So much has been going on, I’m going to have to do this in little bullets to touch on everything.

First, there is a mosquito buzzing around my head. I have swatted him two or three times but he is persistent. He harbors a do-or-die attitude.

Second, my stomach is rumbling so loud it’s like an earthquake has set off a tsunami in there. I went to our neighborhood picnic yesterday and, as usual, I sampled everything – twice – and since there was so much food, I think I MAY have over-indulged. The next day after a buffet I’m always starving because I stretch my stomach from the size of something the size of a stomach – grapefruit? cantaloupe? – to the size of a hot air balloon. My stomach “thinks” it’s hungry even though it received enough food yesterday to get me through the winter. I am going to have to stop eating like this.

MeeeeeeeeEEEEEEEEEEEeeeeeeee – the mosquito just buzzed my head again.

Third, before the gorge fest, I saw South Pacific, the Broadway Across America revival of the original 1949 play, at the Keller Auditorium in Portland. What a fantastic show. See it if you get the chance. Crazy how something over a half a century old is still so funny and so timely today. It won ten Tony Awards back in the day, and 7 in this revival. It won my own personal award for Best Bang for the Buck, too.

Fourth, I went to church yesterday and there was a little girl there with either her grandfather or older father, or older uncle or circus ringmaster or perfect stranger. There really is no way of knowing WHO he was, but let’s assume, for the purposes of this story, that he was a husband – a very thin, pale man about 7 feet tall with sparse hair, thin lips, and a light tan shirt and pants. He looked like an anemic deliveryman from a horror movie, except kindly. Whoever he was, he doted on the child and let her dance in the aisle. She was between 2 or 3 in a little flowery sundress that flowed out while she twirled.

I kept wondering how far she would go – knowing that when you give a child an inch she’s gonna take a mile. Soon she was up to the space between the pews and the altar. He had followed her up there, squatting on his heels at intervals, I guess so he wouldn’t block anyone’s view of her or the altar. I can’t squat like that. He was all the way down with his rear end resting on his heels. I could get down that far, but I’d topple over backwards and lay there like a squirming beetle until two stout men hoisted me on my feet.

MeeeeeeeeEEEEEEEEEEEeeeeeeee (frickin mosquito)

Of course this little girl kept moving further away and then coming back, like a duckling swimming out, then in, then further out, then in, then further out still until a big mouth bass jumps up and snatches it underwater. Sorry, my imagination just goes where it will – I give it an inch and you see what happens.

All the while the man squatted. Finally she was in front of the priest as he was delivering the sermon, twirling like a ballerina. I glanced at the people in the congregation, and everyone was watching the child with grumpy looks on their faces. No one was amused. We’ve all seen twirling children before. Twirling children are a dime a dozen in a Catholic church. We wanted somersaults and cartwheels.

Finally, the man arose on legs like springs, scooped up the little girl and took her completely out of the church. I found this interesting, because she wasn’t protesting. Why not just stay there, standing with her or sitting, taking in the service? And then it occurred to me that he didn’t WANT to be there, and was probably being forced by his wife, so he hatched a diabolical scheme to embarrass her to death by squatting in the aisle like a giant albino peasant while the child distracted everyone, including the priest who was too polite to say anything, so that he could have an excuse to leave. The man, not the priest. Try to keep up.

Anyway, he never came back into the church, so I think my theory is right on target, that he was a husband looking for an exit.

Oh my gosh, I just got a rumbly in my tumbly that is a 7.9 on the Richter scale. On top of that, my husband kept giving the dog ribs he barbecued for the neighborhood picnic, and she’s sitting beside me passing gas that’s causing my eyes to water. I’m being dive-bombed, asphyxiated, and tsunamied here. My stories are going to have to wait until things settle down. Aughhh – I can’t BREATHE!