Monday, October 27, 2008

Morning has Broken

Usually Alice’s sense of smell is the first to awaken in the a.m. Roasted coffee smell. Ummm. Very good. That first cup of coffee? Well It’s just okay, and she is always surprised that the taste is not on par with the smell. But then she does love the smell of freshly mowed grass, and is quite sure that eating a clump of it will not lead her to look for recipes.

Also, they say (you know those vague They people out there who are always saying something) that just smelling coffee is good enough for changing the activity of several genes. Well, okay, this result came from testing rats, but you know.

An interesting odd factoid is that chemical compounds, known as thiols, are found in many things, including coffee. Thiols are also the lovely ingredient in skunk spray. Hmm. Cofee. Skunk spray. Yum.

But Alice’s awakening yesterday morning was not brought about by brewed thiols. It wasn’t her sense of smell that was alert. It was her sense of touch. But there was no cup of java placed into her hands. There were towels. Lots of towels.

An overnight visitor had done something to the bathroom in the middle of the night and an overflowing toilet had drenched the wall-to-wall carpet in the living room. And the owner of the house (TOOTH) had thought it a great idea to take all the towels and throw them on the rug and stomp on them, then take the soaked towels and throw them into the dryer. Step two: repeat the above. Step three: ibidem.

ALICE: But the dryer will take hours to get the towels dry enough and. . .
VISITOR: Don’t worry! This is a good plan.
ALICE: Plan? You call that a plan? We need a professional. Someone who knows how to fix this mess.
TOOTH: You are being very dramatic and it’s really too early for this. What we need is coffee. We’ll take turns stomping on the towels and drying them. It’ll be a useful thing to do. But, actually, I have to go to work so I’ll leave you two to do it.
VISITOR: Well, actually, I have a train to catch this morning so I must beg off.
ALICE: WORK? BEG OFF? Nuh, uh! I’m NOT staying here alone to stomp on towels. Why, it’s the most ridiculous thing I have ever. . .

Alice looked over to the rug and noticed that her footprints were clearly marked in the wet depressions. She noted that she was not flat-footed or high-arched. Which was good.

Thus, by tracking our foot-prints in the sand, we track our own nature in its wayward course, and steal a glance upon it, when it never dreams of being so observed. Such glances always make us wiser.

That’s what Nathaniel Hawthorne wrote in a story found in Twice-Told Tales.

“How will I be able to take a shower if ALL the towels are on the floor?”

That’s from wiser Alice .


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