This morning I woke up and I saw Gabriel sitting on the futon couch in the living room with a black marker pen and a roll of white paper towels with little green shamrocks along the borders. He was busy writing something and I was curious because he usually only writes union protest slogans on cardboard signs that he has been selling through eBay so I said to him, “Hey, Gab, what are you up to?”
Without any hesitation Gab tells me, “I’m bumfin’ these pieces of paper towel.” Gab mumbles sometimes and it sounds to me like he said Banff. I’m not sure what this all has to do with a single occupancy resort in Canada but my curiousness is up. “What for,” says I.
“Etidorpha needs to know what each piece is to be used for. See, this one here is for wiping up spilled coffee. This one next on the roll is for cleaning Altuna’s bmfiggereion... this one is assigned to the loo in the evening, and this here one is going to be a book mark in a Stephen Hawking book about black dwarfs.“
“OK, Ok,” I says, “What happens if you need to clean your shoes and that particular piece of paper towel is in the middle of the roll?”
“We follow the schedule, my friend, always follow the schedule, I mean, why bother making a schedule if you are not going to follow it?”
I can see well enough from now on out that Gab will need to spill his coffee right on time. “Well, I ‘spose that makes good common sense but aren’t your shoes going to be a bit smelly with that gift from Altuna, and you tracking it all around the house?”
“Not a worry, if we are not on schedule then I’ll wipe my feet on the grass.”
“Why did this come up all of a sudden?”
“We got a letter in the mail from our Congressperson that from henceforth herein on out in perpetuity and with green washing gargling and domesticated ecological spills of toxic radioactive waste and broken eggs we are to keep a detailed daily record of our use of paper towels. Etidorpha says it will be a whole lot easier to track them if we give them names and labels to identify what they are to be used for. This one here I am going to name Phred. We need to write it down in this book they sent us. Why they don’t let us e-mail our records I don’t know, probably worried about that Wikileaks thing sopping up the American right to wipe.”
“Oh,” I says as I look out the window past the bright display of spring crocuses, “What is Eti doing with the fluorescent spray paint out in the yard? It looks orange.”
“Damn that sister of mine, I told her I’ll go to hell and back before we bend over to label our leaves of grass!”
“Well, you know Gab, the whole world and everything in it do need a name.”
Altuna says, "Roof, roof."
To be continued... red roofing slate straight from the Face on Mars.