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Life and Times of an itinerant slacker in Sacramento. Thrills, Spills Galore coming soon. Not to mention lots of opinions.

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Saturday, April 28, 2007

Hooked on Sweet Things

Sweet thing No.1

Alright, readers, it’s time to come clean. On and off over the past couple of years, I have been reading the No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency series by Alexander McCall Smith. The stories take place in Botswana, and are so shamefully sweet I am sickened that I both play recorders and have read these novels. Sometimes I fear there is an old lady inside me, struggling to get out. Hey, just a minute, did I steal that from Alfred Hitchcock (Norrrrmannnnnn)? These books are so sickening sweet and moralizing that even my m-m-m-mother doesn’t like them.

The series follows the life and work of Botswana’s first female private detective, Precious Ramotswe, who is “traditionally built” and prizes old-fashioned Botswana values. Her idea of traditional Botswana values is suspiciously like all that blather the British Torries spewed about Victorian values during the dark days of Margaret Thatcher. Precious’s life is intertwined with that of the conspicuously honest auto mechanic and garage owner, Mr. JLB Matekoni.

In each of the six books, Precious solves small problems in people’s life while slowly chipping away at the major mystery. As each mystery is resolved, both the major and minor puzzles, precious works out her own resolution to the problems she uncovers.

There is something amazing about these books, possibly in the writing style. I cannot come up with a good reason why I like the books, but I do. They are the ultimate feel-good escapist experience, although there are crimes involved.

Sweet thing No. 2

A couple of mourning dives have set up a nest in a poodle-trimmed bonsai tree in my neighbor’s side yard. The bonsai tree gives us a great view of the nest, we’ve watched them build the nest, sit on the eggs and deal with the baby birds, who are nearly two weeks old. The nest is about 10 feet from the neighbor’s living room window, so we can watch the action with binoculars from her house. Even a “trash bird” becomes attractive in this view. I suspect the bird has somehow arrived at the command of Maximon.

Our neighbor will remove the nest once the dovelets leave the nest, probably next week. Doves can have broods 6 or 7 time per year. That’s too many doves and too much guano.

That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.


Anonymous said...

I am deeply concerned regarding your increasing delight in the sweet side of life. This year, for Chanukah, I will be giving you the complete works of Charles Bukowski and Lou Reed. That should work as an exorcism to rid you of creeping compassion and sickening sentimentalism. If not, just say the word and I'll start looking for Precious Moments figurines at garage sales.

Your worried sister

Steve said...

No, no! Not precious moments, anything but that. Actually I prefer Hummel figurines, I have always suspected their unlarged heads and facial features are the direct result of Nazi experiments. It wasn't appreciated when I shared that observation at Milwaukee's German Fest. However, I recall the strudel was delicious and the beer was beer.

Anonymous said...

If it was the beer that is beer, then you were drinking Walters beer - that was their slogan "Walters - the beer that is beer". After enough of them it actually made sense.

Perhaps you have not heard of the new Precious Moments / Hummel merger, which will be introducing Hummel Moments figurines to the eager market of elastic waisted, rayon pantsed little ducks in a row sweatshirt wearing matrons lining up to buy them. Finally those tear-drop headed chalk white little statues will be given a more healthy looking Tuetonic complexion and those darling little shorts. The inspirational messages will be given an appropraitely Germanic tone. I've already signed you up for the monthly club.


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I must enjoy shouting into a vacuum, but I think about getting my act together one of these days. My mom says I am very handsome and intelligent.
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