Random Shots: All Our Crosses to Bear

Against the Current, No. 110, May/June 2004

R.F. Kampfer

IT’S VERY THOUGHTFUL to plant a tree when you won’t live to see it full grown. It’s even more thoughtful to plant it far enough away from the house so that it doesn’t choke the gutters.

From the incredibly passionate debate over the rebuilding of the World Trade Center, you wouldn’t guess that most people in the neighborhood hardly glanced at the Towers when they stood.

Everyone agrees we should talk to our kids about drugs. The question is, should we tell them the truth?

Back when domestic disputes were settled by trial-at-arms, the wife usually had to hire a man to fight for her. Sometimes she was allowed to swing her own sword, in which case the husband was required to stand in a knee-deep hole.

Sentimental Xmas

NEXT YEAR let’s have a minimalist Christmas tree; one perfect ornament illuminated by one light.

Kampfer once saw the perfect Christmas tree ornament, a Russian woodcarving of a Red Army drummer boy. Every year he regrets not having bought it.


IF YOU CAN’T afford good cold cuts, you can compensate by getting good mustard.

Pesto is a quick and easy dish to make with a blender, but think what it must have been like with a mortar and pestle.

Kampfer loves chicken wings, but most places don’t give you anything to hold the clean-picked bones. In a sports bar, of course, you can just spit them on the floor.

The latest entry in the low-carb fad is a crustless “pizza in a bucket.” Probably tastes about as good as it sounds.

Culture Wars

SINCE IRAQI SHIITES weren’t intimidated by everything Saddam Hussein did to them, they aren’t likely to yield to Paul Bremer.

“Dykes to Watch Out For” came out in support of the Borders strikers. That’s very brave of Alison Bechtel, since authors are so dependent on the big chain stores.

A good compromise for the dispute over dress codes in French schools would be to allow Moslem girls to wear the Phrygian## “liberty cap.” instead of the traditional head scarf. That would allow them to preserve their modesty while following French tradition.

It’s an improvement to see so many gay characters on TV, but how come none of them are longshore workers or truck drivers? Of course, we don’t see many straight proletarians either.

It’s not a real SUV if there isn’t enough floor space to work the foot pedals while wearing snow boots.

Must be frustrating for the New England Patriots that fewer people are talking about their Super Bowl victory than about Janet Jackson’s right nipple.

ATC 110, May-June 2004