Speaking of obits... we think we may have seen the last of Parka.
No, he didn't up and die. I wouldn't even wish that,
even as much as he annoys us. Last week he applied for and received a
library card. When he was filling out his form, he mentioned that he
was actually from California but was staying with his parents in town.
Which leads me to ask: What is it with annoying dickweeds from
California returning here to move in with their parents and hog up our
computers for hours on end, anyway? First the Dufus and now this guy?
Well, mystery solved, at least for Parka. Last week
the local paper ran an obituary on a man we're pretty sure is Parka's
father. Our guess is that he was in town because his dad was not in
good shape. I'm not even going to make the obvious joke about Parka
whiling away his father's last dying hours by chatting with e-Skanks on
his favorite on-line dating service page. I don't know his
circumstances. Maybe that's just how he winds down from a day's worth
of spending quality dying time with his dad. Frankly I don't even know
if Parka's really gone or if this was even his father. But we still
haven't seen him for several days, so we can always hope.
Also, our Drifter from
three weeks back still hasn't drifted on. I think he may have even
made a few friends in the area and may be staying with them. Certainly
he's found a base of operations of some sort, as he no longer carries
around his enormous backpack with the flag. One of his new friends has
also given him permission to use her library card, which is cool with
us. At the moment we're hardly policing such matters anyway. We still
have a few precious weeks left in which we don't have to be card Nazis
so we can afford to be a bit lenient. Besides, we let just about
anybody use anybody's card provided there's a clear line of
permission... for the moment.
I get good vibes from the Drifter, though. He's a
black guy, about five years younger than me (which would make him 26),
with short dreds and a kind of neo-bohemian/Johnny Cash air about him.
He dresses in all black (that's the Johnny Cash part), with a
wide-brimmed leather hat and various interesting trinkets hung on hemp
cords around his neck. Last Thursday he also had a reed flute hung on a
cord, sort of like an Elderberry flute,
which he played out at our picnic bench for about an hour, much to the
delight of passing kids and their parents. He wasn't too bad, either.
This whole area is chock full of granola-munching,
Birkenstock-clad, neo bohemian/hippie types, with a goodly assortment of
genuine former hippies and sundry 60's radical trust-fund babies
sprinkled in for a good mix. Some have become back to the land
homesteaders, (and if that's your bag, this is a fabulous area for that
sort of thing), while others have settled in to open up boutiques,
coffee shops, New Age crap stores, bookstores, art galleries, etc. Many
are local artisans and have their work on display at Tamarack,
in Beckley. Not that I'm complaining at all. I don't always share
their politics, but most of them are really great human beings. I count
several among my friends here and enjoy living in an area with such an
eclectic mix of people. I'm just careful not to say nice things about
the president around them.
(This reminds me of a joke I just heard... The
Pope comes to Washington D.C. to spend a day with President Dubya.
While he's in, they decide to go out on the Potomac aboard Yacht One.
While they're out there, a gust of wind comes along and blows the Pope's
hat out into the water. The secret service guys get all excited and
they're about to jump in to go get it when Dubya says, "Wait, I'll do
it." He steps off the boat and walks across the surface of the water,
picks up the Pope's hat and walks back without so much as getting his
shoes wet. Everyone stands and gawks in amazement at what they've just
witnessed. The next day, of course, all the nations news headlines
read: PRESIDENT CAN'T SWIM.)