The Rusted Wheelbarrow

Dear Mr. Williams:

Ever since I first heard your poem, I was always struck with how un-useful your dependable wheelbarrow was. Although your poem isn’t very long and it’s rather hard to tell exactly what image you had in your mind, due to the stark contrast of the red against the white chickens, I’ve come to the conclusion that your wheelbarrow has an untarnished coat of paint. If you had ever chanced upon an encounter with a wheelbarrow that’s been used, you would know that the brilliant red of newness quickly dims to a more muted and earth-tone red.

Because of your oversight, I took the liberty of rewriting your poem so it conforms to my standards. I hope you’re not offended. If you are, however, please roll over in your grave three times and hit your head against the coffin wall three times more.

The Rusted Wheelbarrow

A Response and Parody by Mindy Messenger

nothing depends


a red wheel


rusted from rain


beside the black


Crazy Old Dog Lady

It seems that everyone knows a crazy old cat lady. For me, there was a scary woman in the north university district (or, as I named it, “the university ghetto”) that always sat with my former landlord/neighbor on his overflowing porch of rusting and rotting junk. They would remain unmoving on the porch, even in the rain or during the winter, where they would watch the news on a blue and white 13″ TV late into the night. Because both she and my landlord pissed me off, and because she seemed to always be lurking outside my living room window, she earned the name “My Landlord’s Ho.”

My Landlord’s Ho was a reputed crazy old cat lady. She never used the term herself, but she had admitted to owning over ten cats (the number might have even been closer to twenty). In a fit of rage over the fact that she hadn’t taken proper care of my landlord’s cat while he was away, my landlord once disclosed to Tyler that his ho kept her cats separated into different rooms- some even in “compartments”. Since this is second-hand knowledge, I’m not sure what he meant by “compartments”, but I always had the image of cats stuffed in those large plastic Tupperware containers. Anyway, My Landlord’s Ho had a couple of living room cats, a couple of bedroom cats and a couple of bathroom cats, and I assume the most annoying were stored away in under-the-bed boxes. She separated her cats because she owned so many that they often fought with one another.

To this day, I conjure up images of what it was like before My Landlord’s Ho started keeping the cats locked up in different rooms and compartments. There must have been one time where there was a huge living room brawl where all ten+ cats screeched and hissed at one another as they flew to the center of the room in a giant orgy of claws and teeth. Fibers of upholstery and fur must have clouded the air in an impenetrable dust, while the weaker cats were tossed against walls and the floors, kicking up the smell of sour cat piss forever soaked into the rotting floor and carpet.

It’s images like this that make me wish there were more crazy old dog ladies in this world. But you never hear stories about them, only stories about people like My Landlord’s Ho. I think this world might be a better place if there were more crazy old dog ladies. I doubt it’s that hard to become a crazy old dog lady; there certainly are dogs smaller than cats these days (my dog being one of them). Besides, at least you can house train dogs and don’t need to live in a house full of stench-filled litter boxes. All you need to do is fence in your yard and install a doggy door and you’re good to go. Of course, there are minor setbacks- like having dogs that dig and burglars that can squeeze through a dog door. But I’m being hypothetical here. Even with the consideration of what troubles you’d have when owning over ten dogs, at least you won’t have furniture and door jambs that have been shredded to bits.

When I grow up, maybe I’ll do a great service for this country and become a crazy old dog lady. I’ll own a house and surround my decent-sized yard with a six foot fence. Then I’ll spend my solitary days relaxing on my porch in a rocking chair and idly throwing a dirt and saliva covered ball to one end of my property. The thought of sitting in the sun with a drinking glass full of vodka and watching ten frantic dogs run over each other in pursuit of a ball is rather appealing.

Replace the dogs with children and you have the typical backwoods Mormon family I grew up near. Maybe that’s why the idea is so appealing- it’s like the frantic sibling-filled days I envied my Mormon schoolmates for. Of course, I have no intention giving birth to that many kids, so dogs seem like a fitting substitute. And on the rare days that I feel my life is meaningless and I’m crazy for owning so many dogs, I can just dress them up in some random doggie outfits and pretend that I’m a Mormon with a house full of children.

Martin Luther King Jr. Day

Although I think it’s a good thing to observe the accomplishments of Mr. MLK the Junior, all I did this weekend was stay inside and watch random anime that Tyler scavenged with our Ethernet access. Unless you consider watching cartoons made by another culture a worthy way of observing the holiday, it seems rather pointless for me to have had the day off.

Not that I’m complaining about my freebie day- I love having a day off from both classes and work. However, I’m still perplexed about the purpose of having classes cancelled when at least 95% of the UW students spent the holiday skiing or doing other selfish and menial things without a thought to the meaning this day is supposed to have. I certainly didn’t spend a second thinking about Martin Luther King Jr. or racial equality today. It wasn’t until I started to write about something else that this idea popped into my head, and even these words were written with less than an hour to spare before the clock struck midnight.

Having this day to serve as a reminder is one thing, but having the day off for observance is yet another. To be blunt, MLK Jr. Day has no meaning or importance to us white folk- the people who need to understand the meaning of this holiday most. It’s like Christmas without the presents; we get the day off for our own selfish desires to be fulfilled.

Pirates Are Cool

My newest obsession is “One Piece”. If you don’t like cartoons, then you won’t be able to understand. I, however, have always had a soft spot in my heart for cartoons (and pirates!). It’s a double whammy on my brain- not only do I get a healthy dose of colorful art, but I also get imaginative story lines that movies tend to shy away from due limitations of the human body (such as our natural inability to stretch limbs to insane distances). And with over 100 episodes (all about pirates!), it gives me a good reason to procrastinate. Oh, and did I mention pirates?

Although “One Piece” is not released in the US, you can download fansubs from here. Since I’m kind of lazy right now and don’t feel like writing a review, visit this site to learn more about the series.