And Gutenberg Lived Here: I’ve Got To Stop Reading Science News.

Yes, I know it’s my own fault,

but some days,

after getting up at five,

looking out the window at freezing frost-covered ground,

dumping large amounts of jump-start coffee into yourself,

in the hope it is all a bad dream,

and you will wake up and find it is actually June,

and you are in Hawaii,

just before the barbershop convention arrives,

you get desperate.

And read the science news.

And discover,

what some of us knew all along…

we are all descended from a 110 pound otter.

Well, maybe not all.

Some of you may be descended from those pterodactyls

that ended up as Sunday fried chicken,

but as for me, I’m from a long line of otters.

There was, for example, Thomas Jefferson Otter-

“you otter sign the declaration of independence.”

Or Captain Black John Lafayette Otter-

tail-commander under Ulysses S. Grant-

“you otter fight for the north.”

And then, somewhere along the line,

some of us recognized that the circle of otters

was wiping out the shellfish family,

like Mary Shell, author of Frankenstein,

or Harry Houdini Shell,

inventor of the Shell game,

or Jonathan Shell,

who, with his partner Steve Lack

founded the famous Shell-Lack corporation,

which trapped the otters in place

until they agreed to work out on the otter-matic nautilus machines

until they were of a more reasonable size.

Some of the members of which down-sized family,

were the ancestors of the world-famous Punxsutawney Phil,

who is, at the moment, getting ready for his publicity campaign

in preparation for this year’s ground hog’s day.

My, isn’t that family resemblance amazing?

And speaking of family resemblance,

by about five thirty,

well onto my fourth cup of coffee,

this time with no milk,

I discovered the following little item:

in Saudi Arabia, a robot was granted citizenship.


No real explanation,

no party,

or did they maybe eat oil sardines and chip beef on toast?

Which sort of makes me wonder a bit.

Since, when I moved here to Gutenberg land,

I spent every six months,

then years later once every year,

etc etc,

chatting with a gent from the registry office,

whose goal in life it was to:

make it clear that I understood how unwanted I was,

and secondly,

to ask impertinent embarrassing questions about how long we intended to stay married.

It could, of course, have had to do with the fact that

we lived on the OTHER side of the river,

which, while belonging to Gutenberg city geographically,

belonged to the much-hated state of Hessia for the paperwork.

It only took me about half a lifetime

to get permission to stay in country

in case something happened to my husband, God forbid.

Cups of coffee five and six,

with cinnamon and cardamom,

brought forth the following scientific gems:

in Japan, two humanoid robots were officially joined in a marriage ceremony.

Now since, as I have been told by a family member,

who married my now Japanese uncle,

that many Japanese marry in some culture and religious mix

of Buddhist, Christian, and Shinto,

the result, in her case,

included a reception hosted,   by her wonderful in-laws,

(I have met them)

and featuring Kentucky Fried chicken,

(aka bonsai pterodactyl?)

Leading, of course,

to the fact that I am waiting,

with trepidation,

and bated breath,

(baited with otter food?)

for the robot thing to take off.

Making the efforts of those of us who had to work so hard to get married



My parents,

who married, in Cheyenne Wyoming,

during cattle round-up week,

were issued, as a formal document,

not a wedding license,

since, in the yearly rush,

no one had thought to order new wedding licenses,

but rather a bill of sale for a cow:

“cow’s name” crossed out, bride’s name June in the blank.

(and if that’s not true devotion, what is?)

And then there was my husband and my marriage,

with a hold-up of six weeks,

while we got a minister to swear he knew me all his life,

since the US has no formal family registry like in Europe.

Then, my then fiance had to pay a month’s salary to the state,

for the right to marry me,

and finally, another hold-up,

while we found a translator

to legally translate the baby footprint on my birth certificate.

Which turned out to not be necessary,

since we learned, too late,

that we had to swear  an oath in front of the US consul

that made all the nonsense unnecessary.

And now robots can marry.

I wonder what their footprints on the birth certificates look like.

copyright 2017


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