Thursday, August 27, 2009

What would Chaucer do?

A few ?weeks? ago, I learned that A***** was interested in reading The Canterbury Tales & I was taken by a desire to read them as well. I had actually taken a semester of The Canterbury Tales, but can remember almost nothing, except the 'frame' structure, the first opening lines (which I will recite for you, in Middle English, you only have to ask) & the agony of reading the Prioress' Tale, not just the anti-semitism (which was uhhhhhmmmmm kinda the theme) but because of the overwhelming assininity of it all. I have often found myself looking at carnage (in person, in history books) & wondered how could such a stoopid idea have done this much damage? But that's me.

So earlier this month we got together over pinot grigio, some food, some more pinot grigio, had knitting lesson part deux (her not me) & mapped out the Tales. I have a stack of biographies & criticisms & spin-offs borrowed from the library & am ready to go.

How would Chaucer go about this? Well, I am only guessing but I think he might break it down into parts. & so that is what we will do. I was supposed to be thru the Miller's Tale by last this evening; as of this typing I have not finished the Prologue. I thought I was done with the Prologue a week ago but it was continued on the next disk. For those who know The Canterbury Tales, you know there is the Knight's Tale between the Prologue & the Miller's Tale. Of course, you probably also know, Chaucer never finished writing the Canterbury Tales.

//I really was not looking for a saint for this post, but in confirming how to spell 'prioress', I found one. No doubt the inspiration for her story & the source of constant conflict up to & including the present: Little Hugh of Lincoln. I will let you read the story yourself. The worst part of this particular bit of information is just the other day I read a story on the BBC that made my hair stand on end. According to one of the most widely read tabloids in Sweden, Israeli's are harvesting organs from Palestinians. The Swedish Ambassador to Israel is disgusted with the story. More than 1/2 a millennium has gone by since Little Hugh of Lincoln was canonized & stories like this are still getting play.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

National Dog Day

Today is National Dog Day. Of course, where I live every day is Dog Day & I mean that in a good way. I admit it is one of those 'days' I would not have really noticed except of course for the people who remain persuaded that they can convince the Eagles to sack Michael Vick. Many sites that have a "tell the eagles what you think" link have a National Dog Day notice.

It occurred to me that if I am telling sponsors of the Philadelphia Eagles I will no longer be using their products (I am not going to miss Taco Bell at all but we have already said good-bye to Geico, & it turns out Pepsi is responsible for several of my favorite beverages. Oh Well, & so forth, water is better for me anyhow), I should make an extra effort to support sponsors of National Dog Day. So here goes:

Cotton: Oh. My. G*d. Cotton is one of my favorite things! It makes for difficult knitting (sorry cotton) but the most beautiful quilts. Today I vow to purchase several pieces of cotton & several more every week for the rest of the year. Maybe even for the rest of my life.

Dyson: What can I say, I love my Dyson. When our pre-Dyson died & we were shopping for a new vacuum, the salesman estimated that people use 10-12 vacuum bags a year. I laughed so hard I almost choked; we used to use 8+ a month. I would buy another Dyson because of their Dog Day support but...I do not need to! This vacuum is so good it has lived in our 5-dog-house on a dirt road for several years & is showing no sign of feeling the pain.

Crayola: Is there anything better than a box of crayons?!? There may be some bad things about Crayola crayons, but I do not know what they are. I even know that a two year old can eat a substantial amount of them & pass them with no apparent harm. What other toy can do that? I am absolutely going out & buying several boxes of Crayola crayons & then putting them in the school supplies drive box at the library.

There are other sponsors but I do not know much about them, except they keep excellent company.

I do not know how you will be observing National Dog Day, but I will be buying crayons, vacuuming & then maybe a bit of quilting. & of course I will do all of this while being followed around by my dogs. Oh, yeah, I also plan to send another letter (another day, another letter) to another corporate sponsor of the Philadelphia Eagles.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Not scraps but leftovers

When you cut several gajillion of the same shape from the same sized piece of fabric, you end up with a lot of scraps that are as alike as if you had intentionally cut them for their own purpose. If you are anything like me, you lean towards making the same blocks into similar quilt tops a few times (maybe a few dozen times) & well, I sometimes have a great big bag of the exact same scraps. Because I save them together. & that is how I happened to make this quilt:

My mother, sister, sister-in-law, etc. will recognize something of what they have received somewhere in this one. For such a mish-mash it did not come out half bad, if I do say so myself. Which I just did.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

So easy even a dog killer can do it: The Reply

This is what I sent to Geico via their contact web-page:

So easy even a dog killer can do it-

I was very disappointed to learn that Geico is a corporate supporter of the Philadelphia Eagles; we have been faithful Geico customers for well over ten years.

