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August 26, 2008

Argerghirrnama!

Just so you don't think I'm all weight loss and puppy dogs and knitting all the time, here's a little something to make the scholarly part of you smile. Believe it or not, I have read Plato's Republic. I KNOW, right?? And I'm a hy-uge fan of McSweeney's. For the uninitiated, they're a literary journal specializing in... left of center. They're based in San Francisco and I think they're fabulous.

ANYwho. What does Plato have to do with McSweeney's, you ask? Well, BEHOLD! Plato's Allegory of the Cave, as Explained by Popeye to Bluto.

And if you're STILL lost, check out the Wikipedia version.

August 7, 2008

Email Forwards - The Interweb's Fruitcake

Okay. So I work all day long on a computer, writing documents, sending email, surfing the Interweb, blogging, whatever. And I get a lot of email. Like... a lot of email. You wouldn't believe how much. Some of it's spam (happily, my spam filter is pretty good), some of it's bulk things that I don't really read much, and some of it's actually useful (yay!). But there's another category - the dreaded Email Forward - that I actually get very little of, which is fine with me.

Email Forwards are those silly little stories or jokes or self-help lists that people generally send around to friends and family to brighten days and generally interrupt the flow of actual work getting done.

Now, my objection to Email Forwards is not necessarily the same as everyone else's. Basically, most people find them irritating just for being. I cannot stand the wacky formatting that seems to be a requirement. I don't object to the content itself, but GEEZ, OH, PETE, PEOPLE! Does every single one have to be in cursive, pink font with 3-inch tall letters? Seriously? Do you think that adds gravity to the fluffy story you're sending? Really? And do you really neeeeeeed to show me a complete history of exactly how this story landed in your inbox (and, subsequently, mine)? I'm talking about the list of forward addresses at the top of the page. Really - I don't need to know the email addresses of all the ladies in your afternoon Mom-n-Kids group.

Anywho.

So I got an Email Forward a couple days ago from a family member that I actually thought was pretty cute, so I've removed the wacky formatting and the email addresses and the 10,000 "Hey, thought you'd find this uplifting" messages that also seem to accompany each story. And I'm not even going to ask you to forward this along to 10 of your closest friends. :-)

Mary and her husband Jim had a dog named 'Lucky.' Lucky was a real character. Whenever Mary and Jim had company come for a weekend visit they would warn their friends to not leave their luggage open because Lucky would help himself to whatever struck his fancy. Inevitably, someone would forget and something would come up missing.

Mary or Jim would go to Lucky's toy box in the basement and there the treasure would be, amid all of Lucky's other favorite toys. Lucky always stashed his finds in his toy box and he was very particular that his toys stay in the box.

It hap pened that Mary found out she had breast cancer. Something told her she was going to die of this disease....in fact , she was just sure it was fatal.

She scheduled the double mastectomy, fear riding her shoulders. The night before she was to go to the hospital she cuddled with Lucky. A thought struck her...what would happen to Lucky? Although the three-year-old dog liked Jim, he was Mary's dog through and through. If I die, Lucky will be abandoned, Mary thought. He won't understand that I didn't want to leave him. The thought made her sadder than thinking of her own death.

The double mastectomy was harder on Mary than her doctors had anticipated and Mary was hospitalized for over two weeks. Jim took Lucky for his evening walk faithfully, but the little dog just drooped, whining and miserable.

Finally the day came for Mary to leave the hospital. When she arrived home , Mary was so exhausted she couldn't even make it up the steps to her bedroom. Jim made his wife comfortable on the couch and left her to nap. Lucky stood watching Mary but he didn't come to her when she called. It made Mary sad but sleep soon overcame her and she dozed.

When Mary woke for a second she couldn't understand what was wrong. She couldn't move her head and her body felt heavy and hot. But panic soon gave way to laughter when Mary realized the problem. She was covered, literally blanketed, with every treasure Lucky owned! While she had slept, the sorrowing dog had made trip after trip to the basement bringing his beloved mistress all his favorite things in life. He had covered her with his love.