A Mind That Suits What doesn't kill me, makes me laugh... usually.

Saturday, May 28, 2005 :::
Reasons to hate left-speak.

The child care center at the bottom of the hill is undergoing major renovations. It is a beautiful, Spanish-style complex, a former Episcopalian church, but it needed work, as old wood-and-stone buildings are wont to do. The problem is not the renovations; the problem is the sign describing the work.

"Renovation, restoration, and life safety improvements." Life safety???? What other kind of safety is there? Does the addition of that word "life" somehow make them more important, or justifiable?

Look up once in a while.

A certain pudgy, balding English teacher has a friend who, shall we say, has a pronounced tendency to see things in a negative light. This was highlighted the other day, a day which saw a continuous dreary drizzle, leaving everyone in a bad mood. Someone commented that they were ready for the warm weather, which has been unaccountably delayed this year, and he blurted out, "yeah, we're going to go from winter to summer, without any spring, just like always."

That does happen. Last year, in fact, A Mind That Suits was able to show his dermatologist cracked hands and a sunburned face on his first visit, or as he put it at the time, pointing first at his hands and then at his face, "Winter...summer." Monday, if memory serves, had been freezing, yielding the cracked hands, and Wednesday had been sultry, yielding the sun-burned face.

But this year, it has been very different. We have had 10 weeks of the most glorious weather. Everyone has commented on it. The flowering plants keep flowering, instead of descending into a tired, overladen greenness so typical of the South. (A Mind That Suits loves the overladen greenness, as he is a Southerner.) People spontaneously walk everywhere, which they almost never do in a normal May in Your Nation's Capital.

It has been, in every way, the most glorious of the 24 Washington springs that a Certain Pudgy Balding English Teacher has ever seen.

Which reminds him that when he came here, he had himself seen 24 summers, so now fully one half of his life has been spent domiciled here, 23 of those 24 in Washington itself. He came thinking he would stay only 2 years. As he left government "service" after 7, he has, in a sense, "left Washington."

But he lives in DC.

DC has taught him many things, among them what life is like under a hard Marxist revolutionary (Marion C. Barry, former Mayor for Life, as the leftist City Paper always calls him).

But it also taught him why trees make life tolerable. On this issue, Prof. J.R.R. Tolkien may supply the theory, but DC provides the praxis.

The "natural architecture" of DC--the architecture that was not imposed by the bureaucrats, but is the result of the utterly normal activity of human beings--is far and away the loveliest in the Unites States, passing even San Francisco, whose charming stucco pillboxes--once enthralling--now seem too uniform. Worse, San Francisco, thanks to the workings of God, lacks trees. It is something about that blowing mist. There are trees that will survive on that promontory, and there is a Coalition for Urban Forrests which will, if you give them some nominal sum ($35?) get all the permits and plant a tree in front of your SF rowhouse. A Certain Pudgy Balding English Teacher--an unapologetic conservative Republican--says more power to "Think globally, act locally" leftists with a blessed aesthetic sense.

But better to live in DC, where not having trees is unthinkable in the first place, and where a tree has to really work NOT to grow unto its fullness, which, as Prof. Tolkien was anxious for us all to understand, is a magnificent fullness indeed.

All of which thoughts were inspired by the strange comment about how this most glorious Spring has not existed.

::: posted by A Mind That Suits at 11:08 AM



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