While I realize the decision to restore Michael Vick to the NFL was not a Geico decision there is no question that by remaining a sponsor of the team that signed him, Geico endorses this decision.

I have not yet begun the process of changing our insurance carrier because I think after ten years Geico deserves the opportunity to redress this mistake however I will not remain with a company that supports dog killing for 'sport'.

this is the reply I got:

If you are a policyholder, we thank you for being with GEICO.

GEICO runs advertising spots during many athletic events broadcast throughout the country because we attempt to reach large audiences with our message of excellent coverage, price and service.

As a company and as an advertiser, we do not take positions on the issues that arise among teams or among players.

Thank you for taking the time to contact us.

GEICO Corporate Communications

In less than 20 minutes I had a quote from a Geico competitor that was $22 a year cheaper. Not usually enough to make me go thru the hassle of changing insurance carriers, but I think it will be worth it this time.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Save the liver

Last Saturday, we went to see Julie & Julia & it was hands down the best movie I have seen in a long long time. When I said it, A said he thought it was the best movie he had seen in a long time, too. Loved that movie.

Which is funny because I have tried twice (& have it on hold at the library again) to read the book & it just does not seem to click with me. This is how books get read in my house, by me: they sit in a pile on the kitchen table & I sift through them. I pick one up &./or put one down almost every time I pass the table. I read when I am waiting on hold, I read when I vacuum, I read when I watch tv & sometimes I even read when I am reading. Occasionally, when I am having trouble getting into a book I flip to the middle or so & start reading from there. This actually helps. It worked with The Lovely Bones (also soon to be out in theaters YAY). It helped with the Eyre Affair (yes bookclubbers that one took two tries). I read maybe ten pages & then went back to the beginning.

It did not work with The Life & Times of the Wicked Witch of the West, or frankly anything by Gregory Maguire, who is in good company as I cannot cope with Dickens, think F. Scott Fitzgerald is overrated & do not get me started on the G*d Damned Fish Book.

Ah well, while I wait for the book to come to me via my local library reserve system, I will enjoy my favorite other channeling of Julia Child right here.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Whack fol de diddle

I have said before I am not much for Ste. Patrick's Day & there is a good reason. I am actually of Irish decent & before I married A, my name was, well lets say it stops just short of being an ethnic joke. Upon hearing it you would never guess I could be anything else. & 364 days a year I am fine with that. Proud even.

But too much crap happens in the name of that day: everyone is not Irish on Ste. Patrick's Day, no matter how much green beer you pour down your gullet. Then there is the banning of some of Irish decent from marching in celebration under their own banner because, well I have never been clear why. I am also more than a little sick of Cardinal Law. I realize he may very well not be Irish but being the church-honcho of Boston meant I had to look at him every Ste. Pats Day I spent near a television.

& so instead I have decided for myself that Irish heritage day is actually today, August 17th which every good connoisseur of Irish music knows is the day of the Galway Races. Most Irish music is about career criminals & the British (or just career criminals depending on your opinion of the British), but this one is about tolerance. & how, because of tolerance we can get down to the important business of drinking & gambling & dancing & every vice imaginable including but not limited to salted, pickled, boiled or grilled pigs feet. MMMM-mmm.

If you must have an actual saint, I give you Saint Drithelm. He may not seem like much but he got up every morning & did what he did, & did it decently enough that when they thought he had died his family was sorry. When he rose from the table they had laid the body out upon, he gave them quite a shock. In the usual saintly manner, he decided his life was to take on a new purpose so he divided his worldly goods into three equal parts: one for his wife, one for his children & one for the poor. Then he went on his way. It is hard not to admire a guy who decides to clean up his act but not at the cost of the people he leaves behind. Cardinal Law could take a page...

