Let Me Take You Down

All right! All right! I give up! You win! So many of you have been clamoring for a photograph of me to display in your tokonoma that I must yield. I do not concede gladly. It’s just too hard to find a photo of me that doesn’t make me look like myself.

But, well, here’s an okay one that my daughter took of me on a college-visit trip we went on earlier this summer down in Florida. It was a swell, if humid, place. The cagey school reps took us — a few hundred parents and prospective students — on a tour of the torrid campus. Too bad the grinding of the wheels of the skateboarding prospective next to us drowned out the tour guide’s words.

The schoolmasters were so gracious as to spread a lavish banquet before us that evening. Liz and I were less in need of refreshment than all the other parents and kids — wild-eyed, slackjawed, limping, dehydrated — almost in tears! — who had not demonstrated basic survival skills by ducking out of the tour as we had hours earlier. The theme of the dinner was Ocean Life in keeping with Gulf location of the school. We sat at the table labeled “BARACUDA” [sic]. It was a yummy meal, too, nicely supplementing the lunch we’d already enjoyed while the rest of the visitors had trudged around in sub-tropical misery. Maybe I should have skipped the mushrooms though.

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