Running. Must hurry or it’ll be too late.
Planted in the way. Looming like a giant blocking the sun, big brother.
“They won’t like you any better.”
Grabbed, I halted.
The small coins sweaty in my hand.
The popsicle man’s truck was jingling through the summer heat.
Just enough nickels and pennies for three popsicles: for me and two others.
“Do they ever buy you any?
No, it’s always you.
Why should they do anything to get their own if you give them yours?”
“It won’t make them like you any better.”
He was right, always. He was big brother.
Like having patents smart.
Like able to figure out processes to make drinking water for dry islands smart.
Like always knowing all the rules of society even as a kid smart.
Like understanding human nature smart.
Coins more than sweaty in little hands.
Coins less important than pleasing friends.
But no more extra popsicles got bought that summer.
And somehow it didn’t make any difference.
The others just ran to their moms frantically shrieking.
My piggy bank got heavier.
My brother got more smug. His duty as protector done.
You have to take care of your own.
Childhood is a frantic swirl: learning the languages
Language of words
Language of society
Language of human behavior
Starts in the family: responsibility of family and to family.
Attention and concerns gradually widen from family to neighborhood to community to state to nation to world.
One big happy world family. Most of the time.
There’s always the whiner (that everyone wishes would leave)
There’s alway the spoiled one (showered with anything demanded for a bit of peace and quiet)
There’s always the golden child that does no wrong (but does and it’s ignored)
There’s always the one who’s kind, good, and considerate (and gets taken advantage of, but doesn’t change)
There’s always the one that takes and doesn’t ever give (and expects increasingly more as their right)
And there’s the one that dies from disease or tragedy
That initial foundation of family remains keystone:
Take care of your own.
A head of household who gives money away when their own needs food, shelter, clothing, or safety is considered a poor provider and a fool.
So there’s a quandary.
Life is unfair. Nature is indifferent to mankind’s emotions and existence.
People band together in countries to survive.
Should memos be written? As reminders? Things get lost in big groups.
Smart to build for others if your own house is leaking and some of your own are drowning in need?
Basic infrastructure, once admired and showcased, now suffers from neglect while money is sent to “fix” other countries?
Tell your own to wait their turn?
Got them by hard work.
Hard choices as there are only so many – for so many.
Memo: Take care of your own first.
Sweaty coins gathered to run a country?
Take care of your own first.
Foreign aid by the U.S.? Be glad to help once:
- Communities hit by tornadoes, hurricanes, floods, and fires have basic services and public areas rebuilt.
- Children are not going to bed hungry. (And yes, they are)
- Safety nets exist for mental health and the homeless.
- Basic emergency public shelters are reconsidered. (Commonsense preparation)
- Improved roads and mass transportation systems exist.
- Aging community water systems are updated.
- Schools are offered low-interest loans for new buildings and educational materials.
- College scholarships exist for career teachers’ kids. Their salaries for a critical job don’t match the private sector. Include police, firemen, and soldiers’ kids, too.
- States are provided with no strings attached funds/low-interest loans for law enforcement and fire departments.
- Military families are kept above poverty level easing stress on soldiers.
- Veterans are provided with the health care and transition needed upon return. And a well-funded GI bill.
Yes, the U.S. is so fortunate.
And so many wealthy US citizens freely give of their money to help unfortunates in other countries.
That is something to be proud of
Individuals who have already provided for their own, share their surplus, their own bounty, with others.
Churches and private groups hear the needy calling and respond.
Everyone loves to get praised by others.
A head of household, the provider, the one who determines how the money is spent, should recognize human nature.
You can’t buy friends.
Friends show up when they like you and respect you.
They will manage without you giving up all your stuff.
And no matter what, the first obligation is to take care of your own.
That’s what big brother said.
And he’s very smart – still.
Phil the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge
There. Outside the window.
Eyes roll in annoyance.
“Once it was so bad the schools locked us inside for weeks.”
(And walked 10 miles in the
snow rain to school, too, no doubt.)
All outdoor events canceled: Baseball. Soccer. Bike rides. Even dog walks.
(Mall? Again? Boring. Yes, they said boring. Too much of a good thing turns bad.)
Can’t build a wall tall enough to stop it.
It’s the wrong time of year for it to be so dark in the morning.
Absurd to need lights on the grill so early in the evening.
