06 June 2007

17 the condemned

i moved to chicago for grad school a few weeks after The Great Chicago Porch Collapse. some kids and their 80 closest friends were having a party on a precarious porch and it collapsed and they died. not all 80 of them, but a significant enough number.

this became my mum's greatest fear. not that i would take drugs or have wild sex with a politician or elope with an atheist or be hit by the #151. not that i would become a presbyterian or a partier or get pregnant. those are nothing when confronted with the prospect of death by a porch.

every time i did anything remotely party-on-a-porch-like (wine tastings, doc films, study groups, etc.), my mum would evoke "those poor people who lost their lives on THAT CHICAGO PORCH"- as though this single architectural feature were responsible for humanity's inevitable doom. as though chicago were the capital of collapsing porches.

the only time i came near anything even near the adjacent neighborhood of a party on a porch that year was a spring break festivity at jennyfair's. i vividly remember standing with pirate, schreider, and jennyfair on jennyfair's back porch. jennyfair gesturing frantically with her cigarette in that way she had in the days when she still smoked and our thesis loomed. and all i could think was this: I'M ON A PORCH! I'M ON A PORCH!

my mum never knew. as far as my mum knows, i haven't been on a porch in the past five years.

so it was with mixed feelings that i gained a porch of my own in the last move. and it was with horror that i went out on that porch this morning, 2 days before the parents impending arrival, and discovered this:



because that'll make her feel so much better.

17 comments:

Meggie said...

Um, Caro... Aren't you Presbyterian?? Boy, your mom would love my balcony. That collapses and you're going into the river!

oline said...

you're joking, right? we're soulmates. surely you know what i am!

Les Savy Ferd said...

I'm a human bean.

oline said...

and you're back!

Linda said...

pssst..meggie.... not presbyterian....eshay isay aptistbay.

oline said...

really, lindear. is it so scandalous that it warrants pig latin? (dazzling linguistic skills by the way.)

Linda said...

not so scandalous. I was just sneakig the tidbit to meggie. but you cracked my code!!

oline said...

if it's consolation, sneakda- had to summon all my wiley know-how.

Meggie said...

Ok... As a Methodist, then Baptist is a bad thing. *LOL* Everytime I get condemned to hell it is always by a Baptist!

oline said...

unfortunately, the splinter in your neighbor's eye/plank in your own parable seems to have missed the general southern baptist convention-going population.

Clark MF Price said...

At least it isn't Mormonism. Every time that I go to visit my family in KC then Mormons always try to convert me. Always a funny conversation.

Les Savy Ferd said...

54 feet into the foote

oline said...

NO WAY. i refuse to believe that.





ok. i guess now that i've had a moment, i'll try to believe. but you'd better sound the alarm loud and clear when you hit the neighborhood of 350 feet so i can gear up and join you in the mad dash to perryville. have you gotten to that kick ass paragraph where he pursues the "u.s. geography as the human body" metaphor for entirely too long? that's my favorite footeism so far. ah shelby.

Les Savy Ferd said...

no, just past sumter. will sound the alarum bells.

oline said...

please. please sound the alarum bells, and i will ready the batallion and we will fix bayonnets and storm the hill and take those damn yankees from the far right flank.

because you're with the boys in gray, no? being such a fan of the swamps of lousiana, i don't see how you could lean any other way in this war of nothern aggression.

Les Savy Ferd said...

I have no affinity towards the 'swamps of louisiana' however I am also agin unity for unity's sake (see modern day Iraq e.g.)

suit me up in gray, fair lady.

oline said...

consider yourself suited.