“Yeah, well, wish in one hand, crap in the other, and see which fills up first”
“My dad was never one of those dads you could ask for a quarter if you saw a gumball machine. Instead he had one of those black American Express cards not available to general public. Gumball machines didn’t have slots for those.”
“Place unopened pouch in warm water for 5-10 minutes.
Unopened pouch may be laid on a warm surface.
Lay unopened pouch in direct sunlight. Not much chance of that down here.
Place unopened pouch inside you shirt, allow you body temperature to warm your MRE.
I was surprised they left out: Place unopened pouch on ground and pee on it.”
“I would have rather had a dad with change jingling in his pocket; one who would have spent the last forty minutes of the world raking leaves for his kids to jump in, so that they perished in one loud, bright instant, giggles still bubbling up from their bellies, never suspecting a thing.
Yeah, well. Tough luck, rich boy.”
“That night I dreamed of turduckens.”
“What is a turducken? An exclusive culinary creation available by special order from some little Cajun town down south. Entirely deboned, a turducken consists of a turkey, stuffed with duck, stuffed with a chicken, like an edible Russian nesting doll. Some were stuffed with alligator, crap, shrimp; my favorite was the traditional cornbread variety.”
“Most dads had hobbies that they passed down to their sons; hunting, fishing, auto repair. Dad’s hobby was nuclear war, which meant his sons knew everything about it.”
“I called out in Mandarin, “Si san ba.” Years ago I’d told her it was an affectionate term for a “big sister.” I’d have to find a new phrase if she ever discovered what nasty word it actually meant.”
“The people who didn’t eat meat wondered how to get out of partaking in what was obviously the pièce de résistance of the Rex Yanakakis Christmas Eve Dinner. The animal-rights people cringed, not wanting to voice their objections for fear of pissing off Clea Sheridan Yanakakis, who was very generous to their causes with her husband’s money. The people who did eat meat tried to ignore the jittery noncarnivores surrounding them.”
“Point is, people lie a lot. Sometimes out of habit. Not many people are good at telling the truth.”
“Amazing how spending some money, especially when you haven’t got it, can perk you up.”
“Fortune offers you opportunities to create; she does not hand you presents.”
“I was still a boy when I left the Ozarks, only sixteen years old. Since that day, I’ve left my footprints in many lands: the frozen wastelands of the Arctic, the bush country of Old Mexico, and the steaming jungles of Yucatán. Throughout my life, I’ve been a lover of the great outdoors. I have built campfires in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado, and hunted wild turkey in the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee and the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. I have climbed the Grand Tetons of Wyoming, and hunted bull elk in the primitive area of Idaho. I can truthfully say that, regardless of where I have roamed or wandered, I have always looked for the fairy ring. I have never found one, but I’ll keep looking and hoping. If the day ever comes that I walk up to that snow-white circle, I’ll step into the center of it, kneel down, and make one wish, for in my heart I believe in the legend of the rare fairy ring.”
“Young Bindo Altovini, looking out from time, made a perfect coalition with the mountains, the sky, and the tall redheaded woman who had bent over just slightly to examine a raging battle that was long over. Alessandro imagined that Bindo Altovini was saying, half with longing, half with delight, "These are the things in which I was so helplessly caught up, the waves that took me, what I loved. When light filled my eyes and I was restless and could move, I knew not what all the color was about, but only that I had a passion to see. And now that I am still, I pass on to you my liveliness and my life, for you will be taken, as once I was, and although you must fight beyond your capacity to fight and feel beyond your capacity to feel, remember that it ends in perfect peace, and you will be as still and content as am I, for whom centuries are not even seconds."
In the eyes of Bindo Altoviti, Alessandro saw wisdom and amusement, and he knew why the subjects of paintings and photographs seemed to look from the past as if with clairvoyance. Even brutal and impatient men, when frozen in time, assumed expressions of extraordinary compassion, as if they had reflected the essence of their redemption back into the photograph. In a sense they were still living. ”
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