Is This Some Kind of Joke?

Why do ducks have flat feet?
From stamping out forest fires.
Why do Elephants have flat feet?
From stamping out burning ducks.

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The Albion People's Fair

Can you stand in the river for four hours?

In one of my hitchhiking outings in my youth (several centuries ago), I was picked up by an elderly gentleman in a Volkswagon bug, hauling a teardrop trailer. His name was Miller, and he was on his way to sell pipes at the Albion People's Fair. He fashioned his pipes from soapstone, drilling the holes ahead of time, and finishing them on site at the fair. I agreed to stay with him at the fair and work on pipes for his booth. The work consisted of standing in the Albion River, sanding down the soapstone to a very smooth finish. In retrospect, this was one of the better jobs I ever had. In return, Miller bought me some beer and peanut butter. Miller himself was an alcoholic, his drug of choice being Mad Dog 20/20. At least he never fell into the fire.

Real Gypsies?

I met many fascinating people there, including what Miller claimed was a group of gypsies. True, they spoke an unusual language, and they had a killer guitar player and a couple of dancers, but why would they be in Albion, of all places?

All in all, it was a wonderful experience for a young man with a developing mind and incomplete sense of self.

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"Hello", he lied.

"If I'm not here when you get back, it will mean I've gone somewhere." I was sitting by the fire, gazing idly at the sky to the west. The day was ending, but that was because it was almost over. "Do tell," she said. As she walked away towards the clearing I got the impression that she wasn't at all interested in the sky or the day, much less what I might be able to tell. The last of the dinner lay sullenly in my stomach, which meant I had over-eaten, again. Time for a drink.