Small Conceits

Musings. Stories. Poems. From where I stand.


2 Comments >

by Charles L. Dilworth (a.k.a. “Dad”)

I served as a Marine in my early twenties. While at Camp Lejuene I was assigned as a Duty NCO one weekend. The Duty NCO’s responsibility was to keep a watchful eye on the barracks and make sure the Marines returning from a night on the town got into their bunks without doing any harm to themselves or to others. The biggest challenge was that of trying to stay awake all night. Fortunately, we had a vending machine that dispensed coffee and hot chocolate.

I was doing OK, but after about my sixth cup I decided my stomach would not tolerate any more coffee. The only alternative was hot chocolate.

I inserted my quarter into the machine and watched the chocolate pour into my cup. The force of the stream of chocolate created a layer of foam on the surface of the drink. When I removed the cup and took a sip of the hot brew, I detected a lump of chocolate which had not dissolved (so I thought).

When this lump suddenly grew legs I quickly expelled everything from my mouth.

If there is a moral to this story it would have to be this:

If you must have a late-night cup of hot chocolate from a vending machine, before you do anything else, first bang on the side of the machine to chase away the cockroaches.

Charles L. Dilworth spent much of his childhood out-of-doors, learning about the woods and the critters who populated them. He lives in Rock Hill, SC, with his wife of more than 50 years.


4 Comments

The Long Road to Minimalism – Grand Finale

As I’ve been doing my purging, I’ve been fussing about the difficulty of the exercise on Facebook. At some point a little while back, I realized that in addition to my emotional attachments to books, I also seemed to be struggling with paring down my sock collection. Well, ok, “collection” is a strong word, implying a kind of intentional acquisition, when in actuality my sock drawers (yes, plural) filled more organically than intentionally. Still, when faced with discarding some of my socks, I found myself getting teary-eyed. “Oh,” I’d sniff sentimentally, “these were the socks I wore when hiking the Badlands of South Dakota.” (Then I sniffed physically, and into the waste bin they went. But not all my choices were that easy.)

In one of my sillier Facebook whine-fests, I asked people to supply me with arguments — in poem form — for ridding myself of excess socks. I got many good responses, but this one from my sister-in-law was my favorite. I asked if I could share it, and she graciously gave me permission. I give you…

One Sock, Two Sock, Red Sock, Blue Sock

By A Seuss Wanna-be (Kimberly Arlia)

 

One sock

Two sock

Red sock

Blue sock

 

Black sock

Blue sock

Old sock

New sock

 

This one has a little cat.

This one has a little bat.

Say!  What a ton

But socks are fun!

 

Yes.  Some are red.  And some are blue.

Some are old.  And some are new.

 

Some are worn.

And some are torn.

Some you outgrew.

And some Bodhi likes to chew.

 

Why are they

Worn and torn?

Outgrown and chewed?

HEAVENS KNOWS – your mother spews!

 

Some are thin,

And some are f a t.

Some are missing

Taken by a rat?

 

From there to here, from here to there,

Funny socks

Are everywhere.

 

You see them come.

You see them go.

But now you need

To shop no mo’

 

Pair them up.

Take a day!

Got a hole?

Throw away!

 

Organize, stow away!

Make it neat.

Socks are a treat,

For pretty feet!

 

Bodhi-framed

“I’ve been framed.”

For more on my sock trials and tribulations, visit my story on Medium: 12 Steps to Minimalism (alternately: The Sock Incident).