Bio Note: I asked my eight-year old granddaughter (she’s in second grade) how school was going. “I don’t call it school,” she said. “I call it The Evil Empire of Remote Non-Education.” Later that day I said to her dad “Your daughter’s line about The Evil Empire is pretty funny.” He gave me a rueful smile. “Yeah,” he said. “I thought it was funny too, the first time I heard it.”
Step into the kitchen, open the blinds. April 2, but it snowed last night, at least an inch on the deck, though the hills beyond are gray and bare. No birds yet in the river birch, not even a hint of leaves. Someone’s on the phone, I can hear her voice above me, but it’s muffled and I can only make out a word or two, though the tone is filled with joy. If it were warmer, I could take my guitar outside, play something the neighbors would like, an old song like Red River Valley or The Water is Wide. My granddaughter could sing harmony and play along on her violin. Everyone would gather, like in the before time, and we’d play song after song. Someone might bring out a basket and there would be sandwiches and cake and blankets on the ground by the fire pit, where smoke would rise and twist in the warm breeze. Now the grass has turned green, but it’s spotted with snow. By the pond, the cattails wave. The women on the phone begin to say goodbye. You can tell how much they like each other by their long farewell.
How Many Bad Jokes Can You Text During a Pandemic?
We can’t visit now, even with masks, so most nights we text. One son writes “What did the Zen Master say to the hot dog vendor?” We all type ? ? ? “Make me one with everything.” lol lol lol. I do a little surfing, then write “The Zen Master pays for his hot dog with a twenty dollar bill, which the vendor puts in his cash box. “Excuse me,” says the Zen Master, “where’s my change?” “Ah, my brother,” says the vendor, “change comes from within.” We go on like this for an hour. The other son writes “What do you call a schizophrenic Zen Master?” ? ? ? “A person who is two with the universe.” We compete to see who can tell the dumbest joke, and we laugh and laugh at the sheer inventiveness of our idiocy. We wash our hands again. They say the vaccine is coming. Next year in Jerusalem!
©2021 Steve Klepetar
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