bits and pieces (and buffaloes)

There really is a litmag called Taco Bell Quarterly, and they’re interested in your fiction or poetry dealing with, yes, Taco Bell. I’m not sure how quarterly they’ll be — they’ve had one issue so far — because they say they’ll publish whenever they feel like it, but if you have a niche piece, this might be the place for it.

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“Buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo” is a grammatically correct sentence. (I understand it to mean ” Buffalo bison, that other Buffalo bison bully, also bully Buffalo bison.” Maybe: the picked on kids pick on other kids?) Don’t believe me? Check it out.

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In recent months I’ve been receiving breathless emails to my Yahoo account telling me that my account will be closed unless I re-register it and that I should click on the link the emails provide and supply my password.

At first I nearly fell for this phishing scam. Yahoo once had a video site much like YouTube where I had uploaded many videos, mostly of stuff at my cabin. Yahoo recently ended that service, so the idea that they might be shuffling their email service as well had some credibility in my little head.

But I smelled a rat, so I shunted these breathless emails to the spam folder and waited for the stated deadline to come and go. It did, last week. Miraculously, I still have a Yahoo email account that works just fine.

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The property to the north of my 80 Ozark acres recently changed hands. The piece is several hundred acres, about two-thirds open and one-third forest. In the past the owner raised a crop or two each year in the open area, and once even pastured horses there. I’m not sure what’s going on with the land now that it has a new owner. There was a wheat harvest this spring, but now it seems to be just fallow.

The new owner left a note on my cabin door introducing himself, and later left a message on my voice mail inviting me (and his other neighbors) to a barbecue. It was a time when I could not attend. Supposedly he’s going to build a nice house in the forest and move his family from Arkansas to live there (including two teenage boys, so, hijinks).

But there has been other talk too. The man hired to doze the forest told Good Neighbor Craig that he understood the new owner intended to raise pigs. Since part of that property is in the watershed for my lake, that would be a disaster, depending on where the pig lot was situated. The new owner also told Good Neighbor Craig that he wanted to put gates in his fences to allow access to/for all of his neighbors. That may have been just a gesture to seem neighborly, but to me it suggests a fluid understanding of borders and private property.

None of this has transpired — including building the house — though big machines appear on his property when I visit and are then gone on the next visit.

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I mentioned last week that I’m reading Quichotte, and I excerpted a scene of ethnic intolerance on this humble blog. Not many pages after that, the two characters wind up in Beautiful, Kansas, which is a place I’d never heard of. But I soon put the pieces together.

They stop in a restaurant and witness the shooting of three men, two of whom are Indian Americans. Shouts of “Get out of my country” and “Terrorists” are heard. I recognized this and understood that Rushdie was fictionalizing an actual event that happened just down the road from me in a suburb named Olathe.

It turns out Olathe, an American Indian word, translates as “Beautiful.”

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One Comment on “bits and pieces (and buffaloes)”

  1. markparis Says:

    Maybe your new neighbor found out what it costs to build a big house and will decide not to, or maybe his sons don’t want to live in the wilderness. Our neighbor who did the site prep for our house bought the lot right next to ours for his brother to build on. If he does, his house will be directly in the line sight from our dining area and kitchen. We are hoping he never builds.


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