Thursday, May 24, 2012

May 24: "Life of Pi," Head Gaskets, Being Pi

Book club tonight.  This month's read was Life of Pi by Yann Martel.  I've read it before.  It's one of my favorites.  I was hoping to reread it completely before our meeting tonight, but, of course, I didn't.

My wife came by the medical office where I work.  She took her car into a mechanic to see if the head gaskets needed to be replaced.  I was truly hoping this guy was going to tell us we could wait a little while.

Let me tell you the news in the way that Yann Martel's Pi would.

My wife went to the elephant house at the zoo to visit her elephant friend, Lotta Dough.  Lotta was sunning herself on the mock African savanna when my wife found her.

"Lotta," my wife called her.  "Do you think I need to buy this really expensive Angus beef to feed my family?  It costs almost $250 per pound."

Lotta lifted some grass to her mouth and chewed slowly.  "Well," she said, "you have to feed your family."

"Yes," my wife said, "but I could make do with this hamburger I found at Wal-Mart for $3.99 per pound."

"Well," said Lotta, swatting at a fly with her trunk, "you could buy the cheaper meat.  However, that meat has been known to cause sickness in children.  You'll probably end up at the hospital, giving money to doctors."

My wife still didn't want to buy the Angus beef.  "But it will cost me $1600 to feed everyone with the Angus."

Lotta rolled on her back.  She was getting hot.  "Look, I know it will be expensive, but if you buy the cheap meat, you eventually will get sick.  Buy the good meat and enjoy it.  That's what the lion would do."

My wife watched as Lotta created a load of dung under a tree.  As she listened to the garden hose of Lotta's urine driving into the dirt, my wife realized Lotta's elephantine wisdom was indisputable.  She would have to buy the Angus.

After Lotta was done with her toiletries, she looked at my wife.  "My dear, as the hyena once told me, 'even if you have fleas, you gotta laugh.'"

"What does that mean?"  My wife called after Lotta, who was heading off in search of shade.

"Don't ask me," Lotta said.  "Hyenas are stupid."

So, that's the animal story.  The human story is less entertaining and a little more depressing.

The mechanic told us we needed to get the head gaskets and timing belt fixed on my wife's Subaru.  It's going to cost $1600, and we can't really put it off without doing serious damage to the vehicle.  All I can do is laugh.  Just when I think we're in pretty good shape, financially, some stupid, necessary expense crops up.

Pi would ask you which of the two versions of the story is more interesting.

Frankly, Saint Marty thinks both versions pretty much suck.

You can't aruge with Lotta

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