Good Morning Ted and Jody:
Is the morning coming earlier or is it just me? with full advance knowledge that the time would skip an hour last night, I still awoke thinking, this is just wrong. Then I realized that it is just preparing us for when the world is fully taken over by computers and the computers really start messing with us by making unannounced and random changes in what time it is. The computers may even mess with dates—day, month and year. I can see it now a bunch of computers getting together and deciding we are not behaving as if we are grownup enough to be in the 20th Century, much less the 21st so they change all the calendars back to 1491 and decide to give the Natives of this hemisphere a break and not turn the Europeans lose on them as happened before (funny how history blames a bunch of rats getting off a ship for starting the Black Plague but goes silent on the White Plague that hit this half of the world). While I admire Ben Franklin for a number of things (most notably for being on the $50 bill), I wish he had kept this time saving nonsense to himself.
Nancy seems to have made it through yesterday without a sign of vertigo. Cross your fingers.
The supply of petite whole green olives upon which I have been surviving these several months seems to be diminishing in the stores that carry them. I am dangerously low, down to my last 15 jars. I may have to visit every store that still has any and buy them out.
I am putting an inordinate amount of time in getting my Democratize Money (or Monetize Citizens) monograph ready to self-publish. I am thinking three formats: eBook, paperback and audio book. We’ll see how it shapes up. For the audio book, I should think it would be difficult to use voice inflection with the subject matter to convey suspense, alarm and the like. But what the heck.
Nancy and I figured out there are two seasons out here: wet and dry. We also figured out the dry season was a few days ago, Thursday if we recall accurately.
Stay healthy, warm, happy and reasonably sober or high (your choice).
Warmest regards, Ed
034 Frank Thompson Continues the Visitation Supervision
Fiction in 1297 words by T. Edward Westen
“The picnic basket, where did I put the picnic basket?” Frank Thompson said. Looking at Alice, he added “When I couldn’t find you and then fond your identity tab in the women’s room, I got detracted and put it down someplace.” As he kept looking around.
Alice Beaverton turned to her daughter and said, “It’s a game Baby Jessica Ann, the one who finds the picnic basket wins.” Then to Frank “and we all get to eat.”
Jessica Ann was off like a shot. Well, more like a zigzag shot, first in one direction and then in another. She disappeared around to the other side of the comfort station and they heard her joyful cries “I found it. I found it. I win., I win.” Indeed, they could see she had won when she came back around the corner half dragging and half carrying the picnic basket.
Alice said, “Good Job, Baby Jessica Ann, Good Job.”
Franks asked Jessica Ann, “Do you want me to carry it for you?”
Jessica Ann retorted, “I found it. I win. It is mine.”
Alice said, “He just wants to help, Baby Jessica Ann.”
Frank said, “You won. Good Job. Do you want help carrying it?”
Jessica Ann appraised Frank Thompson carefully, squinted her eyes and said, “You can help; but, it is mine. I won.”
Frank shook his head in agreement and stooped over to lend a hand in keeping the picnic basket from dragging on the ground. With him holding it up just high enough so Jessica Ann could maintain the facade of carrying the basket, he was as stooped as the crooked man who walked the crooked mile. Alice snickered.
Frank reddened. “What’s so funny?”
Alice held up her two hands with her fingers framing a picture and said, “The sight of you two would make a great painting. Then too there is the question of who is helping whom?”
Frank guided the picnic basket toward a nearby picnic table “I suggest, Jessica Ann we put it on this table, OK?”
Jessica Ann looked solemn and shook her head. “That is a nice table,” she said.
Frank had to be careful in lifting the picnic basket as Jessica Ann still had an owner’s firm grip on her newly found property. But, he managed, Jessica Ann and all.
While Frank, Alice and Jessica Ann were eating their picnic lunch Officer Elmer Diggins arrived with Alice’s identity tab. He first addressed Frank while point to Alice, “You swear this is the woman who lost this identify tab?”
Officer Diggins said, “You have to say it for the record.”
Frank said, “Yes, Officer Diggins, I swear this is Alice Beaverton, the woman who lost the identity tab that I found in the women’s comfort station.”
