Not in the clamor of the crowded street, not in the shouts and plaudits of the throng, but in ourselves, are triumph and defeat.--Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

REDIRECT ALERT! (Scroll down past this mess if you're trying to read an archived post. Thanks. No, really, thanks.)

Due to my inability to control my temper and complacently accept continued silliness with not-quite-as-reliable-as-it-ought-to-be Blogger/Blogspot, your beloved Possumblog will now waddle across the Information Dirt Road and park its prehensile tail at http://possumblog.mu.nu.

This site will remain in place as a backup in case Munuvia gets hit by a bus or something, but I don't think they have as much trouble with this as some places do. ::cough::blogspot::cough:: So click here and adjust your links. I apologize for the inconvenience, but it's one of those things.

Thursday, May 27, 2004

What to do, what to do…

I mean, it’s Thursday and all, and it just seems like something is missing. What could it be?

Oh well. Since I can’t remember what was so danged important, we might as well get started with the Axis of Weevil Thursday Three, Installment No. EIGHT! For this week’s quizzlement, I think we might go back to our roots and ask three questions that require you to work really hard on an answer and give yourselves headaches.

Seeing as how the South seems to be replete (or at least stereotyped as being replete) with “characters,” and seeing as no matter how uncomfortable they might make you feel when they catch you outside while you get the mail or walk the dog they ARE still good for making conversation, let’s see how you answer these questions:

1) Who is the most peculiar person you know personally? Please give a short listing of their particular foibles you find most compellingly peculiar. Obviously, the more peculiar, the more prudent it will be to disguise their identity to some extent--giving their name, address, and aluminum-foil-hat communicator number is probably a bit too much information. You know how those people are.

2) What characteristic(s) about yourself do you think others might find just a tad bit peculiar?

3) Knowing how Peculiar-Americans tend to have rather different ideas when it comes to politics, have you ever voted for a person who was identified as something other than a Republican, Democrat, Libertarian, or little-‘I’ independent?

NOW REMEMBER, just because this whole thing has some tenuous connection to the South, DOESN’T MEAN that if you live in such peculiar places as Borneo or Newark, that you have to sit back and not participate. It’s fun and exciting for the whole family--even those in state custody!

Second, if you don’t participate, we have operatives who know about it, and well… We just wouldn’t want anything to happen, you know.

SO, go off and make yourselves some answers, and post a link down in the comments. As always, if you don’t have your own blog, you are welcome to use the comment section and post your whole essay. (Remember, however, that Haloscan only has a thousand character limit due to restrictions placed upon it by the Trilateral Commission and Queen Elizabeth’s reptilian cabal.)

Now then, now that those people aren’t staring at me anymore, here are my answers.

1) Oh, good grief--I work in municipal government! The whole place is full of peculiar sorts--meaning, obviously, I had better not be too specific about any of them.

There’s one in particular who is beyond peculiar and is actually under the care of a physician. Whoops, hollers, talks to no one (loudly), barely functional in any sort of social setting--and nearly completely immune to official action, lest it be construed as discriminatory. Gotta love that civil service.

HOWEVER, there are plenty more--one in particular I DON’T know apparently uses the downstairs restroom every morning. The urinal has one of those electronic flush valves that senses when you leave and flushes the urinal. It works fine. But someone, for some unknown reason, apparently stands to the side of the sensor, leaving a urinal full of pee when he leaves. I’m not sure what might be going through his tiny mind. It makes it worse that there is a regular, handle-flush model right next to the electronic one, meaning he has a choice, yet still does this.

As for other peculiar sorts outside the walls of the bureaucracy, there are tons--I am a magnet for the disaffected, after all.

I know a fellow whose wife makes him shave his armpits; there were the people who lived up the street from my in-laws who turned their whole front yard into a junkpile as some sort of protest--hung CDs from trees, lined the fence with handmade signs, threw garbage bags out in the front yard--even after they had been sent to jail several times; there were the people who used to live next door to my aunt who would stand or squat outside all the time, even in the rain; there were our neighbors at our old house who would do yardwork at night--not even with the floodlights on--just the light of the streetlight (we concluded they were vampires); a large proportion of my various remote in-laws do numerous peculiar things (a fact to which Reba would gladly attest)--keeping all their money in cans rather than the bank being one attribute of at least several odd ones; I dare not mention all the peculiarities of my sundry religious brethren and sistren--aside from saying that if you have someone in your congregation who fills up a giant Igloo cooler with ice from the ice maker in the church kitchen every Sunday and every Wednesday, you’re not alone.

In short, the majority of the people I know have some sort of reeeeeally obvious mental disharmony going on. At least it makes for handy blog fodder.

Now then 2)--I think the one thing most people find peculiar about me is my quietness, which comes across as standoffishness, aloofness, coldness, unfriendliness, anti-sociability, and just about every other uncharitable thing. After they get to know me, it’s not so bad because I actually do talk and can carry on reasonably witty conversations. That’s when they find out just how peculiar I REALLY am---that’s when I go from being the odd quiet guy on the edge of the room to the familiar voice you read here, all tanked up on Diet Coke and pharmaceuticals.

I remain reticent about striking up too many conversation with folks I don't know well, though, mainly because I am all too aware (vis. Question One) of just how many acquaintances I ALREADY have who would like nothing better than get off on a long ramble about why the U.S. is under admiralty law, how they once saw the Devil, why they keep their broken dentures, or how their Uncle Nedro once lit George Wallace’s cigar. Being that I am willing to listen politely without resorting to fisticuffs or gunplay to prevent myself from being on the receiving end of such blabber, I just tend to wait and watch before committing myself verbally.

Finally, Question Three--nope, never voted for anyone exotic. As you can probably tell, I’m pretty conservative, although I’m not a registered voter with any party. I tend to vote Republican, although for state and local offices I have voted for Democrats, and have voted (for sheriff) for Democrats even when they were running against Republicans. I won’t vote for them for national office, though. I have voted for some Libertarians before, more out of an anti-incumbent protest than anything else, and a tiny number of folks unaffiliated with a party.

So there you go.

UPDATE--Jim Smith sends this message:
In your description I think you forgot haughtiness and snobby.

And sneaky, you quiet people are sneaky, like them d*** cats. Don't get me started on them cats.
Possumblog makes every effort to correct or clarify innaccuracies as soon as they are brought to our attention.

Now then, I have a dead mouse I have to go leave in someone's shoe.

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