BATTLESHIP

wisconsin.jpg It was a mild morning, so I strolled down to the waterfront. I imagine myself strolling, but I probably don't appear to stroll at all. Someone describing me later to a policeman might say, "He was shuffling down to the waterfront...strolling? No, I wouldn't say he was strolling. Not even ambling, it was definitely a shuffle." I discover more and more often as I get older that the image I project to myself has little to do with how others see me. I'm constantly surprised that people don't see through the sodden, quivering hulk of my physical existence to the steely resolve, the courage, the determination that lurks within. Is everybody blind?? Come on, guys, wake up and smell the turnips! I hate the smell of turnips. When my mom would cook turnips, or parsnips, or cabbage, or brussels sprouts, or any of those vegetables that smell like embarrassing bodily gases--and who in their right mind would disregard such a clear warning sign from God: don't eat this, it smells like you-know-what?--I would sort through my repertoire of covert plans to make these noxious items vanish from my plate. I would hold a brussels sprout in my mouth and with sign language would excuse myself to use the bathroom, where I would deposit the offending morsel in the receptacle in which it so clearly belonged. Or if we were having baked potatoes, the empty skins would make wonderful purses. Or, in extreme circumstances, I would resort to dropping one or more of them in my pants pocket, to dispose of later. Which I would invariably forget to do, creating a cute little surprise for Mom on laundry day. So that's the story of my stroll down to the waterfront.