Monday, July 25, 2016

Tails and Tales

A terrible ratting-tatting woke me around mid-night  - sounds like hail on the skylight, or gunshots.  The attack lasted way too long to go unchecked. Figuring the sight of me in mismatched pajamas would scare off intruders, I bravely checked around the house and in the basement.  Nothing, yet the noise continued. Rhythmic, so I ruled out gunshots. But it kept getting louder.  Noting it seemed to be close to the head of my bed which is on an outside wall, I grabbed a flashlight to check outside. By this time I was too annoyed to be scared any longer.  

I arrived at the side of my house in time to see the remains of a mouse being chewed violently by the air conditioner fan.  Believe me, I have never been a fan of the mouse family, but this was an awful sight. Mystery solved and I figured once the execution was complete, the noise would end.  Wrong.  The little guy's tail dangled just within reach of the fan blade and clicked with each spin.  In time, the sound ended, mostly likely due to the appendage being clipped off.  

So, if I make less sense than normal, blame the beast.

One of my book discussion groups has chosen this book for August (yup, Steve, I know that earlier I reported the new book to an Alice Munro piece.  I stand corrected.).  Needing to finish The Bolter  for an on-line group, I didn't get far with this one.  But, aren't blistering hot days (and below freezing days) perfect for binge reading?)  The haunting cover drew me in and the first few pages hold promise.  

Young Coralie opens the story explaining her life as the daughter of a freak show exhibit owner in Corney Island in the 1920's.  Even though her father refers to both the living and preserved curiosities as "wonders', he forbids Coralie to look at them.  With great respect and sadness, she reveals how the working individuals hide themselves in public since there are no laws to protect them for harassment, and worse, from attack.  She looks upon them with near reverence, saying that their differences tell us they have been touched by God.  

I can't help but think about a troubling movie called Freaks which featured real life circus exhibits, and of course, last year's installment of American Horror Story:Freak Show.  I think these types of roadside attraction have begun to fade away which is good.  However, they have been replaced by the train wrecks offered to us by Jerry Springer, Maury Povich, and the enigmatic Kim and Kanya et al.  I can't figure out the popularity of these shows, but I will say they - and their popularity - frighten and unsettle me.

One more unsettling note, I recently received an ARC (Advance Reader copy) of Anthony Bourdain's new cookbook to be released in October.  As expected, he includes many international recipes, lots of appetizing ideas.  But, why on earth does he introduce each chapter with photos of dead chicken parts?   Really. The book is filled with photos of chicken feet, chicken legs, some with feathers, some with the dimply skin exposed.  Somewhere you will find a picture of a salad or a noodle but not accompanying the recipe for roast chicken with lemon and butter.  Nope.  There we get two chicken feet, innards , the chicken head and neck along with a butcher knife.  Appetizing.  There's a guy in full camo with a rifle, a burning wishbone, and next to the recipe for sausage gravy with biscuits we have an creepily lit picture of Bourdain himself, dripping white gravy like a rabid dog.  Oh, did I mention the dusting of f-bombs throughout the narratives?  It will be interesting to see if his intended audience gets behind this unconventional offering.

Thanks for stopping by.