Tuesday, July 28, 2009


Long ago, during my formative years on the other side of the world, I was chased off of who but god could know how many lawns by how many cane-wielding fogeys, out of how many vegetable gardens and melon patches by how many shotgun-wielding fogeys, and down out of how many fruit trees by how many pruning-shear-wielding fogeys, across the length and breadth of my beloved hometown and even in other towns and states as time led me on through the fogic realms, and in every instance a major aspect of fleeing said pursuit was the complete incomprehensibility to me regarding the fogic rationale, the sheer, blind fogicity of a person that would chase someone who was having so much football fun on a lawn off that lawn, in that garden out of that garden, or in that tree out of that tree, where the vegetables and fruits were far better, not to mention cheaper and healthier, than anything you could get in any market, and taste right off the tree forget it!

Why would anyone deprive another, especially an innocent young kid, of such all-too-brief bites of Eden? The fact was, as I now understand, that as an inexperienced youngster I lacked perception of the more complex elements of fogification that are now as clear as buckshot. And all this in a foreign land! It all came together for me this very morning, here on this far side of the world, as I was eyeing some kids who were too near someone’s garden down in the village, when I suddenly realized I was doing something I never in my wildest dreams expected I would do ever in my life: I was fogifying! Albeit vicariously.

I can’t tell you what a shock this was: me, the Billy the Kid of apple trees, the Jesse James of watermelons, the Babyface Nelson of honeydews, had somehow unknowingly entered full-blown fogeyhood! The funny thing is that I hadn’t known fogification was an organic process, a stage in one’s growth, a fully natural state into which one evolves, if one has a garden. When, as a grass-stained child, tomatoes or apples in hands or melons in arms I’d fled those Eden-destroying fogeys, I never thought the fogic state would one day be mine. Nor had I known how much fun it is to fogify, the fun now being covertly expressed, since it is patently counterproductive to chase kids away with a smile on your face.

In my fresh and steadily deepening understanding of these arcane matters, I feel that am now fully qualified on all counts, fogifically speaking, mainly on the basis of age and a general commensurate irritability regarding my growing perception of the fruitless foistiness, ruthless raucousness and wayward wastefulness of marauding youth. In other words, by virtue of some cosmic evolutionary intention, I am now capable of professional level fogification. But can I expect true fogific fulfillment here in Japan, where the children are so polite and considerate, and would never think of steal— enjoying another person’s garden produce?

If I do develop a lush orchard and garden, will Japanese kids come and run rampantly enough for me to chase them away in the grand fogey tradition? More likely I’d have to hire them. Better them than the monkeys I have now, who know nothing of the property rights that are essential to fogeydom. Perhaps fogeydom is more of a Western thing. Still, it might be worth a try; it is my turn, after all.

So now, in addition to fun-minded kids, all I need is a lushly productive garden and a good variety of heavily bearing fruit trees. Are you listening, god?

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