Pounding sand into rat holes

Just when I think I’m a huge waster of time, I see stories stuck in the 24-hour news cycle like:

  • Rosie v. Donald (both “disgusting losers?” You decide.)
  • The D.C. Madame (not exactly a licensed massage therapy service)
  • Richard Gere (kissing Bollywood stars)
  • Paris Hilton (going to jail, but probably upgrading to a Hilton-esque rich-kid prison)

And the list goes on and on. I guess I’m not the only one wasting time. Maybe I should have gone into broadcast journalism…

Anyway, this is why the famed Dr. Ajari (I’m doing research for a book on him) used to yell at his students to go pound sand into a rat hole if they were irritating him. Apparently during the Black Plague, folks actually pounded sand into rat holes to keep them in there. (Better than bathing? You decide.) So if a student was driving him mad, this was his way of telling them to go do something useful with themselves and leave him alone.

Maybe tomorrow morning, instead of watching the Today Show, I’ll go pound sand into a rat hole.

4 thoughts on “Pounding sand into rat holes

  1. Another interpretation through the wonderful world of fiction 🙂 I don’t know if the lead works, the end works…or that anything in between makes sense. But this is what came out (sorry for any unsightly mess or residue)

    Pounding Sand into Rat Holes

    It wasn’t all Peter’s fault. There was the bright sun and the rain trickling from the sky for no purpose except to paint a rainbow over Rustic Canyon, putting ideas of playing hooky into the heads of 12-year-old boys and bored housewives with a laundry list of, well, laundry.

    The screen door sprung shut with a well-oiled, “Have a good day,” as usual. Ellen was scrambling eggs for herself as the Today Show droned on with Breaking News about Britney Spear’s latest post-marital antics. Peter left home with his lunch bag full. He looked up and saw the vibrant red shouting from the rainbow. “It’s calling your name,” he imagined his dad saying. What if I just skipped school, Peter thought. I could go to the Neiman Road batting cage, then get to school by the end of classes, in time for baseball practice. Mom would never know.

    Ellen scooped the eggs onto her dark blue Dansk plate. She opened the cutlery box and took out pieces of her artisan silverware – her breakfast luxury. Peter says the sculpted metal forks and knives are weird – “They look like tree branches. I don’t want to eat with a tree branch. If it’s supposed to be wood, it’d be easier if they were shaped like toothpicks, anyway.” Kids don’t get it, Ellen shook her head. Kyle agreed with Peter, voicing his opinion with a roll of his eyes. Men don’t get it.

    As she filled her crystal jam-jar glass with water at the faucet, the mother/wife noticed the rainbow shining in the window above the sink. I’m going to eat my eggs, take my John Cheever Stories and go to elixr on Melrose, order a pot of Pearl Jasmine tea, sit in a wicker lounge chair in one of the secluded, wind chimey garden nooks and read all morning. Laundry will wait.

    Peter saw the bus a block away. He saw Andy Reynolds running down the street – the tardiest kid in Fairview Heights was actually going to make the bus today. All Peter had to do was start walking the other way. He could get to the batting cages in half an hour, if he walked fast.

    Ellen pushed the egg onto her twig fork with a small piece of a Thomas English muffin. Meredith was interviewing a sexpert about Brittany Spear’s chances of having a sexcessful relationship in this – or any of the next three – lifetimes. Ellen didn’t actually hear this. She used the Today Show as white noise. It helped her glaze over, so distractions of the home disappeared and dreams of a day without responsibility danced in her mind. Tea. Book. Wind chimes.

    The bus pulled up and Peter started climbing the ridged, rubber-matted steps. I’m a zombie, he thought. I shouldn’t be here. I’m being remote controlled by evil robotizing Parentosauruses from Outer space. He growled as he went to the seat he always sat in, waiting for the bus to stop again and the girl with the uncombed red hair and bad breath to sit by him.

    The sun went behind a cloud, the rainbow in full fade as the dryer sounded its startling yawp. Ellen took her dishes to the sink and went to the hamper for the next load of laundry.

    The thoughts of escape retreated into their hidden pods waiting for favorable weather conditions another day.

  2. Wow, you girls are really down with the essay writing. LOVED THIS ONE!

    I wish I was as productive. I oughta try some fiction to spice up my current non-fiction: My weekend consisted of packing a certain someone’s apartment up with a certain mighty mouse of a MOM. All I feel like doing today is repotting the ivy plants and making tomato sauce.

    Oh yeah…and looking for gainful employment.

  3. I felt like someone was pounding sand into my ear holes this morning when I saw Natalie Morales covering People In Espagnol’s “Most Beautiful People” in which one of the most beautiful (beauty = worth = political/social capital = high salary = oh, I should just quit here!) people was…uh… Natalie Morales.

    News reporters becoming the “news”…Uh..Isn’t there some code of ethics that kinda frowns on this?

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