Wednesday, May 9, 2012

All Things Wild and Otherwise

You might have missed the item in the news from earlier this week regarding "Meow" the cat. What made Meow newsworthy? His weight. Meow tipped (over) the scales at a Primo Carnera-like thirty-nine pounds. He was but five years old when he died. According to someone from the shelter that cared for Meow during the final couple of weeks of his life - and had placed him on a weight-loss regimen during the time he was with them, Meow died due to an "unanticipated respiratory difficulty". Respectfully, he was a five-year-old house cat who weighed roughly as much as a five-year-old human being. Is it difficult for me that a respiratory issue killed him? Not at all. However I would bet all nine of his lives and my own that he never had a respiratory problem that was "unanticipated". The poor animal had feet that were - from his sight lines - mere rumors. Poor bastard.

While Meow would hardly seem to have qualified as a 'wild thing', he did have the distinction of dying only a day before Maurice Sendak did. Sendak, 83, wrote and illustrated a number of books but is best known to anyone under the age of eighty-three for his seminal creation: "Where the Wild Things Are". If you have not read it in a while - or like Yours truly in too many years to count - pick it up again and give it a read. It shall remind you what you loved about it way back when. If you have never read it, be certain to do so. You shall be happy you did. And when you share it with your children or grandchildren, they will be happy you did as well.

The good old days took a double shot on the chin this week. It was announced that Richard Clemens who, while a Massachusetts State Trooper, served as the model for the police officer in Norman Rockwell's 1958 illustration "The Runaway" had died. Clemens, like Sendak coincidentally, was eighty-three years old. The illustration first appeared on the cover of the September 20, 1958 Saturday Evening Post. I read on-line in one of the Boston papers that Clemens scored the gig because he and Rockwell were neighbors. Apparently, in illustration modeling - much like real estate, the three most important things are "location, location, location".

And judging from the way in which my favorite hockey team snatched victory from defeat's jaws on Monday night in the fifth game of their best-of-seven Eastern Conference Semi-Final series with the Washington Capitals, location is also the three most important things in hockey. For with but 6.6 seconds left in regulation and the Rangers down by a goal, Brad Richards was most certainly in the right place at the right time for the home team. Whether the Rangers manage to hoist Lord Stanley's Cup this year remains a mystery but this group has been a hell of a lot of fun to watch. Do they have nine more victories in them? Time will tell.


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