October 23, 2010 News from Lake Wobegon

by: Lev

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the news from Lake Wobegon is brought to you by total cereal all six flavors provide 100% daily value of at least eleven essential vitamins and minerals total 100% nutrition it's been a quiet week in Lake Wobegon I'm going to show to my hometown out there on the edge of the Brian spends so beautiful it's been amazing men gorgeous gorgeous beautiful trees and this gorgeous air it's so rich so beautiful just what a 1988 Bordeaux would be if it were gas instead of instead of a liquid it's a beautiful thing you discover as you get older and you move away from the idea of making the world a better place and you decide just to enjoy the world which once you stop trying to make it a better place may actually become a better place just by you by you learning how to appreciate and coming on to a change in the weather and you can see your breath as you walk out in the morning and that's your cue that you have to turn off the water to you outside faucets and you have to drain the whole zone you have to take the screens in and you have to put up the storm windows which is all to make the world about a place or at least livable and some people do this all for themselves and other people develop the social skills that make it easier for other people to help them you see I used to have a lot of opinions strong opinions and then I realized that my opinions were getting in the way of people who would have helped me put up storm windows so I learned to I learned to settle down a little bit and when somebody comes to help you you don't tell her that she is putting the leaves into the bag in in the wrong way and you don't try to show her the right way it's it's the wrong way she's doing she's holding the bag open with one hand and then she's taking one hand and she's trying to scoop the leaves into the bag and she should be holding the bag open with both feet and using both hands but just let her do it at her own speed as is my idea and you just stand back and you enjoy the rustle of dry leaves and you enjoy the smell of apples in the air and all of this richness of life which is which is like life used to be back when you were a kid and back before you smoked all those cigarettes and you and you could smell things back before you back before you scorched your palate with whisky you were able to intoxicating by inhaling when you went out to the country and you went up with you and Eva and your and your Uncle Jack you went up to the farm you were sent up there for bad behavior and they they got it all wrong your parents if they had wanted to punish you they should have made you play with other children but they sent you up to the up to the farm up to this little sandy farm when you got up in the morning you emptied your Thunder jug out in the outhouse and you came in and you washed your face out of a basin and cold water from a pump with lava soap and you came into this kitchen that smelled of action wood smoke and you had cornbread and pancakes for breakfast and then aunt Eva sent you out to deal with the chickens who were waiting for you out there who were free-range and have made you nervous they'd fly up into your face you know on these chickens knew who you were they had seen you before you see they knew that you had chased their parents across the farmyard with a wire clothes hanger and you had grabbed their parents by their ankles and you had brought their parents flapping and squawking to Uncle Jack to that blood-soaked stump where he cut their heads off and now you were coming to collect their eggs you had killed their parents and now you were after their children those parents those chickens had a look of moral disapproval in their little yellow eyes as they looked at you and you walked very carefully among those chickens and if they pecked at your hand you just let that egg be and then let aunt Eva collect that tomorrow and Eva who was able to hypnotize chickens she was able to to just stroke them down their little foreheads in between their little yellow eyes and she stroked them and she would sing them a hymn or something she she saw though in whose presence my soul takes delight on home in affliction I call my comfort by day and mice along in the night my help my salvation my all and they be all hypnotized she'd hypnotized about six seven eight nine chickens and set them up in a row and then you just push on one end and they just all go down like like dominoes she was able to handle chickens but you but you were not she was an amazing woman she had no children of her own so she belonged to you she wore this old cotton print dress that smelled of Lies so she knew all these wonderful sad songs about people dying in blizzards and about about murder and the wreck of the Titanic and train crashes and so forth she loved sad song she knew starlight moonlight and she would play that with you late at night she'd wake you up in the morning and cry out daylight and the swamps she'd say get out of bed you sleepyhead get up you lazy sinners we need the sheets for tablecloths it's almost time for dinner and she'd wake you up and get you up she had all kinds of sayings she'd say if ifs and ands were pots and pans they'd be no trade for tinker's if wishes were horses then beggars would ride in the world be drowned in a sea of pride and you went out too and even us the most wonderful time the smell in that in that dirt cellar underneath the house and all the potatoes and bangs at this time of year and the onions and she had buried the carrots in the sand and some of the potatoes and there were pickles the smell of pickle and dill was still in the air in such a sterile world that we live in compared to that world and the smell of chickens and the Holsteins out in the bar and you go out to the bar and I went out to this bar and the bar in this particular time I was there and very late very late summer all the smells of the farm I'd like to go up into them into the hay now I walked out towards the towards the bar and I could hear the cattle stirring I got the wheelbarrow out and I took him some silage and then I was just about to put the wheelbarrow back in the shed and I slipped and fell and this fresh greenish manure and I took off my coveralls and I washed them out in a you know in a big water tank which was down below in the barn I took them off and now I was naked I never been naked outdoors and the farm before I was 13 this was very exciting I hung the coveralls on a fence and I climbed up the ladder up to the hay mouth the cows were below the hay Mao was up above and I stood up in this big space just like this space and I climbed up to the top of this mountain of hay bales and I stood up at the highest point so that I could so that I could all right Oh captain my captain our fearful trip is done the ship has weathered every rack the prize we sought is won but all the bleeding drops of red where on the deck my captain lies fallen cold and dead once more unto the breach dear friends once more or close the wall up with our English dead in peace there's nothing so becomes a man as modest stillness and humility but when the blast of war blows in our ears then imitate the action of the tiger and I stepped forward and I slept and I slid down 30 feet of hay bales on my naked rear in it whoa all the way to the bottom I could feel it every single one of them and I went down through the hole in the floor and down where the cattle were and down into the pen where the Holstein bull was kept and I banged my head against this concrete wall that was there to keep him from mounting the cows before it was time and I lay there naked on the concrete floor and he sniffed at me and now he recognized who I was I was the one who had fouled his drinking water with manure and he was pushing at me with his snout and my aunt Eva grabbed ahold of my ankle and she pulled me out and she whispered I won't tell your parents and she grabbed me and she helped me she wrapped me in a blanket and she helped me into the house I was dazed they lay me out on the couch I lay there dizzy and and she was running into the kitchen and she grabbed some Brown medicinal paper and she wet it and she put it on my head which was banged up and grandma was there and she's talking to Grandma about whether they should take me to the hospital or not and I wanted to go because I had never been to the hospital before so I lay very quietly and I and I tried not to breathe and she said a prayer for me she prayed God to restore her beloved nephew to health and now I knew that I wasn't gonna get to go to the hospital I wasn't gonna get to go and lie in a bed and have my brothers and sisters kneel weeping around me and ask my forgiveness for all that they had done to me I just I wasn't going to be able to go so I just stood up and I just walked away that's the news from Lake Wobegon where all the women are strong and all the men are good-looking and all the children

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