Sunday, February 16, 2003

I just laughed myself sick at Jim Lilek's column "Back Fence" in the Minneapolis Tribune (URL at end of this entery; I want you to read *mine* first) about life in the basement during a Chemical Or Biological Weapons Red Alert.

I often disagree with Mr. Lileks on politics but there's no one better--funnier, truer--on home relations (that means FAMILY, silly! Didn't you notice there was no "land" grafted onto "home"?). When he's funny, I end up with my gut hurting from laughing so hard. When he's touching, I weep, and think about his words for the rest of the day. For the many days when he's neither, he's just recording what his life was like today, it's a touchstone for my day. And I love his dog, Jasper.

It takes a real knack to turn everyday life details into something interesting or funny or moving enough to read every day. I mean, I have *my* everyay life going on, too, how dumb would it be to try to "live" a *second* life if all the guy gave you was his daily To Do List?

I can write to everyday details--sometimes. Mostly my imagination fails. I drive 120 miles round trip to work every day. That's the same stretch of I-80 day in, day out. Virtually the only thing that changes (aside from the seasons) is which section of the Interstate is Department of Roads tearing up today?

OK, OK, I know; each minute each inch of that highway is different than a) the inch to either side of it, b) different than it was the minute before, and c) different than it will be in the next minute.

Fine. You go gaze regardfully at that stretch of I-80 with the perspective of a Hindu god. I have to get back to Omaha to visit my mom in the nursing home.

A visit which Lileks could probably turn into a hysterical knee-slapper and a heartstring-tugger. Too bad for you, I can't.

Oh, here's that Lileks column link.

And just for good measure, here's his personal web site. Don't MISS the Gallery of Regrettable Food! The Bleat.

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