And Gutenberg Lived Here: Of Cows, Collars, Satellites, Furniture Polish Tea, And Early Morning News.

By seven this morning, I had done the housework,

prepared the officer in command in charge of the math’s breakfast,

written a good two hours-

we don’t sleep much here due to the constant noise

of the ever-expanding “biggest job provider in the region”-

the Frankfurt airport-

and decided it was just about time for a decent cup

of the brew that lifts the spirits,

and can be also used as furniture polish-

I’m Irish-American- we like our tea that way-

when I made a serious faux pas-

that’s French for slipping in the fake butter-

sorry in advance to Mel of francesays,

and anyone else out there who actually speaks French.

(I learned mine in a Marcel Proust course of reading for rocket scientists.

I kid you not.

Unfortunately, I am neither.

Rocket scientist, nor French speaker.

Between the Proust, though,

and a theater course in pantomime,

I do know the correct way to swan.)

So anyway, there I was,

overly large soup cup of stiff black assam-nilgiri,

and milk,

just barely over the expiration date,

when I pas-ed most faux.

As in,

I turned on the news.

Oi yoi yoi yoi yoi,

as they say over here in Gutenberg land.

And au wau wau wau wau.

(That’s the chorus.)

For the chicken noodle network,

our only source of “international news right from the homeland.”

And if you believe that, I have this bridge for sale….

never mind.

So there I was, trying not to scald and boil at the same time,

and, amazingly, not even from the news,

when the thermometer marking went over the top.

“Not even from the news,”

because, source of said early morning

temperature raising hoo-ha

had to do with an in the middle of the news ad.

About a cow.

A very scientific cow, in fact.

A cow that was now wearing a very newly designed

and recently developed, apparently,


The kind of collar,

that shoots death rays-

as if the bovine digestion emissions weren’t enough-

that aim at a certain satellite, which,

when passing overhead,

flashes back to earth the message that:

the cow is well,

needs water,

needs hay and grass,

needs salt,

is lonely,

has fallen over,

or been pushed,

or: is ripe for hamburger.

And this, as I sat and tried to still my quaking tea holding hand,

so that I didn’t end up having to drive to the emergency room

before I reached a series of serious bovine deliberation conclusions,

made me realize that there was definitely a much larger situation here.


On a global scale of one to ten, a cow and it’s needs is perhaps a one,

or even a two.

(Or higher, depending on the state or country you are in,

and the social relevance of the cow.)

But now consider the larger, non-bovine consequences of this situation.

There you are, in a big city,

during the noon hour,

with little time away from the office.

So you spot a place on a park bench, keep it in sight the entire time,

and head for the local small hotdog stand.

Where your veggie imitation tofu dog, with curry sauce,

has been now outfitted with a small collar.

To tell you whether the dog is: cooked, needs mustard, needs catsup,

needs a coke, is about to explode,

needs to cook longer to boil off the fat.

And of course, that the price of the dog has already been moved,

by satellite ray,

from your credit card

to the electronic cash register.

So you may as well sit down and eat.

And all of this, while the Starserver satellite collector

is taking down data.

Are you paying that much for a dog, and where did you get the money?

Have you eaten so many hot dogs this month, your insurance rate should go up?

And should you,

heaven forbid,

forget to remove the little silver sender

from the dog,

which you gulped whole,

because you still have to pick up the one hundred percent pure cotton shirts

you have left to be ironed-

because they are one hundred percent pure cotton,

and if you didn’t leave them,

it would take you,

a single ironer,

well over three hours and six tries per shirt,

not to mention the boredom factor,

even if you are watching some kind of vampire show,

or police documentary,

or a show about someone who has swallowed one of those small silver bands,

and is now on the road,

being tracked by a satellite,

as he fights his never-ending battle

to peacefully eat a hot dog,

without having to cross a field of angered cows,

who someone has messed up the statistics of,

so that they have been fed salt, cola,

and tofu hotdogs with a small silver band around them,

as he desperately tries to find a safe house,

without social engineers,

or life commentators,

in the hope that he can:

start a small fire,

boil some water,

take out twelve packets of Nilgiri-Assam tea,

and finally write a blog.

In peace.

With no cows,

no satellite signals,


no morning tv news.

copyright 2018. All rights reserved.


2 thoughts on “And Gutenberg Lived Here: Of Cows, Collars, Satellites, Furniture Polish Tea, And Early Morning News.

  1. I made a long comment on this post, but when I clicked “Post Comment,” it disappeared into cyberspace. I’m not going to try to repeat what I said because it may meet the same fate, but if this comment gets through, this will let you know that the previous comment was brilliant! 🙂


  2. I would give this post a LIKE for the Proust connection to my 9/5 post alone, but since I like the whole piece, I am doing this comment as well. I would do more, but that might make me look like a self-serving lowlife, which wouldn’t reflect well on the company you keep (this isn’t my first visit, you know).


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