Even the birds are probably confused.
(Is that why they are eating so much? Nervousness?)
No, won’t do it. Those medical face masks are hot. And ugly. Even with stickers. NO!
It’s the pressure. High pressure.
A big ridge of it directing the winds across the Gulf of Mexico.
Often creates a problem this time of year.
(Although it’s the normal above 90′s temps plus humidity.)
Not tropical rains.
(Which would be greatly appreciated right now)
It’s the smoke.
It’s time the farmers in Mexico burn their fields.
“Controlled” agricultural fires.
And all that smoke ends up here when certain weather patterns occur.
(Check out NASA satellite view of the May fires here.)
Not little wispy smoke.
Heavy black smoke from Mexico: slides in like thick fog.
Throat and eyes burns after walking a block or two.
Hurts to breathe.
Currently, only those with allergies, asthma, and compromised immune systems are warned.
Sometimes health departments demand everyone stay inside – for days.
It’s obvious why. You can see it.
It’s not a secret. But nothing is done about it.
It’s an even exchange? Mexican Smoke for illegal US guns?
It’s another dump? Nasty agricultural pollution as well as poor desperate people?
Oh, it’s not intentional. It just happens.
But it’s a hard sell for green/clean energy, (ignore the burning coal and that fracking for natural gas to make electricity for electric cars), strict pollution EPA rules and fines (only for certain groups?), and recycling/repurposing (which we do rabidly…although do you really know what it costs the environment to build a new car and to destroy the earlier model? Cubans may be on the right track there?)
The U.S. is struggling onward with green energy and slowing pollution.
Others will see and be eager to do the same?
Some just say, “Great, but we’re building an economy. Just worry about global warming and vanishing species later.”
Told you. Cranky ugly.
There is a benefit of smoke: lovely sunrises and sunsets.
Just don’t exert yourself while appreciating them.
Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge.
Was the address written down wrong?
The old neighborhood certainly looked different.
A little bleary from the night before.
It had been a long journey.
Finally got here.
They weren’t expecting anyone.
It was a surprise.
Fancy beveled glass door.
Can’t see anyone moving inside.
It’s early, though.
Well, it’s shady and the porch is clean.
Might as well settle in and wait.
Curl up until they notice.
Ah, a vehicle pulling in the drive.
Opening mouth in welcome, the gator was shocked at their response. Shocked.
First, a reporter shoving a microphone towards him out the front door.
Wait a minute. Media?
Did Publisher’s Clearinghouse finally come through?
Anyone would shuffle and circle a bit under the circumstances: momentary confusion.
Relocation plan? What?
Not ratting on any associates.
Forget that Witness Protection Program.
Although, being new to town, appreciate locating a good dating service.
Always hard to meet and greet the local gals.
Oh, there’s a club? As in sand bar and dancing, right?
No! Let go of the neck.
Not that sort of gator.
No kisses! No means no!
Must object. Not interested in any kinky stuff either.
Please remove the gag
Not the eyes. Strongly object to blindfolds.
Untie the arms. Untie!
What? Levitating? Where now?
For gator’s sake, please leave a note on the door explaining the gator repo or gator-napping or something.
Do hope this is the right address.
So much for suburban hospitality,
Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge.
“Alligator hangs out on South Florida front porch on Mother’s Day”. VIDEO of gator’s interview and that kiss. The “Gator Boys” from Animal Planet collects him. Have you ever seen a gator sleeping bag before? Looks like a nice one.
Another gator going porch to porch. VIDEO. Sienna Plantation/Houston area, TX. (It’s that time of year.)
Great Gator Tips What to do if you see one. TX Parks and Wildlife.
Other gator posts:
A haunting knock, knock, knock. Who?
A Big Bad Wolf on the prowl. No joke.
A real predator. Just like in Red Riding Hood.
A hunter stealthily tracking victims.
One with super hearing and sniffing powers.
(All the better to find a tasty morsel.)
Self confident enough to grab a victim larger than itself.
(Expect anything less from a wolf?)
And gobble it down. Rip chunks of flesh right off if it’s bigger than one gulp!
(Hide the children!)
Sounds like a Grimm’s tail, right?
(Or something even more out of this world odd?)
Last week news was crawling about an invasion by a Giant African Land Snail
- A giant 8 inch eat-everything-green-in-its’-path mollusk. (Menu favorites? Over 500 plants)
- A snail carrying the deadly parasitic disease: Rat lungworm, a form of meningitis.
