Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Yesterday, in the early afternoon hours, a man I did not know walked into my work station and gave me a peach. I then ate the fruit and it was good. (I am not being metaphorical)

Today upon arriving at my employers building I found a plastic bag of tomatoes. Small ones, large ones in all manners of different warm hues. They were rather simply just laying around in the break room. Next to the 30 cent coffee machine and the Happy Halloween Avon-Calling informational mail order pamphlet. I assume these tomatoes are from the unidentified fruit distributor or the UFD for short.

I've begun to hypothesize. Who is the UFD? Is he an employee's husband? Perhaps he just gives the receptionist a ripe one and slips in. How old is he? He looks like he is just over half a century. I suppose we can't couldn't his rings. Nor will I ask him about his age. I have chosen to remain ignorant of the life and times of Mr. UFD. Rather than bother with the curiosities that are naturally embedded in these kinds of affairs I've decided to abbreviate him. Make a characature of a man.
Those kinds of simplifications seem unsettling and demented but I know I regularly engage in them. Stereotyping and generalizing on a individual scale.

Made to order. Fresh, neat and clean.

Every day I see hundreds of people. Most of them I do not know and may never see again. I know nothing of these wanderers. The woman who walked her dog yesterday near Monford is nothing more that that. I could make up a story for her. She may have been from Tampa. Born there in 1978, before it became the Emerald City, before the strip clubs. She tried college after her graduation from a private school but had an opportunity to live abroad with a Mission in Burma and left. Maybe she misses the Beach but not the sun. Who knows.
How difficult would it be to actually know the people we see? That would be a nightmare. To much information. Psychics must have a hell of a time just leaving their homes. If I could see into personalities and memories I'd be a shut-in.

I guess that makes the stereotype of the wild mystical hermit stereotypes much more believable. Some wild hermits live around here. Or they used to anyway. In Fairview somewhere off Highway 74. They shop at Ingles #111. They come in two or three times a year and nervously fill up a couple shopping carts with non-perishables like canned beans and dog food. These people don't enjoy the typical human-to-human contact that comes with average day-to-day grocery shopping. In all likelihood they only come into town to argue over tax issues, buy dog food and renew their fishing license. I like to stereotype the Appalachian Wildmen.

Hell, I like to stereotype.

I also like little histories. Each word has a one. Take "Stereotype". I learned of it's creator while reading about typography a few years ago. A man named Firmin Didot was the originator of the word. He was a printer's son in a family of printer's sons. Unsurprisingly the word was originally just a printer's term. Stereotypes are printing plates that were created for a single page as opposed to a layout with moveable type pieces. They were his invention. In the late 1700s this was quite revolutionary. But it isn't his accomplishments that make this man so unforgettable in my mind. Rather, it is just hard to forget a name like Firmin Didot.
I guess that just goes to prove my need for the stereotypical simplification as a shorthand for humanity. Although I understand much of Didot's history and relevance it is his rather unfortunate name that forms the core of my memories. Like a sun, it shines in the center. Around it spins a galaxy of useful information. A galaxy that is seen less because I'd rather look into the bright sun of a silly name.
What a cliché; remembering a silly fact rather than important volumes of valuable validates.

Coincidentally, "cliché" is an old printing term as well. Its an onomatopoeia generated from the sound made when molten lead hit the text matrix during the stereotyping process.

Everything is circular. Not unlike a peach.

Last night I drank four beers and watched A Cock and Bull Story with Johnson. It was very tangental, like this post I suppose. But that is what I've come to expect from anything Steve Coogan related. Rob Brydon was in it too. Somehow this goes to reinforce by belief that the two men are actually the same person. I will watch it again but will likely never read the book. It would be worthwhile though. After all, as I understand, the novel actually ends before the main character is born. Steve Coogan commented: "This is a postmodern novel before there was any modernism to be post about." Who wouldn't enjoy that?

Well that is about it for meandering words. Here are some pictures for the last couple nights.

More in the flickr account as usual.

Ok, bye.


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