Saturday, August 15, 2009

So easy a dog killer can do it

I have already said how (un)impressed I am with the NFL's decision to reinstate Michael Vick & now well, I am double dazzled by the Philadelphia Eagles. YesBiscuit! was good enough to put up the link to the Philadelphia Eagles Corporate Partners page. When I looked yesterday there were two standouts we use regularly & well I thought they might need new jingles in honor of this milestone. So this is what I came up with:

So much for being about the better stuff - Snapple
Even a dog killer can do it - Geico

& now I invite everyone to add their own to this page, but more important forward it to the appropriate Eagles sponsor.

I had zero faith that the Eagles will budge even an inch in their decision, until funnily enough less than twelve hours after the YesBiscuit! post, the Eagles took down their corporate sponsors page (although it remains cached here). Let me tell you who I was able to remember (with help from a few other not-Vickers I talk to) : Chrysler, Heineken, two different incarnations of Comcast, Lincoln Financial Group, BestBuy, USAirways, Taco Bell/KFC, Jeep, MasterCard, RiteAid Pharmcy, Pepcid, 7/Eleven, Pepsi, Miller-Lite, Dunkin Donuts, & of course Snapple & Geico. Oh & lets not forget my personal favorite: the American Red Cross. But thanks to For Your Entertainment I can point you to the pre-take-down list.

The unlucky thing about corporate sponsors is if they do not get credit for sponsoring, they do not think they got their monies worth so their logos are all over programs & tickets & their own websites. Anyone who has ever had a staring contest with a freakishly moist-eyed younger brother knows that in pulling the list, the Eagles just blinked. They could not have said "PLEASE do not contact our sponsors" any louder.

For Your Entertainment also suggests that the sponsors were probably blindsided & polite would be the best way to go when writing them (no such suggestion was made when contacting the Eagles directly).

Finally in the fairness of all things...well, fair, I should say A is not 100% with me on this. He is not sure Vick should have ever been banned from playing as the law is the law & MV was convicted, did his time & should be allowed to go on with his life. On the other hand, if the slogan "So easy a dog killer could do it" got well-known enough that they stopped running those annoying ads, well that would be killing two birds with one stone. Or should I say two dogs with the same chain.

//A' s exact words were...let me just fill you in: I said if MV was truly contrite he would have given up some names of others who had been involved & A said "Michael Vick does not live to satisfy you". It is moments like this that I delight in marrying someone for whom english is round-a-bout the third language. Or is it fourth?

Friday, August 14, 2009

Father Maximillian Mary Kolbe

I absolutely & unequivocally confess that Maximillian Mary Kolbe originally caught my interest as the patron of drug addicts & the story on the saints index implies a misspent youth, but what stopped me in my tracks was his martyrdom.

Let me be clear, martyrdoms are often graphic stuff. The technique, if you will, can have a lot to do with what you become patron of: the patron saint of cooks was grilled. I do not mean questioned for hours by law enforcement types, I mean grilled.

As for the whys of martyrdom, they are not usually so engaging. Mostly it is because the other guy hates you, hates your religion &/or generally wants to make an example of you. The why is usually the predictable bit.

Enter Maximillian Mary Kolbe, one of many many many & more to die at Auschwitz.

When the Nazis entered Poland, he was one of thousands gathered & taken away. This was not just bad luck, wrong Pole in the wrong place at the wrong time. His family had a history of rebelling against the presiding authority: his father was hanged for treason fighting for Polish Independence in 1914. Moreover, ill health kept Father Kolbe from doing his original assigned tasks (teaching ) & gave him time to to dwell on what he thought was the single greatest threat to his church & G*d: apathy. & no one ever fought apathy sitting in a church (or a school or a community center) waiting for someone who wants to hear what you have to say to wander in. Fighting apathy usually happens out there, in the street, with the apathetic. Best case scenario they think you are a kook, they give you whatever spare change they have on them & later that night might wonder if you found a safe place to sleep. Worse case, your apathetics are Nazis.

In the end, the almost end, he & his fellow brothers were arrested for harboring 3,000 Polish refugees in & around their monastery, an estimated 2/3 were jews. On May 28, 1941, he was deported to Auschwitz. In July that same year, following an escape, ten random remaining men were singled out to be killed. One of them, Franciszek Gajowniczek, despaired aloud of seeing his wife & children again; Father Kolbe requested & was allowed to die in his place. As Prisoner 16670, he was starved & dehydrated with the others selected, & died August 14, 1941 by lethal injection.

