Friday, April 18, 2008

Friday! And a beautiful Friday it is. I've got enough to keep me busy that if I don't consciously point out the springtime beauty, I would miss it altogether. Sometimes you have to point out the obvious, lest your soul become calloused to the simple pleasures.

My current customer is in to model trains. His backyard is landscaped around a rather extensive miniature rail line, complete with an electrified little township and running water. The little train was making its rounds the other day while I was meeting with him. "The train's running!" I exclaimed as it chugged by. "It's always running," he replied. "It's always running?" I asked. "Well, it's always running when I'm here," he said.

That's a good policy. It's best not to let our obsessions run off without us.

Funny thing is, this is the second customer of mine who had an obsession with model trains. The other customer was a wealthy German immigrant who was active in political circles. He's had fancy parties in his yard with Governor Schwarzenegger, among others, and he likes to fire up the train during the soirees. I picture Arnold looking over the trains, fingering a big cigar and pining for his youth in Austria. My customer pointed out a broken bridge in a far-off corner of the elaborate layout. "I tell my Republican friends," I felt a joke coming, "that that's the 'Bridge to Nowhere'!" He laughed heartily.

I also imagine Governor Schwarzenegger fingering that same cigar as he scrutinized the aluminum patio cover. "You're telling me this is aluminum? Who made this? Where can I get one? I want one in every mansion! I'll pay whatever it costs! Get that construction company on the horn! Give them a government contract! Aluminum is just the thing to fulfill the renewable resource slot in my comprehensive environmental agenda!"

Well, he still hasn't called, so it's back to the Avocado Festival for me. That's right: this time Sunday I'll be knee-deep in guacamole! See you there!