We are non-commercial, all volunteer and supported by our readers. Please help sustain the Dew by making a donation.
Islands in the stream
Proceedings of the House Sub-Committee on Relocation and Allocation of Personnel Resources Subject to Allocation and Relocation Guidelines.
CHAIRMAN: The House Committee on Relocation and Allocation of Personnel Resources Subject to Allocation and Relocation Guidelines will come to order. Mr. Gingko you may proceed.
GINGKO: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Mr. Wingle, you are the Director of Human Asset Relocation for the State Department.
WINGLE: That is correct.
GINGKO: And you are in charge of human asset relocation, correct?
WINGLE: Well … sure.
GINGKO: And what does your job involve?
WINGLE: Making sure our many embassies, consulates and economic missions and task forces are properly staffed.
GINGKO: With people?
WINGLE: Yes, people.
GINGKO: No animals?
WINGLE: Not to my knowledge.
WINGLE: Yes, we are establishing an agricultural trade center.
GINGKO: What kind of agriculture, Mr. Wingle?
WINGLE: We’re going to help the Greek government expand the production of olives and fruit.
GINGKO: I wasn’t aware that olives were an agricultural product. I always thought they came in the little bottles you buy at Publix.
WINGLE: You have to grow the olives before they can be put into the bottles.
GINGKO: What variety of olive has the little red thingies in them?
WINGLE: I’m not quite sure how to answer that.
GINGKO: Don’t worry, you can’t be expected to know everything. That’s what Congress is for.
WINGLE: That’s a relief.
GINGKO: Now, this island of Patmos, it belongs to Greece, correct?
GINGKO: Why is that?
WINGLE: Why is what?
GINGKO: Why does Patmos belong to Greece instead of, say, South Carolina?
WINGLE: South Carolina isn’t a sovereign nation.
GINGKO: Really? I didn’t know that.
WINGLE: Life is full of surprises.
GINGKO: You noticed that too?
WINGLE: There are unexpected surprises at every turn.
GINGKO: I understand Patmos is where John the Apostle wrote the Book of Revelations .
WINGLE: That’s what they say.
GINGKO: Who are they?
WINGLE: A lot of people.
GINGKO: Have you met John yet?
WINGLE: John … ?
GINGKO: John the Apostle.
WINGLE: No … uh … you know, Mr. Gingko, the Book of Revelations was written over nineteen hundred years …. forget it. No, I have not met him.
GINGKO: Please tell him I said hello.
GINGKO: Living on Patmos probably will be scary.
GINGKO: Yeah. Patmos isn’t very big and if you get too many people on it the whole island will sink.
GINGKO: I owned a nine-foot motor yacht once and those things can go right to the bottom.
WINGLE: I …..
GINGKO: I don’t care how carefully you anchor a boat, or a raft or a small island, they WILL sink. And that’s a fact.
WINGLE: Mr. Gingko …
GINGKO: Yes sir, those little patches of land will tip right on over and disappear into the brine.
WINGLE: Mr. Gingko …
GINGKO: Right on down to the bottom of the deep blue sea. Splash, splash.
WINGLE: Excuse me …
WINGLE: Islands are the tops of mountains sticking up out of the water.
GINGKO: Nah … you’re making that up, right? You’re saying if you put a couple of hundred additional people and animals on Patmos, the island won’t get overloaded and sink, and every man, woman, child, poodle and goldfish won’t get eaten by sea monsters?
WINGLE: That’s correct. Everybody lives.
GINGKO: You wouldn’t kid me would you?
WINGLE: Wouldn’t dream of it.
GINGKO: Islands don’t float. Wow. Sure changes my thinking. Well thank the Lord! I was so worried!
WINGLE: I’m sure you’ll sleep better.
GINGKO: This has been a fascinating discussion.
WINGLE: You have no idea.
GINGKO: That’s all I have, Mr. Chairman. But Mr. Wingle I’d like a moment of your time after the hearings. I have some more olive questions.
Worthy of Comment
Also on the Dew
“Please hold my hand now. I am dying.” As this soul pulled me close to her, she looked up but just smiled. I had just finished reading “Walking Home From Oak Head” by Mary Oliver to her and she seemed to be pleased to hear some of the refrains again, There is something about the snow-laden sky in winter in the late afternoon that brings to the heart elation and the lovely meaninglessness of time. We had shared many secrets over the years we had known one another, the years of being lovers, of becoming friends. She was “spiritual” in some ways by her reckoning and made me promise to Read on →
This is a book about the 1%, the billionaires, or some of them, who can pay $50 million for a condo they use a couple weeks a year while otherwise camped in one of their other lavish homes. Mitt Romney accused ordinary people of feelings of entitlement when they expect social security and medicare but Mitt was playing to his audience, the true practitioners of entitlement. But this is not a political book. The wall street protests are mentioned in passing but its focus is the acquisition of Fifteen Central Park West property, the construction of the outstanding structure and Read on →
“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men should do nothing.” Whether Edmund Burke or someone before him first said it is a matter of some debate. But, we all recognize the statement. It’s a weighty sentiment for weighty times, one often referenced in the context of the worst atrocities inflicted on mankind. But, there’s another way to think of this: Every act of good, no matter how small, isolated, or even invisible, is a victory for all that is right. On Sunday, my wife and I saw “Unbroken,” the Angelina Jolie film based on the book by Laura Hille Read on →
WARNING: This feature has nothing to do with politics, terrorism, or race relations. It does, however, touch upon your unavoidable visit from the Grim Reaper. Time is the coin of your life. It is the only coin you have, and only you can determine how it will be spent. Be careful, lest you let other people spend it for you. — Carl Sandburg In my explorations along back roads, deep woods, and left-behind places, I come across forgotten graveyards. Their tombstones, like tragic figures in some sad drama, long ago surrendered to weathering. Stones cut from rocks softer than granite appear to me Read on →