I have many many problems with the modern catholic church (with the older church, as well, but there is little point in hanging on to those). Not the least of which was the underhanded assisting known Nazi war criminals in relocating to Syria, South America, etc. to avoid trial for their war crimes. The more recent appointing of a former Hitler Youth to the papacy was just the cherry on top. Finding Father Kolbe on the calendar makes it easier for me to breathe.

What really held my attention though, heart rending story aside was the nature of his martyrdom. I have cruised up & down the saints lists looking for another who did not die for of his religion or even for his own direct actions or safe in his bed after a church-y life. Random chance could have made him one of the original ten chosen & we would not be talking about him now. Another take-me-instead volunteer might be in the pantheon, but I have not found him/her so far.

Father Kolbe is the patron of drug addicts (as I believe I mentioned), political prisoners & Auschwitz.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Over the fence

I got an e-mail early week-before-last letting me know my pasture needed mowing (which was plenty obvious). In same message W***** suggested a few times she could come over & do it. & then she did it. That Saturday I was making quiche. I made two & left one on her kitchen counter.

That same week-end, I cleared aloe "pups" from the bed along the house & under the banana trees. I packed them in newly cut grass & left a bucket of them near W*****'s truck. I also put some aside for V** & her parents (a handful each: V** likes plants her dogs cannot kill too quickly & her parents like hummingbird attractors). This coming month V** will help me take the old wallpaper off the bathroom wall (I am still unsteady on a ladder). When she goes home, she will take a dozen fresh eggs for her parents.

Friday morning I got feed for all the horses & was looking at the shelf of tick-sprays. I told D** I did not like the strong smells but what could you do? I was ready to plonk down $10+ for a small spray bottle. She suggested I use the horse spray instead. It has a milder smell & was 1/2 the price.

I like it here.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

"It's all happening at the zoo"

Yesterday, after 10+ years in this town, we went to the local zoo. I do not mean a zoo-zoo, I mean the local teaching zoo where they teach wanna-be zookeepers to be, well zookeepers.

Because it is a teaching zoo it is not staffed the way a public zoo is & you have to go with a group. Tours run every ???; we waited 20 minutes, which seemed reasonable. We were in a group of one other couple like us (grown-ups, no kids) & three couples with kids. Well kind of. Two couple with two kids each & one family of...

Maybe I should just tell the story.

So there we were those of us I have described & THEM. When we went in to buy our tickets ($4 for adults, such a bargain) the father asked me if I wanted one of his daughters. Then he asked if I wanted another. Then he asked if I wanted the third. I am from Connecticut & I know how to lower the temperature about 10F with body language alone(it is our super-power, how do you think we survive sandwiched between NYC & Boston) ; I said "no" the first time, never made eye contact & was ignoring him by the third. & HE KEPT TALKING. The guy was so obnoxious, A tuned out completely, missed crucial information (like we had to go with a group) & was agitated enough to leave an air-conditioned building with chairs to go stand in the parking lot.

Fast forward to actually entering the zoo. Ideal father was telling the story (not sure to who) of how each of his daughters had been a 'son' on the ultra-sound & how that was the only thing he really cared about & did anyone want a daughter. He entered the zoo with said daughters, his wife & his mother.

We all went to the first exhibit which was a building with snakes & lizards & such in the windows. We walked around the of the building, looking in at the windows while an inexperienced tour guide (a student, perhaps) read from her crib-notes what was what. His mother would not go near the building, she does not like snakes. Tour guide says something along the lines of "No one can be in the zoo unsupervised, I will get someone to stay with you" & Grandmother has a meltdown. No really, in two easy steps. The whole group waits while Grandmother has a hissy, tries to stalk off & is stopped from doing so because, well they cannot have anyone unsupervised in the zoo. Then she really ignites.

Soooooo, now there are multiple people joining us, including what is clearly a supervisor, that whole family unit gets pulled to one side & they decide that Grandmother will be escorted to the car. & apparently her son has to go with her....? They were given the option of a tour to themselves skipping the snake house but that was unacceptable. The rest of us are still waiting. Grandmother & Father leave.

The tour continues with all of us as above & Mother with three daughters, two of whom would rather be in the one stroller. The kids (all of them) were actually pretty good. Excellent when you consider they spent at least 10 minutes each at five 'groupings' of snakes et al. that should not have taken 15 minutes for the whole thing.

