A Query

In this picture your mayor is standing on the second floor of Franz Hall at the University of Portland, eating an apple. About to enter an event, she looks around for a trashcan to ditch the core. And finds one, directly below her, on the first floor. She considered simply dropping it, satisfying that urge that some people feel to throw balls (that led to the invention of sports) to see if it will “make it,” whether it be a hole in the ground, a rim on a backboard or a catcher’s mitt. Because people like to play games with balls, and like to watch other people playing with balls, that’s all there is to it. They like to witness a dramatic conflict that ends in win and loss and cheer or moan about it.

Your mayor was tempted, and thought it might be goofy for someone on the ground floor to see an apple core drop out of the air—but only if it hit the wastebasket. If it hit the floor, it would just be your mayor hurtling garbage from the railing of a Catholic University. And she’d have to run and retrieve it, kind of a p.s. to the losing throw itself.


But if you don’t throw, you never know. Whether you would have made it or not. So do you take a risk and maybe make a fool of yourself (twice), or just go for the glory?

The query is: What would you do? Throw or not throw?

Lard by the Bootful

A short story of anticipation, heartbreak, and resignation.


I had gone to 826 Valencia to pick up a bootful of lard, when I found the pirate store “quite closed.” Nooo! It cannot be that, like so many only-in-San Francisco marvels, this too was biting the dust. I thought perhaps it was a Burning Man thing, but was heartened to see it would reopen in short order—on 8/26, numerologically enough. I was disappointed but relieved.

I walked home clutching my boot, empty of lard, to my heart.