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Randy Thoughts and Stuff, #1

Randy Thoughts is my paperboy. He may just be the smartest person I know. You wouldn’t think that someone as smart as Randy Thoughts would be content delivering newspapers for a living. But you don’t know Randy.

Like, one day several months ago. Randy and I were just laying on our backs in my front yard, looking up at the stars. Randy was chewing on a blade of grass. Since it was February, I had hypothermia.

“Mr. Zee,” said Randy. “How many of them old stars do you think are up there?”

“Oh, I don’t know, Randy. A couple thousand. More than seven. I think the scientific term is ‘boatload.’”

“That’s sure a lot, Mr. Zee.”

“It sure is, Randy,” I chuckled. “It sure is.”

Yesterday, I hurt my knuckle opening a can of nuts. Boy, I didn’t see that coming.


I’ve been monitoring the activity on the Internet for a very long time now, and I’ve noticed several alarming trends. But I’m not going to say what they are.


Randy Thoughts brought my paper by the other morning, and I invited him to take his ease on the front porch stoop with me and pass a moment or two in conversation. Randy told me that he’d just adopted a new pet from the animal shelter. It was a cat, a portly Calico that he’d named A Tremendous Snort.

“That’s unusual, Randy,” I said. “More like a title than I name, don’t you think?”

Randy considered this for a while. Then I went inside to fetch us a couple glasses of iced Tang, and then the telephone rang, and then I had to use the bathroom, and then I thought to myself, I really like the word “durable.”

But that’s what it’s like, spending time with Randy Thoughts.


I was talking to my friend [name withheld because he has privacy issues] on the telephone the other day. [Name withheld because he has privacy issues] is one of the wackiest gents I know. We’ve been having telephone conversations for 20 years. They always start as rather normal, friendly conversations, but then they quickly deteriorate into vulgar, sophomoric nonsense. These are really the best kind of phone conversations to have, when you think about it. Nobody really wants to know what some other person “has been up to,” or “what’s new” with them, or “how’s work?” or any of that stuff. No one really wants to know how his friend’s “work” is going, unless his friend is an assassin or, maybe, an astronaut.

The only problem is, conversations of vulgar, sophomoric nonsense have no logical arc. Sometimes we end up laughing so hard at the stupid stuff we’re talking about that we’re just two people laughing into our respective telephones. It’s fun, sure, but sometimes I’m afraid that the hooker is going to get bored and leave.


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