We move on & see some other animals: not the otters there was tree-work happening in their cage) & not the tree kangaroos (they just would not leave their air-conditioned bungalow), but others like the Galapagos tortoises. We get to the black swan (the swan bites) & our guide is radioed that someone will be rejoining our group. & we wait. & we wait. & we wait. On a boardwalk in the sun. Finally THEM father reappears & the tour resumes.

We go through the rest of the zoo, THEM father tries to give away his daughters a few more times. At one point he asks us (me & A) what something (either the crown cranes or the springbok; they share an exhibit) might be like grilled. We ignore him completely & he seems surprised, briefly & then asks the other people standing next to us if they want one of his daughters.

The tour continues, with this family dropping further & further behind. We occasionally overhear snippets of conversation. Apparently some of us are snobs (that would be me& A, or maybe the other couple a statistics professor at the same school as the zoo & a biologist, or maybe all four of us; none of us was very friendly) & then there are the family the THEM referred to as 'those people': a white father, a black mother & their two daughters.

SIDEBAR: at one point the younger of this couple's girls was trying to squeeze between A & the railing & the mother said very strongly "say excuse me!" A turned around, startled, & I thought he was going to say it; I do not think he had even noticed the little girl. I laughed, he laughed, mother laughed & the girl got a good view of whatever she was trying to see.

The tour moves on, we see other animals. Our emus are more fun. The blind bald eagle was kind of spooky. The kookaburra was indeed in the old gum tree. At each exhibit we have to wait for THEM to catch up as all their girls are tired & have to be carried & or strollered & they keep changing places.

As we get to the gate to leave one of the THEM daughters (who really were well behaved when they were not lagging behind) turns to her mother & asks "which one is your favorite, Mommy?".

Mommy says "I think my favorite was the ocelot".

Her daughter says "no, mommy, which one of US is your favorite".

Mommy says " I love all my girls the same".

It was sad.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Symbionese Liberation Quilt Guild

I used to be a member of one of the local quilt guilds, a very active member. Things changed, some burn out/some bitch out & I left the guild in the ball-park of ?two? years ago. But somehow I cannot get off their radar. Things (e-mails, phone calls) had finally started to quiet down & then I was suddenly being contacted about the every-other-year quilt show.

Previously I had been on the committee to blah-blah-blah but I certainly was not this go-round. But via these message I learned it had been somehow understood that I had agreed to help with this same committee again this year. I had not. When I was approached abut helping my exact words were "I am going to decline". In part because I reasoned it might be confusing if I did this but did not want to rejoin the guild. I actually stated this because, well I did not want to rejoin the guild.

Before you think poor poor pitiful Useless biotching about being popular, let me clarify: all the calls I got up to & including the quilt show ones were complaints. Every d*mn one. The e-mails were mostly questions about the logistics of blah-blah-blah, which of course I did not have. So I ignored them. & one person actually called to complain about that.

That was April. The show was the first week of May. I did not go; I had planned to go but was so turned off on so many people I decided it was not worth the effort of rearranging my time to be there when A could go with me. But when six weeks went by & there were no more messages, I began to think it might be safe to appear locally in a semi-quilty capacity. I was wrong. At the end of July I got a letter telling me an anonymous person (or persons) had PAID MY GUILD DUES & now I was a member of the quilt guild again.

I was irked. Quite irked. I showed the letter to A (while visibly huffing, me not him). He thought it was very funny. His exact words were "Don't they KNOW you are Irish?" & then he said something along the lines of maybe this was their way of guaranteeing I never went back. I do not know what my being Irish has to do with anything, but I have heard him tell people this is why he will not keep a gun in the house. I do not think I should take this crap from a Romanian, but I digress.

The short version is I handled it & I think I am out. I refrained from sending any messages that began "F*uck You, You F*cking F*cktards", which is how I usually address disparaging correspondence. Since the person I contacted was 1)a friend of mine -yes I still have friends & 2)almost certainly not the person who thought this would be a good idea, cussing her out did seem excessive. Completely over the top, even. This is the same reason I have abandoned my plan to find out who did this & make a sizable donation to the charity not-of-her-choice in her name.

As I reread this, I think I might know what A means by "Irish".

Thursday, August 6, 2009

How much wood would a botanist log if a botanist would log wood?

I am no botanist. But I am a logger, a data logger. For a few years I have spent a few days/weeks in the Herbarium doing general herbaria chores. Initially I went so I could learn the proper way to collect & record botanical specimens. In return for this training, I was also taught how to mount these specimens & then I was let loose on a decades-old pile of specimens improperly documented that now makes up a good portion of the local synoptic collection.