Officer Diggins turned to Alice. Holing up the identity tab he asked, “Is this your identity tab miss?”
Alice looked at it and replied, “Is this a trick question? Don’t they all look alike? But taking all the possible answers to those two questions into account, it looks like my identity tab.”
Officer Diggins looked just a bit flustered, He turned to Frank and said, “Tell her to say yes.”
Alice gave up and said, “Yes, Officer that is my identity tab.”
Officer Diggins quickly handed it to her and said, “I am sorry about all the folderol, but regs are regs and even though the damned thing won’t work for anyone else, we have to have all that verbal nonsense or I couldn’t give it back to her.” Peeking into the open picnic basket he asked, “Are those deviled eggs?”
Alice who had grown wiser in the past few minutes replied, “Yes, Officer, those are deviled eggs. I have been wondering if I got the recipe right. Do you know anything about deviled eggs?
Officer Diggins allow as how he was a connoisseur of deviled eggs and volunteered to test them to make sure she got the receipe right. Taking a bite of one, he tilted his head, chewed and looked thoughtful. Then he too another bite repeating the routine. When he had finished, he looked a bit troubled. Alice frowned, and asked “You probably need several more to be sure.”
Officer Diggins, chuckled and smiled then said, “No, miss, but I do appreciate the gesture of kindness. I like the way you blended the ground up green olives with a smidgen of pepper in the mix of a little French mustard into the mayonnaise, and then, the sprinkled smoked paprika on top. There is a hint of sweetness in there that I can’t identify. What is it?”
“Just a pinch of powdered honey,” Alice replied. “You know to take the edge of the vinegar in the prepared French mustard.”
Officer Diggins cocked his head smiled, nodded and said, “Powdered honey, who would have thought it. I’d hire you as my deviled egg cook any day. You all enjoy what I left of the deviled eggs.” He walked off with a swagger that could be called joyful.
Frank marveled at the attention Alice paid to her daughter and how her daughter, Jessica Ann, responded to her attention. It was clear the relationship was a new one for the two of them, but it seemed more like a lone established warm relationship unlike any he had ever seen forged between visiting parent and child in his 25 years of supervising such visits. Alice Beaverton did not seem desperate to make a good impression or bribe the child. Jessica Ann seemed to trust her mother. These two traits were not to found in the parent-child visits he had supervised. Frank thought, ‘I only had the briefest encounter with Walter Beaverton this morning when he handed his daughter over to Jackie and me, which come to think of it unlike most parents I had to ask for his contact information and if there were any allergies and the name of the doctor. “Hmm, he didn’t have the information ready and seemed irritated that he had to provide it and the time it took. He was in a hurry to leave,” he said not realizing he was thinking out loud.”
“Excuse me,” said Alice. “What did you say?”
Frank quickly said, “I was thinking about a case and I guess my thinking slipped out of my mouth. Sorry.” He paused, “It is about time to head back.”
“Yes, it has been fun. Thank you for making it possible of for me to be with my Baby Jessica Ann. Will it be you supervising next week?” asked Alice.
“It is hard to tell. We get our schedules about three days in advance.” Frank paused. “Technically, the time for your visitation is over. But you may walk back with us.”
Thank you. I’d like that,” said Alice. “But I don’t want to jeopardize my seeing her next week. So, better than a scene at the door, I’ll say good night here.” She picked up Jessica Ann and held her tight for a moment and then said, “I will see you next week Baby Jessica Ann. Be a good girl for Frank,” pointing to Frank, “and your daddy in the meantime. I love you Baby.”
Jessica Ann had tears in her eyes. “Don’t go Mommy. Don’t go Mommy. I love you, don’t go.”
Frank took the child’s hand and looked down at her and said, “Do you want me to carry the picnic basket, or do you?”
Jessica Ann watched her mother walk away said in a very low voice, “don’t go mommy.”
Frank picked up the picnic basket and as they walked in the opposite direction from Alice, Jessica Ann kept looking back over her shoulder.
Frank thought, ‘Sometimes I think this job will be the death of me.’