Read the four different posts (212, 214, 236 and 263).
Books, blow dryers, babies in baskets.
These are all things we’d like back.
These are all things we usually get back.
But somehow it’s different with pens. When someone borrows one it’s like they’re immediately shipped to the Island of Misfit Toys with the rest of their often-borrowed-rarely-returned brothers and sisters. Since nobody wants to be the whiner asking for their paperclip or hair elastic, these misfits just disappear into the abyss.
And that’s what makes it so great when someone actually gives you your pen back. It’s almost like getting a gift. “Wow, thanks,” you mutter, as the guy filling his customs form beside you on the plane passes back your ballpoint.
“Never thought I’d see this again.”
I always break my taco’s back.
Yes, it’s a sad and painful moment which involves me picking up a hard-shell taco and very gently squeezing it together so I can fit it in my mouth. But then just before I can bite, a loud splintery crack fills the air and I notice I’ve just given my taco a career-ending spinal injury by splitting it into two giant half-circle nachos barely squeezing the greasy meat, cheese, and lettuce together.
The next thirty seconds are a tornado chomping blur as I bite hard and fast to avoid the entire taco crumbling into a pathetic wet beaver’s dam of splintered shells, sour cream smears, and grease drops.
It doesn’t always work and I’m often left a pathetic mess with greasy fingers, bits of tomato in my hair, and a fine dusting of taco shell sprinkled on my pants.
And that’s why it’s great when someone actually manages to eats a taco without anything falling out.
Because we didn’t think you could do it.
And you proved us all wrong.
It happens out of nowhere.
The pace picks up, stories twist together, and suddenly the book is stuck in your hands. Your eyeballs grow wide and the clock keeps ticking as you go deeper and deeper into the dark hole that sends you straight to the last page.
You know you’ve hit that point if you’re almost skim-reading you’re so excited, if you’re clenching your bladder to avoid bathroom breaks, or you’re constantly flipping forwards to see how much is left before the end.
Here comes the big finish!
Welcome to the saloon.
Jump off your tired horse, kick your cowboy boots together, and step through the swinging gates into your home away from home. Dusty sunbeams streak through dirty stained-glass windows and shadows fall on your closest friends laughing in a dank and dirty world away from it all. Tip your hat at the girl across the room, slap your pals on the back, and slip onto a cozy stool to trade stories and jokes with the bartender and catch up on all the gossip you missed.
Welcome to the saloon.
Jump onto your cell phone, check your text messages, and log into your email to catch up on forwards from friends. Bleeps and bloops ring from plastic screens as you share laughs with faces in a secret digital world away from it all. Poke the boy across the room, catch up on blogs, and instant message all your friends while skimming all the comments and one-liners you missed.
Losing cell phone service is like temporarily leaving the saloon and heading into the chilly night air for a crisp midnight walk down the black roads of your hometown. It’s a refreshing feeling of clearing your head, finding your thoughts, and finally floating alone through our webby world of loose connections.
It can feel great to walk away from it all. But it sure can feel great to pop back in.
Getting cell phone service back after not having it for a while is like stepping through the swinging doors and joining us all back in the saloon.
Words and phrases
cell phone service, 2
clenching your bladder, 2
customs form, 1
hair elastic, 1
pop back in, 2
spinal injury, 1
stained-glass windows, 2
You have reached iSyllabi, the blog for my English class students at Tibble. Here you will find posts and links related to your courses, you can find your homework and you also post your Article-of-the-Week logbooks here. For En5-students I also offer articles for your major (just click the links above).