of contentiousness I can harness…word power…two dogs converse in a New Yorker cartoon: I used to have a blog, but I’ve decided to go back to pointless, incessant barking…

Good morning. Today’s intransitive WOOF has been brought to you by the new HBO series Desperately Frustrated HouseGuys: The Oedipus Complex is Killin’ Me! and by Wonder Bread — for the modern Little Prince at your house.

From Blog to Movement. (.com?)

So what’s the point of this website? In an earlier conception, Mad Martin had called the site “Howden Movement”, and I was perplexed.

“What, I’m a movement already? The masses are going to rally behind my brilliant leadership on the way to, um, well, wherever it is I’m going?”

“No, no, not exactly, it was more like—“

“Howden Movement. Howden Movement. Sounds like a promo for laxatives, or something. You know, BMs? Does anybody call them that any more? Nurses, maybe?”

“No, not really, it was just—“

Not that I was going to let Businessman Martin get a word in edgewise or anywise. Because this was my website, first and only, and I’m a Name Guy, shoulda seen how long it took to name my kids (or my intramural flag football team, for that matter). I kept running prospective names by whatever unfortunate soul happened to call me or walk by. Not to mention that The Perfect Choices were already taken. Probably some greasy speculator in domain names, selfish jerk!

And then I remembered why I’d consulted My Favourite Martin in the first place – he knows how to make things happen, and is now one of them. Nifty! The whole point of the site is to get some of my writing out there, to get ME in motion toward long-imagined destinations. (Howden Movement: that would be the opposite of HowdInertia.) So, this is a shameless forum for my ideas and projects. It may prompt you to write to me, and this would be delicious. (I can’t promise replies, but the world is full of possibility. If you catch clumsy thinking, heaven forbid, typos, let me know. Keep in mind that Canadian spelling does have stronger links to French sources for English words, like “centre” and “odour”.)