Perforated Lines (you can't resist 'em!)

 what in the world?
It's another fine mystery, I tell you.
And there's another prize!!
(For another look, look here, or
for a final gander, go here.)
-- Wednesday, September 1, 1999 --

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11:19 a.m. Hooray! Another contest! Another chance to win a free item, worth -- well, worth good money. Between $15 and $30 bucks, depending. Plus, it's totally free **and** I give you a choice of yet another one of the very fine books that we produce here at Shadow Lawn Press when we're not going out and partying and walking the streets snapping photos of incredible mystery items.

This one is truly weird and wonderful. If you guess it right off, I would be surprised. Shocked, actually. And then, chagrined. I had to rattle that cyclone fence you see in the picture and hello-hello my way into the empty lot and generally ask a lot of questions until I found out what these things are.

It's true I don't get out much, but really -- I never would have guessed. They're very very cool -- and they are exactly what you see, altered nary a hair by me nor by the guy who owns them. Since I expect this will be a much bigger challenge than my first contest, I've taken two more pictures, and each one zooms in a little closer. We'll see. We'll just wait and see. I'll post those in a few days if the going gets too rough for you.

Here's a clue: You would really have to be a world traveler to figure this one out.

***

And now, a traditional market list, just for fun. There are so many things to remember, so many things to do. It's September, right? It's a tradition.

The Journal Police have only mandated that we not publish laundry lists, so I believe I'm on safe ground here. Actually, I don't think I've ever even seen a laundry list, let alone bothered to write one out, let alone gone to all the trouble to scan it, shade it, shadow it, compress it, and publish it.

What does a laundry list consist of?

  1. Wash clothes.
  2. Dry clothes.
  3. Pile clothes on chair.
  4. Fold clothes when the mood is right.
  5. Grab from pile as needed when the mood is not.

So yes, I would agree with the Journal Police that such a list may not yield much entertainment, repeated as it must be, every week of one's life, depending, as it always does, on one's underwear cache. Mine buys me two weeks, tops. Live long and perspire.

But a market list is a very different tally, indeed. I've even collected and uncrumpled a few that have been left behind in emptied shopping carts as mute reminders that someone else's pressing needs are so very, very different from mine.

Isn't that exactly what a journal is for, after all? How else can you capture what's real in one small life? Even a life that is distressingly stretched between real life and ... and ... this strange etheric existence that you're participating in right this very second by reading these words. So, I thought I would pin this specific list to the wall of the world before the actual slip of paper is ripped off the refrigerator yet again. Because I really have to remember to buy a new sponge.

Here's a handy household hint that could save your life: if you have a dishwasher, remember to put the sponges, washcloths, bottle brushes, and sink drainers in there with the silverware and cups and plates each time you do a load of dirty dishes. That way, when the guys from Oprah come with tongs and a plastic baggie to check your kitchen bacteria levels, you'll have a somewhat purer agar-agar readout.

See? So much to do. You really need a list. You need to remember to bring the list.

things to buy

Tomorrow: even more excitement!
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