It is December 27, 2005, and, as the year draws to a close, boy, is it dry.
Or, should that be "boy, hidy"? Sometimes one loses the grip on one's native slang.
Speaking of losing a grip. In the land of post-Christmas shopping, an e-mail arrived overnight. It contained a "special offer" for a shower radio--marked down to $34.98 from $69.95.
That is a generous mark-down. Makes you wonder what the "mark-up" was during the season of joy.
The item is marketed as a "Shower Radio Alarm Clock." Yes, it is a shower radio alarm clock. A radio for your shower, I can understand. An alarm clock in the shower?
This device is just one step away from "Table Saw Alarm Clock," in case you find yourself lulled to sleep by the sound of sawing logs.
We don't need a shower alarm clock at our house, anyway. We have a cocker spaniel who goes off at the first thought of a toasty morning Pop Tart. Yes, I have thought about putting him in the shower. His snooze alarm is a tuxedo cat outfitted with the insistence chip option. "MEOW. I must insist that you awaken NOW. MEOW. I must insist that you awaken NOW."
Back to the rain: There is a website that catalogues "drought" conditions in Texas. It's http://agnews.tamu.edu/drought/. Alas, it does not address showering with an alarm clock.
Perhaps if we all sang shorter songs in the shower, we'd be able to cut down on water usage.
WILD LIFE AT THE HOP: Last week, as the reindeer approached, we had a bit of an Easter situation. A reader wrote, "My friend has a displaced bunny that has decided to live under his swimming pool deck. We fear the bunny may soon be Momma Bunny."
Well, of course, bunnies can breed like rabbits....
Continuing with the note: "Although the former field bunny can be termed 'wild,' she (?) is getting used to seeing humans. Please direct me to an organization that will either trap or teach us how to trap this little fur ball before there are many more fur balls ..."
We sent this reader toward the website for the DFW Wildlife Coalition (www.dfwwildlife.org.) We'll let you know as soon as we hear The Fate of the Bunny.
BACK TO THE RIVER: On Christmas night, my hollyjollyspouse and I were driving back through downtown toward our home in Oak Cliff. This required crossing the Trinity River on the I-35/U.S. 67 southbound bridge.
It also nearly required an oxygen mask. There was a non-too-holiday stench rising from the riverbed.
I don't know what material Dallas will use to build that new fancy Calatrava bridge, but I sure hope it's got a space-age protective coating and there's a big budget for paint maintenance. The Christmas Night Stench was stout enough to peel the paint off my pickup. And, you know, it's not like that's the only night of the year that the river stinks.
Do the river project people expect parents to bring their kids downtown to play beside a river that would gag a maggot?
Instead of spending billions on dressing up this pig, why don't we just shut it down and re-route it around Dallas? Heck, it’s been re-routed around Dallas once already -- that’s how it wound up where it is now. Years ago the river was moved about a quarter-mile west so it wouldn’t keep flooding downtown Dallas. Honest. You can look it up. (A good starting place is the Handbook of Texas -- click HERE .)
If I recall correctly, plans are to have a big-time expressway running alongside the river. Between the traffic pollution and the river stench, there should be no shortage of projects for post-grad environmental students examining the Trinity River Bottoms Park & Gag Greenbelt.
You can check out the Trinity River plans at www.trinityrivercorridor.org. My favorite part is the White Water Park proposal -- you know, like a racetrack for kayaks.
Maybe they can fund all this stuff with casino boats. Welcome to the Big D Money Barge!. Here are your chips and your complimentary gas mask.