Saturday, February 1, 2014

Flowers Are Bought

On this day flowers are bought. My phrasing, obviously, is up-to-the-minute modern. It was in one of Theodore Dalrymple’s fascinating if also depressing books that we first encountered this sort of “objective” phrasing—when, writing about some man who had stabbed some relative,  Dalrymple quoted the man as saying that “The knife went in.” Well, on this day flowers were bought, and the very distant phrasing arises from my overhearing a conversation between wife Brigitte and daughter Michelle. They were discussing the role of birthdays in the life of women, and Michelle suggested that “We ought to return to the old days—when people didn’t know how old they really were. I think it should start after you turn thirty.” Flowers were bought because a recurrence in time took place. Whose it was will remain a secret, and the number of the recurrence is safe with me.

Flowers were bought because, on this occurrence, the retail system user has inexplicable urges to hasten the arrival of Spring. But the flowers were bought in the middle of a Winter Weather Advisory, which means that the snow was coming down and, once down, was piling up—so much snow the driver barely saw that the lights were blinking yellow, which they do on Saturdays on the thoroughfare that got labeled Moross.

There are no agents in this modern world. Cyclamens do not know their own name. No one waters them, but the water sprinkles down.

2 comments:

  1. Delightful post. I was going to comment in the strange objective phrasing style you use and explain in the post but, darn, that's hard to do. This objective phrasing "style" does, of course, take care of one modern grammar problem--namely the constant misuse of the plural pronoun they instead of the male/female pronouns he/she--by ignoring pronouns all together. How clever!

    Hoping that the cyclamen have been watered!

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  2. Wrong you are, my dear. I did water my lovely new cyclamens, though of course, only after consulting the care instructions very carefully...

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