- (Don’t touch! Don’t touch! Wash your hands! Yuckie!)
- Giant snails that can lay 100 eggs a month – 1,200 or so a year.
- Giant rat-size snails that gnaw through stucco and plaster.
- (Call the insurance company! Covered for snail invasions and slime removal?)
“Deadly giant snail found in Houston”(See the giant snail! Video. A real horror story!)
Only it wasn’t.
Slimed by Photo ID and fact check.
It was a Big Bad Rosy Wolf Snail. (probably)
- A snail species on a mission: tracking destructive snail prey and dispatching them
- Smaller: a mere 2-3 inches in diameter.
- (Or so they say. Some believe space life forms walk among us. A Terminator Snail sent to assist?)
- (Slime and aliens do go together. Ask the Simpsons.)
- A Texas native species (? See above)
Red Riding Hood and veggie gardeners cheer this Rosy Wolf.
If the identification is correct true.
They think it is.
The unidentified snail quickly slid from sight.
(Seriously? Was it turbo charged ? Or something more Sci-Fi perhaps?)
No need to panic.
But none confirmed in Texas, yet. Travel has been hampered.
Think dog slobber is hard to clean off leather seats? Try snail slime.
Difficult to put out a single foot to hitchhike.
Air transport? Might get stuck in airport security lines.
Still, notice an unusual rock oddly sliming across the yard?
Notify Stuart Kuehn, USDA in Austin.
(Forget the USDA. Got the number for those Men in Black?)
Maybe just hot foot it this summer with closed-toed shoes and ray gun?
(Ok, crying wolf. “Here snail. Here’s snail.”)
Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge.
You may be seated.
Eyes open! No playing possum!
You may smile and nod, but please hold hearty cheers of adoration and gratitude until given leave.
As RC Cat of the Realm, We wish to briefly address Our subjects,
bumbling loyal staff, and guests fortunate enough to breathe the same air as Our Royal Self.
There has been some chatter recently concerning incidents.
As always We discourage gossip and negativity.
It causes Us great distress when We sense some are alarmed.
While no explanation is required, We shall explain – as a kindness.
The world outside the Realm is a wrought with complexity – and, yes, sadly, danger.
We are ever vigilant so Our subjects live without fear.
Recently a package arrived and was placed in the Visitors’ Salon.
It is times like these when We wish the Molly had had learned parcel security monitoring from the German before she departed to her new assignment.
The Molly tries valiantly, but We fear she is out of her depth
since she immediately grabs any box and dashes wildly around the Realm without a thought that it might contain something dangerous.
Staff has been instructed to continue the Molly’s lessons. We believe there is a learn curve
but the idiot dog keeps eating the ball.
When We happened on the scene, We immediately
leaped onto the tallest furniture in the room took charge.
Placing Our Royal Self in the greatest possible danger.
Wide tape on the box was no match for Our razor-sharp Paws of Fury.
Once the box was open,We were shocked – stunned.
What kind of creature would send such to Our Realm?
Enough. Turn away. Comfort the children!
This is a disturbing image, but to be ignorant is to be vulnerable.
We apologize for causing discomfort.
Staff was instantly instructed to not only remove this vile object from Our sight, but to dispose of it quickly.
Our staff is quite efficient and We
wouldn’t trust them out of our sight know they have complied with Our wishes and did not hide that irritating book in order to giggle over it later.
The Realm is safe and secure.
an equally annoying more joyous occasion, We wish to honor the mothers of the Realm.
While We Ourselves follow the role of noble Queen Elizabeth R, We appreciate the sacrifices and efforts
to keep their little tail pullers out of Our way of mothers.
In the spirit of this official Mother’s Day, We are requesting all – including the Molly – have compassion.
During a recent deluge, We observed a young desperate creature precariously teetering along the top edges of the fence.
Doubtlessly fleeing a flooded home.
That foolish Molly thought it was simply a very ugly cat.
Upon closer examination, We determined the sad sight was a young possum
(with a lovely coat, although wet)
A very pregnant mother possum.
Judging from her skills, We assume she must have been a circus performer.
Perhaps fell for the dashing looks of an acrobat or juggler.
flailed wildly and beat upon the windows in outrage of this intrusion without permission kindly waved and offered shelter in Our Outer Realm.
