As we enter our seventh year of writing this column, we try to stay focused. We try to remember to call ourselves "we" all the time. We try to remember to use the word "homeless" at least once in every column. And we try to find something amusing to write about.
Here's something that I, whoops, we, find hilariously amusing. The literary world has been awed by the news that author Fay Weldon has been paid an undisclosed sum of money to mention the jewelry company name "Bulgari" twelve times in a novel. Ha, ha, big deal! We just found an undisclosed sum of money up our left nostril!
I mean maybe it's undisclosed because it's a nickel a word, 60 cents. Why get worked up about it until you know how much it is?
But after being amused, it occurred to us to wonder whether we were ready for this new kind of trade in words. Could we mention the name of a company or a product twelve times in a novel? How hard could that be? What company would we choose?
We would go where the big money is. Forget companies, we would kiss up to the government! And we would cram twelve mentions into a quarter page, to really give them their money's worth! Now what does the government produce that we could possibly write that much about?
When we think of the times we have been homeless we think of government cheese. There was nothing like the satisfaction of sitting down in a park with a 50 cent bag of day old bread and a block of government cheese. Government cheese was not our first choice, but it came from our government, whereas our first choice came from Limburg, some foreign place.
When government cheese is heated enough and then subjected to sufficient compression, it becomes a fair to passing condiment which squirts. We believe a hot dog without melted government cheese is like an unbuttered hippopotamus.
If all the government cheese in the world were laid end to end, some of it would probably get wet. But, as we always say, wet government cheese is better than no government cheese at all.
In our experience, nothing catches mice better than government cheese. Not only do the mice prefer it, but a government cheese fed mouse is a tasty mouse, in our experience.
It has been said with authority that even though Bill Gates can afford any kind of cheese he wants, he would eat government cheese if he thought it would make him twice as rich as he already is. Like that would happen.
Not many people know that government cheese is highly prized as material for headgear among the indigenous Inuit of the upper Sepik River Basin. Interestingly, not any more know it even now that we've said it.
In a completely different vein -- the following quote was brought to my attention last week and I thought it was worth sharing.
"I feel this way about it. World trade means world peace and consequently the World Trade Center buildings in New York ... had a bigger purpose than just to provide room for tenants. The World Trade Center is a living symbol of man's dedication to world peace ... beyond the compelling need to make this a monument to world peace, the World Trade Center should, because of its importance, become a representation of man's belief in humanity, his need for individual dignity, his beliefs in the cooperation of men, and through cooperation, his ability to find greatness."
-- Seattle native Minoru Yamasaki, 1912-1986, was the chief architect of the World Trade Center.