I sat on a small white bench, listening to NPR's Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me, in the wee hours of the night. A small snail walked across a red brick, frustrating me with its diligence and patience. If I ever took life so slow, I'd stop missing all the wonderful details that make life a bit more bearable. Leave it to the snails to live life to the fullest.Had I decided to pack in just then, I would have missed two such tidbits. The mandarin tree dropped one of its fruits just then, making a great racket. And when it fell, I remembered that endings are best left unwritten. I have a story I've been writing for literally years, and now it's done. I love mandarins.

Outside the patient millions
Who put them into power
Expect a little more back for their taxes
Like school books, beds in hospitals
And peace in our bloody time
All they get is old men grinding axes

The above is true. I have both a mandarin tree and snails sitting outside my door. Sometimes I wonder...

God bless the civil service
The nation's saving grace
While we expect democracy
They're laughing in our face

-Ideology, Billy Bragg

Wait Wait... Don't Tell MeBragg's Ideology