SEPTEMBER 29, 2014

 

SEAL HARASSMENT

 


 

So anyway, looks like WETA has secured permission to "harass" the harbor seals that sunbathe and frolic near Berry Point where the USS Hornet now docks. Seems WETA wants to build a ferry terminal out there to handle the scads of newcomers planned to arrive because of Development Greed.

WETA hired the Depuglia brothers who went out there to yell and throw rocks. The Depuglia's are not especially bright individuals who feign abilities to "do" sheet metal and repurpose old cars that should have been sent to the salvage graveyard, but harassment is a skill that supposedly does not require much in the way of cognitive ability. The yelling and rock-throwing didn't do much other than make the bull seals miffed until they chased off the Depuglias. Next the brothers resorted to blasting Metallica CD's from 100 watt amps. Through field glasses they could see some commotion, but no departures. By this time, the show had acquired quite a shoreline of spectators and Marlene looking out commented that it looked like the seals were dancing.

This resulting in yet more yelling and rock throwing from the Depuglias who now took this seal eviction as a kind of insult to their collective masculinity, so they started yelling stuff that had one of the neighbors call the police and Officer Popinjay cited both of them for lewd behavior. Which had the effect of polarizing the onlookers who started taking sides, with most of the Household of Marlene and Andre being pro-seal and most of Mr. Howitzer's friends rooting for the eviction.

So the harassers returned and shifted to burping Barry Manilow and Abba, a combination which has been known to produce acrimony and dissatisfaction around the world. Tapes of Brittany Spears singing with her real voice, sans Autotune seemed to do the trick. That and the Abba caused the seals to howl in anguish before dropping into the water.

The effect, of course, has been dismal, with neighbors complaining as loudly as the mama harbor seals.

It is known that one of the objectives of DAESH, the radical pseudo-Islamic fundamentalist sect that now has Washington's collective panties in a twist, is to eradicate all trace of ABBA from the music lexicon of the world.

Go for it guys.

In any case, the geese have now belatedly doing the honking and gathering thing. All the birds seem to have suddenly gotten the idea now is a good time to pack the bags, in fact. We have had a few nights that were very nearly cool, prompting a few oak trees to make up their minds that summer had finally ended with a few leaves here and there going brown.

Since the season for killing animals in sport now shifts from fish to crab and large mammals Wootie Kanootie, the famous Canadian moose tamer, has taken to issuing stern injunctions to the sometime wayward Eunice in Quebecois. You may think it an extraordinary sight to see a big man in a large fur hat cursing in Canadian French to a moose or elk or any wapiti and you would be right.

The word "moose" first entered English by 1606, and is borrowed from Algonquian languages (compare the Narragansett moos and Eastern Abenaki mos; according to early sources, these were likely derived from moosu, meaning "he strips off", and possibly involved forms from multiple languages mutually reinforcing one another. The Proto-Algonquian form was *mo·swa, which probably means "big guy with big ugly nose". Go figure.

The term "moose" is a name of North American origin, and the scientific name "Alces alces" comes from its Latin name, which like most Latin names makes no sense at all.

The animal was known in Europe as the "elk." The moose went extinct in Britain during the Bronze age, long before the European's discovery of America. The youngest bones were found in Scotland and are roughly 3900 years old. The matter is further confused by the fact that in America an elk is not a moose, but a different sort of animal entirely.

This has lead to a great deal of material for comedy, however the moose has little sense of humor, and in revenge they regularly murder Canadians by the hundreds each year.

In any case Eunice was a moose with a wayward sort of mind, given to wandering beyond the paddock, and as any sane man knows, it is useless enterprise to try to corral a headstrong female for the man will gain little profit or luck by this effort and very likely may end up the worse for wear all the same.

So anyway, getting back to the seasonal changes, the old maypole swings wide from Spring into a rope tied to a tree limb overhanging the river of Summer that plunges and eddies down to the cooler niches and dark pools that lap the bank beneath the rise up the yellowing sward to the old porch-swing going back and forth and all the leaves falling, bringing the scents of apple deadfall, warming cider, the tang of wood-smoking chimney somewhere in the neighborhood. Yellow school buses appear more prominent now that colors are invading the world.

The yellow busses, the changing leaves, and even the light looks more golden in the late afternoons as clouds scud across the azure sky as the evening approaches each day more quickly, like the end of Life itself.

The kids playing in the field at the park and mothers calling all the memories to come home for supper, get in before it goes all dark and the lights in windows coming on and the streetlights one after another crackling on with a snap -- what remains on the empty streets after everyone has gone.

Rosh Hashanah came and went last Wednesday and Thursday. There is no special news to relate except that a record number of women gave birth during those two days, which makes one wonder. Fortunately the apples from Washington are crisp this year and there is still plenty of honey to be had, despite the reputed attrition of the bee population.

At Marlene and Andre's, no ram's horn was to be found, so Martini found an old French horn in a garage sale and Sarah blew into the ear of Quentin to make the shofar part of yontif. Or the yontif part of the shofar. Whatever.

This is not precisely correct, said Rolph, who as a native born German seemed to lack authority on Hebrew matters, however it must be said some reeducation efforts since the War have resulted in astounding successes, so one can never know for sure. Which makes all of these issues pure California, for nowhere else would anyone care to have them.

"You need to blow each morning for the entire month of Elul, the month preceding Rosh Hashanah. The sound of the shofar is intended to awaken the listeners from their "slumbers" and alert them to the coming judgment," said Rolf in an anguished voice. "This is preparation for Yom Kippur."

Well, they ignored him of course. As the people always do prophets.

Nevertheless, ten days are counting, the teshuvah, until Yom Kippur when things turn around. The names of the good people have been written down. The names of indifferent have these ten days to think about things. The names of the wicked have also been written down, and they have ten days before the book is closed on their subject of crimes.

Marlene, who probably of all the people described in these annals has the fewest of sins of which to ask forgiveness, went out with little Adam and a pocketful of breadcrumbs to the pond at the edge of the baseball diamond at Washington Park and there she cast out her petty crimes, such as they were, upon the water for the ducks to gabble up. Taschlich. And the ducks paddled and gabbled this way and that, and so sin was devoured from the world.

For a time. Until the Turning.

And so the evening passed into night on the Island after many disasters, many fires, many disappointments. But a calm reigned for a time as all the thugs rested and all the troubled people lay down to sleep. For a night, no sirens rent the calm, no one got stabbed and no one got shot.

There came from far off across the water the ululation of the throughpassing train as it trundled from the gantries of the Port of Oaktown with their sentry lights along First Street, letting its cry keen across the waves of the estuary, the harbor seal dormatory, the grasses of the Buena Vista flats and the open spaces of the former Beltline, through the cracked brick of the former Cannery with its leaf-scattered loading dock, its ghost-haunted, weedy railbed, between the interstices of the chainlink fences until the locomotive click-clacked past the shuttered doors of the Jack London Waterfront, headed off out of shadows on the edge of town past the old Ohlone shellmounds to parts unknown.

 

 

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