Sunday, October 23, 2016

A Fish Can't Whistle and Neither Can I

A week ago Saturday, in connection with the Alumni Awards Ceremony at W-H, I learned something - well, two things if one chooses to accept the pretense that "reciprient" is an acceptable derivation of "recipient".   

But I digress. 

At the post-reception get-together at Darby Road, Margaret and I were hanging out at the bar talking to my friend Em's younger sister, Karan.  Back in the day, Karan graduated from W-H and did so - in fact - four years or so after Em and I did, which was 1985.  The Rinaldo home on Scotch Plains was the center of all things wonderful when we were high school and college-aged youngsters. Many a night was spent at parties that Em hosted at her house, with folks downstairs in the basement or upstairs crammed around the kitchen table playing a dice-based drinking game with a politically incorrect name that conjures up images of the Republican nominee for President and a certain barricade he wants to erect between the United States and our neighbor to the south.  It was also, coincidentally, a drinking game at which Bowinkle and I excelled, in significant part because we cheated relentlessly.   

I did not know Karan well back in that era.  Truth be told, given the dual demons of time passage and foreign substance inhalation, I have little memory of her at all.  But, over the course of the past several years as Em has reconnected a fair number of us who knew one another a lifetime ago, I have gotten to know Karan - and her husband - Rob Trucks, who on occasion appears to lose the same bet that Margaret does (although less frequently than Margaret does) and accompanies his wife to events at which he finds himself surrounded by middle-aged strangers.  Note:  If you have a Twitter account and you want to make at least pseudo-productive use of the time spent there, follow Rob on Twitter (@eyeglassesofky).  

Last Saturday night, as we stood at the bar at Darby Road, our conversation turned towards books we are reading and/or have read.  Karen, presuming incorrectly that the size of my brain fairly approximates the over-sized carrying case that contains it, told me that she was reading "The Tao of Pooh" (Pooh as in "Winnie the" and not as in "What did I just step in?").  I thought that she was making it up, which it turns out of course she was not.  In fairness to me, she had just attempted to order something so obscure at the bar that I thought Clarence Oddbody had just sat down next to me. My skepticism meter was, therefore, set on "high". 

As someone who has never been a Winnie the Pooh fan (although as a child I always dug Tigger - after all his top was made out of rubber and his bottom was made out of springs), the idea that the story represents what Hoff's book posits it does never occurred to me and never would have occurred to me.  It is, I suppose, food for thought...

...which I can enjoy with a hearty glass of mulled wine, heavy on the cinnamon and light on the cloves.


No comments: