When you go to the bathroom in the middle of the night, do you wash your hands before going back to bed?

The “pro-life” activist said that we must protect the rights of all human beings, the born and the unborn. I wondered why she stopped there in her personal definition of “human being.” Why not all human beings, the born, the unborn, and the dead? If she believes in eternal life, as I assume she does, shouldn’t the deceased count, too, if we are going to redefine what is a human being?

“As was often the case when an independent woman was wronged, the media began judging the victim.” Patricia M. Salmon, Staten Island Slayings: Murderers & Mysteries of the Forgotten Borough.

A notice in the elevator car of a friend’s building informed the residents that garbage must be properly disposed of or else there could be “an infestation of unwanted vermin.” I wondered what vermin were wanted.

A man promises his wife that he will be home at six and will bring a pizza and a salad for dinner. He arrives at six but does not have a pizza and a salad. Or he arrives at nine with a pizza and a salad. Has he kept his promise? If a candidate promises to build a wall on our southern border that will be paid for by Mexico, has he kept his promise by seeking American taxpayer money from Congress to build part of a wall on our southern border? (How many of you remember Trump at campaign rallies saying that he would build a “beautiful” wall on the whole border and then saying, “And who is going to pay for it?” with the crowd enthusiastically shouting, “Mexico!”)

I had forgotten the German-Turkish-American server’s name. She feigned, I think, that she was upset. I said, referring to the Mexican-American server/busboy standing next to her, “I have known him longer, and I forget his name.” She replied, “We call him Doughnut.” I looked at him and said, “Why is that?” He just smiled, and she explained. “He went to a house of pleasure, and instead of giving out dollar bills, he handed out doughnuts.” The Colombian-American bartender said that it was a strip club near Costco. The Mexican-American server/busboy had bought the doughnuts at a fancy neighborhood shop, and he had given them out to the strippers. He would not tell me what kind the doughnuts were—I thought that they should have been Boston cream–but his English is limited, and he might not have understood the question. A few minutes later, however, he looked at me with his always sweet smile and said, “Now I am a VIP.”

“Helen Twombley liked that word [duckish]; it meant the time between sunset and dark.” Howard Norman, The Bird Artist.

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