Here is a little physical comedy, to relieve all the cerebral snarkiness of late:

My upstairs neighbor stripped the handle off the hose in front of the house. So I went out and bought a new faucet. Only when I took off the old one, it was on the street side of the shut off valve, which meant the water main was going, with no switch, straight to me, or more accurately, at me. So for about fifteen minutes I struggled to screw the threads back into the geyser of ice water shooting straight at my face, like an old I Love Lucy episode. Since it was straight off the water main and coming out of a ¾ inch hole, the water was sort of like what the riot police used to spray protesters with in the south in the 1960s. It was pretty good.


The next day we headed up to Olema, which is a tiny town past Fairfax, which is where American Taliban John Walker Lindh came from. It is extremely radical leftists, like the inverse of Orange County, where Earth First is welcomed and anyone driving an SUV is likely to get harassed. Anyway, Olema is a cluster of houses past the Golden Gate national recreation area, and in one of those houses was a bead blessing ceremony, which is where we spent the day. What’s a bead blessing ceremony, you ask? Pretty much the name is self explanatory. We blessed some beads for a baby about to be born for a very nice benthologist, named Wendy. What’s a benthologist, you ask?  Benthology is the study of layers of sediment under dirt and rivers, and she, Wendy, studies Fairy Shrimp in particular. She also has a lot of tattoos and is married to a Russian man also covered in tattoos. Her dad was there, who lives in a fifth wheel, which is kind of a motor home pulled on a hitch attached to a pick up truck. He parks it in Slab City, which is a square mile of slabs that used to be military testing for dessert warfare, but is now owned by the California State Teachers Association, who does nothing with it but allow 10 thousand RVs to park there. It is located out by the Salton Sea, which is a cauldron of bubbling sulfur, related to a town that used to be there, which got sucked into the Earth, due to the damning of the Colorado River, or so I was told. But there is also a brackish open sewer of a river that flows into it from Mexico, whose banks are composed of trillions of barnacles. From which one might infer that it is ideal conditions for sustaining barnacle life, but as there are no rocks or boats or whales for the barnacles to attach to, they die and form a seabed of sorts. Which, in a stretch, you could say is true of the itinerant population in general, in that most of Slab City residents are not just retired Endodontists, though there are a few of them, mostly it is retired people, people on disability payments, drunks, criminals, outcasts, Canadians, and dropouts of many stripes, all of who are bonded by the common theme of living in their RVs. Some of these people are simply Snowbirds, and there is, I am told, a church on Slab City. But they way they settle disputes is to set one another on fire, which is not church behavior, or hasn’t been in at least 250 years. But since everyone has to live with propane, they are easy to burn, so setting fires is pretty much the only kind of justice out there. Plus there are mobile meth labs that catch fire, from casual safety standards as well as the open flame required to distill the product.

Also, the owners of the house had 20 chickens. So they had a lot of eggs, and, in a thinly veiled ploy to get rid of the eggs, they made people do games like run around with an egg on a spoon, or three legged races. Also they served a lot of egg salad sandwiches. I didn’t participate in the races or the sandwiches, both because I don’t like egg salad and it was hot out. Plus I was told all the eggs are fertile, which is kind of nauseating to think about.