There is that adorable little cabin the German left behind.
Practically new and unused
as staff over-indulged that German Shepherd creature terribly.
It is Our wish and command that should the possum mother choose to dwell for a bit in the Outer Realm. She should be given sanctuary during her time of need.
It is Mother’s Day, after all
and it would look bad if We tossed a holiday protected individual into the street in front of a car. Perhaps We can find use for a possum. She shall be grateful and owe us a favor.
Now you have permission to go about your duties.
All is well with your RC Cat watching all.
There is something about that possum that looks familiar Could it be? No. The same possum that showed up last year at this very time? We shall not be duped by devious possum.
We shall now withdraw to allow all to rest from the intense emotion from being in Our presence.
Our paw is waving!
Cheers of adoration may now be released.
And don’t forget to leave open cans of food in the doorway as tribute.
We shall review those in a little while.
to comply the opportunity to show their gratitude for Our sacrifices and service.
We take notes.
A word to the wise.
I am RC Cat and I approve this message.
Click sidebar tag ”RC Cat” for more of RC Cat’s correspondences and to visit her Realm.
More about last year’s Mother’s Day Possums (not exactly the gift on the list)
Must find some small fry.
Kids will do, I suppose if no
short height-challenged individuals are available.
That’s OK to say?
Don’t want to offend. Oz is cool.
(But stop humming that Randy Newman “Short People”. Rude.)
How about planning entertainment as a small honor?
Snow White has a merry little crowd (Makes you want to whistle and Hi-Ho! along.)
Re-runs of the Fantasy Island series? (Loved that weekly: “The plane. The plane!”)
Different Strokes or Webster? (No small audiences there.)
That reality show Little People. Big World? (Don’t overlook them.)
Little appreciation always welcomed.
Hug a petite!
Friday is National Shrimp Day!
Oh? Are you sure?
Shrimp like fish?
Read the fine print?
Looks like a list of seafood restaurants and recipes for gumbo and scampi.
Shrimp’s been a term of endearment! Forever!
Ask any sibling.
Like “Stop, you little shrimp. Give that back.”
Followed by, “Mom, he’s calling me names.”
Stew on that for a while.
Seriously, it’s National Shrimp-as-in-Seafood Day!
Time to get out the barbie, Doll.
Batter up those shrimpies. Get them ready to fry.
Grillers, grab your skewers.
(Of course french fries are a vegetable. Paper towel for blotting?)
A different splash of shows required.
Little Mermaid (Seems a bit awkward.)
Finding Nemo (For shrimpy little kids?)
Jaws? (Finally, one with bite that hooks you with thrills)
SNL’s Land Shark skits! Classic! “Knock Knock. Candygram. Land shark!”
Perfectly seasoned opening for spicy weekend activities.
It’s also the 26th Annual Art Car Parade!
Over 275 Art Cars will meander down Allan Parkway on Saturday…for hours.
(No rain! No rain! You can hear the chanting?)
Looking forward to “Heroicar” by Welsh artist Andy Hazell
It’s built around a 15 year old Honda that appeared last year as a Mayan Temple.
Picture it: a Super Hero Salute
Superman swooping down on top of the car to save the day.
The Man of Aluminum’s right arm reaches into the passenger-side window.
His aluminum cape flapping in flight (helped by a hidden windshield wiper motor.)
The sides of the car are painted to show what’s inside. (instant x-ray vision for parade viewers!)
Rumor is there may be Kryptonite in the glove box.
Like all Art Cars, Heroicar is street legal.
Driving to another art car parade in Victoria, TX, May 18.
Live in the Baltimore area? Watch for Heroicar in the July Artscape Festival.
Hooked on Art Cars?
Enjoy the shrimp fest while waiting for the tour.
Will try to update 2013 pictures/video (weather permitting camera)
A little fun for the weekend,
(Don’t stop short)
Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge
- History of Houston’s Art Car Parade. CW39 NEWS VIDEO of cars and parade
- “Art Car Parade Enjoy the ride”. Houston Press. Article and pictures of cars
- www.thehoustonsrtcarparade.com (pictures, history, info)
- Facebook Houston Art Car Parade (pictures, join the fun)
- “Heroicar Art Car is ready to roll”. Artist’s sketch and photo of work in progress (Hope link works)