Wit and Soul

This page written circa 13 January, 2001.

Long time no pontificate. Blame house guests, holiday trip to aquarium, Christmas, Merinda's birthday, Edwin's arrival, Winter ills (e.g.) and some introspection, mostly about not having much time to myself.

So to the matter of the moment: I have two intangible assets: The first is my mind which is reasonably sharp and well-educated. For the education I have my mother to thank, and it cost her relatively dearly (up to university where the government took over).

The second asset is my teflon-coated soul. Psychological pundits might attribute this to my father, though the gift, if his, was given unwittingly, and cost me dearly at the time. Kay and I observe that Meri is becoming increasingly attached to me, and now gives a very sharp impulse of rejection to Kay as well as Marion if I am an available alternative. I could believe that if I had been in that situation, his departure when I was about 4 might have imparted the coating. I have speculated on this elsewhere.

As a concern to add into the broth, I have felt recently like I spend my weekends sweating to pull down the Domestic Entropy. Today Kay and Merinda were both quite ill. Between cleaning up precipitous bodily ejecta and doing a lot of laundry, I managed to clean up the work area in the garage, buy a new inner tube and put it in the front wheel of the bike, repair the old tube, cleanse the Benz of its patina of biscuit crumbs and toy fragments, update Meri's web page and write this, though I did get to watch an Avengers video and I heard most of Car Talk, by way of recreation. Luckily I was able to put off our seven guests. I did not get the time to chop up the fallen tree branch or prune the apple trees or deadhead the roses in the back garden nor did I chop down the second dead tree in the front garden that I did not get to last weekend. I did not get to changing the cistern valve in the leaky toilet. Still, the weekend is not over, and it is a 3-day one so I may yet win against the forces of chaos.

I recall a thought from 1983 or thereabouts, when I was living with Carolyne in Roseville. It went something like "I feel as if there are four people breaking things but only one of us fixing them". There were in fact four of us, and I was pretty much the sole source of practical fixing ability. That thought may have been unfair, if not untrue. Here in 2247 there are now three of us wearing things out (Teddy is still an apprentice entropist), though Kay is gentle and sensible with machines most of the time, and I have hopes that Merinda will acquire the engineer's touch from her Dad. Nevertheless, over the years several of my acquaintance have volunteered the same observation I have made: Things seem to last indefinitely when used by their engineer owner, but have a habit of expiring as soon as they are used by another. The demise is rarely attributable to any carelessness. I guess that a single user who understands the workings naturally places less stress on things.

I would like my children to possess these assets that I have. The education part may be difficult, given my age and that globally government is decreasingly enamoured with education. However, the soul part is likely to be more difficult, unless the payload gets so bad my soul slips away again.

(Those of you who have seen the Michael Palin story (was it a Ripping Yarn?) of a couple who hock themselves to send their daughter to so snobby a finishing school that she will no longer have anything to do with them, recall that he walks away happy.)

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