Speak softly and carry a big stick.
— Teddy Roosevelt, a great president.
Real men have sticks, or should. I have a small collection of sticks in the Garden Patio for propping things up. My father had a collection of walking sticks — canes. He had no trouble walking. He just liked his sticks.
These days, I have a hand-painted walking stick from Zihuatanejo, but I don’t use it because it’s kinda heavy. If the day comes that I actually need a walking stick, I’ll buy a lighter one. I like the notion of a cane, plus you can always hit someone with it.
Some people need hitting.
* * * *
The U.S. Embassy says I live in one of the more dangerous states. It even warns people they shouldn’t set foot here. This is pure nonsense and, clearly, no one from the Embassy has ever visited. If they had, they would know better.
But the bad guys do kill each other on occasion, and sometimes they kill a cop too, and the body must be disposed of in some fashion.
This affects my thinking.
In the Garden Patio, near the sticks, is an underground cistern. It has a black, metal lid on top. Back when I had the cistern filled by a water truck, I would open it on a regular basis. But now, it’s filled by municipal water automatically.
I go months without opening it, so it’s taken on a mysterious air. It’s part of the patio floor, and you just walk by it, but the lid is an ominous black.
I’ve taken to imagining there’s a body in there, floating on the surface. I guess I should take a look, but I keep putting it off.
* * * *
Roosters greet our sunrises. I have mentioned that often. But the fact is that hens talk all day. This is a characteristic they share with human women whom some insensitive male soul once referred to as hens.
And it caught on. I never use the word that way, of course.
As I was dropping off an additional stick in the Garden Patio this morning, and glancing gloomily at the black lid above the cistern, I was also hearing chickens. I have no chickens, but the neighbors do.
As a small child, I lived on a chicken farm in Georgia about five years. There were up to 2,000 chickens, maybe more. It must have been quite a constant cackle, but I don’t remember that at all.
But if there is one constant in my life today, it is the talk of chickens.
* * * *
Sticking with the Georgia theme, let’s turn to houseflies. If you live near thousands of chickens, you’re gonna have flies. While I do not remember the chicken sounds from those Georgia days, I do remember the flies.
And fly swatters.
Those Cracker flies were very difficult to kill. It was like trying to sneak up on a crow. If you’ve ever tried to sneak up on a crow, you know what I mean. A crow won’t let you close, and neither would those flies.
If you managed to swat one, it was your lucky day.
Flash forward six decades and many lines of latitude south. I’m still kicking and living near chickens and other farm animals, like pigs and horses, so that means plenty of houseflies.
But these are not the houseflies of my youth. These flies are stunningly stupid. You walk right up to them, and they just sit there, awaiting death.
And I give it to them.
Houseflies have not evolved well, or perhaps it’s a cultural thing.
Maybe these flies spend too much time in the salsa.