As I was working my way through the pile, I learned that there was no one, No One in a position to enter this information into a database, thereby making the synoptic collection more available. My new career was born.

More recently I have undertaken the digital recording of the existing wood collections (yes, plural) that have been merged and carefully cross-referenced....on index cards.

Last semester I finished the Acanthaceae. They made up about an inch & a half of index cards. I have now been working on the Anacardiaceae for what seems like a lifetime. I have recently arrived at poison ivy. Guess what still has toxic oils even after 60+ years in a cabinet? At five to nine months or so a drawer, I am looking at job security for the next several years. If only they were paying me, but you cannot have everything.

I have talked with a few friends who used to have paid work & now have no work but eschew volunteer work & I admit it leaves me stumped. How can it possible be better (for your resume, for your psyche, I would say for your self esteem except I do not actually believe in self esteem as defined by our culture), how can it possible be better to just wait; maybe you could reconsider? Why not do something while you are waiting? & you never know, you might meet your future employer while volunteering.- your volunteer job might become paid. This happened to one of the herbarium volunteers & could have happened to me but I would rather...set my own schedule. Yeah, that's it.

Sooooo if you have been not getting in touch with your local volunteer center because: you need to be available (if only cell phones had been invented), you do not want to make a commitment you cannot keep (no one ever heard of a temporary volunteer job), you want to use this time to catch up on things around the house (it can take weeks to dust behind the fridge; it takes me years), please take some of your busy, full day & think about doing something that does not remind you of what you are not doing.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Turn signals

So the other day this thing that happens to me more often than it should happened again. I used to think it was always the other guy's fault but, well, when the same problem keeps repeating a reasonable person starts to wonder if it might not not be the other guy, but instead... Several months ago V** suggested it was probably me.

I am driving down the road. I am coming upon a light. I plan to turn right at the light. There is an emerging right turn only lane before the light. I put on my turn signal & slide into this lane. I am nearly sideswiped by the guy pulling out of the parking lot who apparently thought my turn signal meant I was turning into same lot.

So I am asking: is it me?

I get a lot of signals crossed when I drive. The most frequent is the ubiquitous (down here) confederate flag. I guess some people see it as a way to identify comrades-in-arms...? I find it is a useful way to spot the stoopid people. That's right: if you have a confederate flag anywhere on your vehicle I take whatever I thought your intelligence might have been & cut it right in half. & like it or not, other measures of applied intelligence (high school diplomas for example) are bearing me out. I have lived well below the Mason-Dixon line for 15+ years & I have never, NEVER met a college graduate with such a sticker. On the flip side, the high school dropouts are leading the pack by a margin of 3:1. Yes, I do live in a rural community but the fact it backs up to the largest university in the state should balance that out, right?

In another example, I have a Vote No on 2 sticker on the back of my truck. For those of you who do not know, Florida voted Yes on 2 & it passed, but the sticker is still there. I would take it down, after all when the next campaign comes it will be repeal 2 or whatever, but I am having too much fun watching other people respond to it. At least once a month someone points to my sticker & says the votes are counted, my side lost & I should just get over it. Often these people have McCain/Palin stickers on their own vehicles.

My favorite 'turn signal' though will always be the giant testicles that some men hang from their trailer hitches; I have no hard data but I am pretty sure women do not do this. Usually these charming 'little dick' indicators are made of metal, but there was a ?rubber?plastic? very lifelike anyway pair that was always parked in our local grocery store lot. It was there so often I had kind of figured the truck belonged to an employee & so, apparently did some other people.

I do not spend a lot of my time worrying about how children are impacted by well, anything at all, but I know a lot of people do. I learned that some parents (I am guessing mothers) had complained to the grocery store about this truck (why naked girl silhouettes on mud flaps-another local favorite- were not equally objectionable I never did figure out, but people-&-their-objections are often a mystery to me).

The short version is that despite complaints the store said there was not anything they could do about it, really. So someone took those balls into (her) own hands. I walked out of the store, past same truck & the offending appendages had been neatly sliced from the hitch. Yup, that truck done got hisself gelded.

I seem to have run myself to the end of this particular line & I am still no closer to answering my original questions (is it me?) & now I have another: is it OKay for someone to remove an offending "message" from another persons car?