In my last entry I told about how our daughter fooled us into believing that she was stuck on the other side of the border, that the U.S. border patrol wouldn't let her back into the country because she only had a photocopy of her birth certificate instead of the original document.
She had just been joking... she proclaimed that she had just "pulled a Charlie" on us -- a reference to my brother's penchant (in his younger days) for spinning elaborate fanciful tales, especially on the telephone -- and I said that I would have to remind her about The Little Boy Who Cried Wolf.
My brother cut back on his pranks after he found that he had, indeed, cried wolf too often. He was about my daughter's age -- and was driving a little Triumph Spitfire. [In the picture of me and my VW -- the one on my home page -- you can just make out the front of his car on the other side of my bug] He was driving through a residential neighborhood when another car ran a stop sign and struck his right front fender -- and then quickly drove off. This was in late spring, still daylight, people sitting on front porches after dinner... an older couple invited him to come in and use their phone to call the police, etc. When he called home and our mother answered, she wouldn't believe him -- he had to hold the phone out and ask for someone to assure her that he had really just been in an accident. (Mom said later that those people must have thought that Charlie had terrible parents, but I told her that he'd tricked me too many times and I wouldn't have believed him either.) After that Charlie
stopped telling tall tales to family members.
We celebrated Nancy's mother's birthday yesterday. We (i.e., her children and their spouses/significant others) are getting her a computer for her birthday (Gee, dude, it's a Dell and it is being shipped -- if I interpreted the online tracking info correctly, it reached our post office late Saturday afternoon, so I'm hoping it will be delivered on Monday). She has been using one of those internet email appliances, but she would like to be able to view and print emailed photographs, search websites, chat with her children and grandchildren, etc., so we figured it was time for her to have a real computer.
I was in an extended email debate about the coming war with Iraq on Bev Sykes' mailing list today. I certainly am not a fan of war -- my father was in the D-Day landings in World War II and I know something of what that cost him although he was never physically wounded -- and having a son just two months away from his 18th birthday is another very personal reason for me to prefer peace over war. However, I have become convinced, as distasteful as it may be, that there is no good alternative to this war. Alternatives, yes, there are always alternatives, appeasement may work for a while... but at what ultimate cost?
This war is, I fear, is very close, probably this week...