If I had a Tee Vee, I would know there were at least two programs about people who can’t throw things out. I’ve overheard my coworkers in the lunchroom talking about these shows as they wait for their Pepperidge Farm Ancient Grains bread to pop out of the toaster. I listen and smile; I act like I have a Tee Vee. I’m intrigued to hear about people who have gone without water and other basics so they can continue to pay for their storage spaces full of hoarded junk.
Now that I’ve decided to move, it seems fitting to finally work through some of the ephemera I’ve been hauling around since I moved out of my parent’s house in 1982. Sure, I’ve kept a few things over the years, but it doesn’t seem like hoarding. It’s a record of my life. I wonder if my friend Shelley still has the papers she wrote for Professor Urbanski in 1984? I found one I wrote called “Roderick Usher and Quentin Compson: A Meeting of Minds.” If I were a famous author with a few published novels and a Wikipedia entry, this material would be called “juvenilia.”
Some of the papers and stories are funny, like the following article I wrote for “Introduction to Newswriting” in November, 1983. Read along with me.
A crowd of 500 University of Maine students gathered outside Hubbard Hall in Orono yesterday, some betting and some chanting at the fate of a large yo-yo that was poised in a 10th floor window.
The four pound plywood yo-yo, 15 inches in diameter and painted bright orange with flowers, was built by a group of men living in Hubbard Hall. It was attached to a nylon cord long enough to reach from the 10th to the second floor.
After a successful trial run from a second floor window, Elmer Klempner, Robert Anthony, and Peter Brooks, students at UMO and also residents of Hubbard Hall, took the yo-yo to the 10th floor.
“Go, go, yo, yo,” and “No, no, yo, yo,” came from opposing groups of chanting students.
The yo-yo was released, it traveled down and back up to the seventh floor. Down again it went, this time to the fourth floor, and returned to the 10th floor and Klempner’s outstretched hands, amidst cheers from the students.
Klempner said the stint was “just for fun” but claimed he’d proved a point. “What goes down must come up,” he said.
The story made me laugh because there was no Hubbard Hall at the University of Maine at Orono. There was no giant plywood yo-yo, either. It doesn’t even make sense, based on the laws of thermodynamics. Introduction to newswriting or creative fiction; it’s all the same.
In other news today, Reggie Black informs me that he’s transplanted his herbs into larger pots and they’re doing well in his new, undisclosed location. His cat got into the catnip for about 10 or 15 minutes and she ended up stoned, twisting by the pool.
Here on the Seacoast, my Valencia tomatoes continue to thrive.
Until I can publish a few novels and get my Wikipedia entry written, “go, go, grow, grow.”
It’s cool here, below 40 last night, but bright and sunny today with only a mild breeze, not the winds of the past few days. The plants are back out in the sunshine today, but will be back in tonight. The cat has not returned to the catnip.