Friday, May 03, 2002


This morning on the train, my beloved and endearing train, I was sitting there in zomboid mode attempting to digest some intellectual tidbits from a book on political science, and so was in that surreal scientifico-politico commuter warp wherein such default mentations are processed, when an announcement came over the train loudspeaker, "Quack-quack, quack-qua-quack, quack-qua-quack."

In that mental state, it didn't seem strange at all to hear conductor Donald Duck addressing the commuting flock, or maybe there was a real duck making the announcements, I couldn't be sure, nor did I try to be; nor did my retarded curiosity seem bizarre; I was more challenged to discern what the bird was trying to tell me, than to wonder what the hell a duck would have to say to us featherless bipeds.

So in that singularly delimited frame of mind I concentrated, and began to parse out what sounded like Japanese syllabication; which caused me to slip further toward that dubious state we delight in calling normalcy, wherein I realized that the conductor was not a duck, nor was he imitating a duck, but was rhythmically and dialectically and quackically announcing via an aging and ragged speaker system: "Wani, Wani, next stop Wani; Wani, Wani, next stop Wani," and I thought how much nicer it had been when I'd thought it was a duck. Is this a sign of some disaffection on my part?