Helping You Get the Most Out of Your Misery






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Thursday, November 29, 2007


Autumn in New York

Fall has always been one of my favorite seasons. I think it may have something to do with my love of office supplies and the fact that, as a kid, when the air turned brisk, it meant that I was going to get new pens. (Wow, that sounds even sadder than it did in my head.)

I'm beginning, though, to reevaluate my autumnal ardor and here's why: I've got two dogs.

I walk them a few times every day. It's not that bad a gig. It gets you outside in the fresh (or relatively fresh) air. You become accustomed to picking up turds. But there are times when I don't want to be out forever. There are times when I want my dogs to complete any transactions they might need to make with semblance of expediency so that I can get back inside and read the Onion AV Club's review of tonight's 30 Rock.

But at this time of year, my dogs take twice as goddamn long to walk because they have to stop constantly to sniff all the leaves. Bad enough they gotta piss on anything that's not moving. Bad enough they can't get all their crap out at once, but rather prefer to drop a little bit here and a little more there. But now they're savoring the aroma of every friggin' tree-bit that's on the ground.

This phenomena confused me for a while until I was struck by a revelation, an experience which feels somewhat akin to having a cranberry fall on one's head. I believe that leaves smell like squirrel. Think about it: where do squirrels spend the bulk of their time? Trees. They hang out in trees and rub their stupid bushy tails all over the leaves up there. Then the leaves drop off the trees and lay on the ground, smelling all squirrelly. Then my dogs are driven mad by the idea that there are a bunch of invisible squirrels all over the place that they can't get to. Basically, it's become a hassle. Thank God global warming is going to eliminate autumn. And probably squirrels, too.

On another dog-walking note. I just wanted to mention that, on tonight's ten o'clock walk, as I paused to allow Ben to take a lengthy, lengthy pee, I noticed something shiny on the ground. I don't normally pay much attention to shiny things ever since that horrible bear-trap incident back in '04. (And you should read that as "aught four", by the way.) This shiny object, though, really grabbed me, visually. I bent down to take a closer look and saw that it was a harmonica.

I picked it up and carried it with me for a few minutes. I considered bringing it into the house, giving it a cleaning and figuring out a few tunes on it. It sounded vaguely magical to me. Little boy (or 37-year-old dude, but whatever) finds magic harmonica and is transformed into a superstar!

Then I paused to consider the fact that it could be filled with mud and/or junkie-spit. No amount of cleaning can remove the taint of junkie-spit. So I opted to not keep it. I didn't throw it away, though. I propped it up on a fire hydrant, right at eye-level for a young child. Maybe it'll transform their life. They've probably got a higher tolerance for junkie-spit.

I never thought about the squirrel-smelling trees theory before. I kinda buy it.

I just discovered your site a few days ago and love it. Your archives give me lots of reasons not to work.

Junkie spit? Hilarious. I don't know why. But, hilarious.
Little bro, it's higher, not hire. Just a little note to let you know you're not infallible (no, I didn't say you thought you were infallible).
Love, sis
Not sure what or where I came by it, but I love the smell of a good stationary/office supply store. Must be all the wisps of toxic Sharpie ink, copier toners and foolscap paper mixing together that make my head light.
Great, so when you hear on the news about some kid getting hepatitus from a harmonica found on the street you'll know why and feel so guilty.
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