Saturday, June 07, 2008

The longest day of the year

Oh, graduation day, how I loathe you so. Three high school commencements, fourteen hours, lots of crushing boredom.

As it turns out, I wouldn't have felt much like knitting anyway. We were in a new location that was kept at the appropriate temperature for storing sides of beef. It was supposed to be in the nineties outside today, but it was so cold inside that a coat would have been welcome. The cold environment combined with an extraordinarily early morning for me meant I was drained, drained, drained for much of the day. We're talking that logy feeling which numbs every cell in your body.

Classes were promised to be the best ever. Their legacies will live eternally in the halls of their alma maters. The future is assuredly bright with these future leaders. Yada, yada, yada. I estimate that I've worked nearly forty of these commencements, so I know the platitudes and praise before they're ever uttered. Yeah, I'm sick of it.

Between the stretches when my mind went blank I read Charlatan: America's Most Dangerous Huckster, the Man Who Pursued Him, and the Age of Flimflam. This interesting read about quacks focuses on a particularly galling man whose biggest "medical" claim to fame was implanting goat testicles in men who had, umm, lost their vigor. The story of him and his contemporaries is hard to believe and yet not unfamiliar in this day and age. The book appears to be well-researched--it details how the main character also affected politics and radio--although the writing can be scattershot.

Anyway, obligatory knitting content from the book... After losing his medical license in Kansas this quack turned around and mounted a 1930 gubernatorial campaign that had the parties nervous. The book describes the other candidates thusly: "Both were novices, both were bachelors. One liked to knit."

This longest day of the year produced a bit of unwanted excitement as I got within a couple miles of home around dusk. A deer darted across the road a few car lengths ahead and nearly leaped over the vehicle in front of me. Seeing it was like being in a dream, although it quickly became a time for fast reactions as a couple of the deer's hooves landed atop that car, sending the creature tumbling to the ground. It was scrambling to get up and come back my way as I passed at 35 mph, but I suspect it had to have at least one broken leg.

Sad to see and kind of surreal too. Makes one feel glad to get home with aching muscles and dull mental faculties.

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