I can’t imagine what the parents of missing West Chester University student Shane Montgomery went through this past weekend as the search for their son spread throughout Manayunk — and thank God for that. It’s any parent’s worst nightmare: a child vanished into thin air. And while we may tell ourselves it hardly ever happens, the truth is, it does, more often than we’re willing to let ourselves admit.
Montgomery had been at Kildare’s pub celebrating “Thanksgiving Eve,” the unofficial (but popular) holiday before the holiday, when college kids return to their hometowns and go out drinking with their old friends. My colleague Monica Weymouth recently wrote a lovely, poignant and funny ode to the occasion as observed in the Great Northeast. We used to observe Thanksgiving Eve where I grew up, in Doylestown; my kids do it now, in the far western suburb where we live.
And I hold my breath.
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Illustration by Melissa McFeeters
At some point in my 30s, probably while I was running a vacuum cleaner, it occurred to me that one can view the whole of human history as a mission to do less work. Every invention of the modern age with which we’re surrounded — the vacuum, the automobile, the coffee maker, the disposable diaper — was meant to free us from drudgery of some kind or another and allow us more time in which to slack off. Laziness has been the driving force behind progress in every realm.
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Philadelphia 76ers’ Nerlens Noel, left, holds his head after scrambling for a ball against Houston Rockets’ Trevor Ariza, right, in the second half of an NBA basketball game Friday, Nov. 14, 2014, in Houston. The Rockets won 88-87.(AP Photo/Pat Sullivan)
The Sixers didn’t play last night, which was a blessing. They’ll play again tonight, which isn’t. In case you haven’t heard, the team is off to a brutal 0-and-13 start. One of those was a one-point loss, but a lot of the rest haven’t even been close. The team’s been blown away by the Pacers, the Heat, the Raptors, the Mavs, the Spurs and the Suns. Among others. The stands are so empty during this losing streak that if you bring a box of macaroni-and-cheese to tonight’s game, you get two free tickets to another game. Supposedly, this is to benefit Philabundance. In reality, it’s to get some butts in seats for a change. Read more »
Sunday, on our way home from a trip to upstate New York, my husband and I stopped at a Dunkin Donuts. When we came back out with our coffee, there was a car parked a few spaces down from ours. It had one of those little flatbed trailers attached to the back. And lying on the trailer were two dead deer, gutted and trussed for travel. They were having their picture taken by a passing mom and her 14-year-old son, who were carefully framing the shots on their cellphones.
I’m not sure why they bothered. It’s not like there’s a dearth of dead deer around these parts. On our trip to New York and back, I must have seen several hundred dead deer — lying beside the road, lying on the road, lying a hundred yards back from the road, with their little deer limbs twisted and contorted in a gymnast’s baedeker of positioning. There were deer on their backs, on their sides, on their bellies. There were deer who seemed to be sitting up, human-like, by the roadside, watching the passing cars patiently, unblinkingly.
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The other day after work, I was waiting for the garage attendant to bring down my car. I was standing alongside a well-dressed, dapper-looking man about age 60. As his car — a much more expensive one than my ancient Honda — came rolling down the ramp, mine followed close behind. The attendants lined the cars up beside us and got out, holding the doors for us. The gentleman beside me paused, cleared his throat, coughed up a huge phlegm-ball onto the sidewalk at my feet, and proceeded to get in his car.
Yo, dude. You are so, so gross.
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