Half Truths

My daughter read my “Half Veggie” post (June 13, 2011) the other day and had a bone to pick. Well, not exactly a bone since the question was over her like or dislike of vegetables. She does like broccoli, carrots, cucumbers, spinach (in Greek spanikopita), potatoes, tomatoes (sometimes) and salad greens of various sorts. So she qualifies without qualifiers. And I learned something too. Best not to read some blog entries to my kids until they pick up on the concept of hyperbole.

Mural, Mural on the Wall

Shelley
Whitman
Melville
Trollope
Kipling
Eliot
James
Wilde
Twain
Shaw
Hardy
Dickinson

Would any of these writers have been caught dead or absinthe-free at a Starbucks Café in a Barnes & Noble, as the mural depicting them at one of these cafés would imply?

It’s hard to imagine any of these literary luminaries tapping on an iPad, listening to an iPod, texting, websurfing, Facebooking, streaming, gaming, e-mailing, tweeting, or cell-phone chatting . . .  (as though writers need more ways to procrastinate!)

Didn’t they go to cafes to get away from distractions or avoid social pressures, to sit back and just observe people—stealing details from real life or energizing novelistic dialogues with overheard snippets of conversation (not irritating cell-phone half-a-logues).

And I wonder: which early 21st century writers will appear on such murals in the future? And how will they be depicted—sans pen, pipe, or pensiveness?

Wake Up Call

I love shopping early in the morning. Stores are nearly empty, clerks fresh off of “employee team meetings” and hopeful for a day that might prove better than the one before.

At one of my favorite haunts, The Dollar Tree, an always-chipper manager was trying to instill the same enthusiasm in the cash/debit register, which was nonresponsive after I swiped my card:

“Come on . . . you’ve had your two cups of coffee and your two packets of sugar. I know that for a fact,” he said, gently tapping the machine. “Wake up.”