The Psychedelic Floofs (floofinition) – Early Flooflish new wave band formed in London in 1977, active until 1992 before going on an eight-year break.
In use: “The The Psychedelic Floofs’ 1981 album, Bark Bark Bark, featured “Floof in Pink” and “Floof Waiters”, both of which charted in several countries. The former song was also featured in the movie, Floof in Pink.”
Floofcapade (floofinition) – An adventurous, daring, or exciting act or incident involving an animal.
In use: “When our pets disappear from our view, people’s minds begin imagining their fur friends are caught in floofcapades that may take them away from them forever.”
Earth, Wind & Floof (floofinition) – Floof musical (floofsical) group formed in Floofcago in 1969. Incorporating a broad spectrum of musical genres, including rhythm and floof, jazz, funk, pop, rock, Latin, and disco, the band is hailed as one of the greatest floof bands (flands) ever.
In use: “While Earth, Wind & Floof (EWF) has achieved great success with their own compositions, their cover of “Got to Get Floof into My Life” broke into the top ten on several charts.”
Monday, I was settling back into my writing routine. Had my coffee, had surfed the news and fed the cats. The cats were now asleep. I was ready to write.
Well, first, one quick computer game. I’d just begun when the phone rang. Churlishly, I checked the incoming number. If it wasn’t someone looking for me that I wanted to talk to, I was going to let voice mail answer.
It was my wife’s cell phone. She was out making food deliveries to shut-ins, something she does once a month with Food and Friends.
I answered (of course). (No, there wasn’t even hesitation.) “K’s answering service. She’s not home right now. May I take a message.”
“My car died.”
“I’m trying to start it. It won’t make any sound.”
“Are there any lights?”
“Just one that looks like the little teapot.”
“Where are you?”
“Corner of Terra and Siskiyou.”
“I’m on my way.”
I was dressed and just needed shoes and mask before I was on the way. I figured, battery, but was surprised. I’d bought her a new battery two years before. She doesn’t drive it much. Other thoughts: alternator, maybe solenoid switch or starter (didn’t sound like it, though). I had cables, and would try jump-starting it.
But first — “I have to finish the route,” she said, transferring the food to my car. “Then we’ll worry about the car. I just have two stops. Then I’m supposed to pick up money from Judy. She and a friend want to donate to help some Y employees who lost everything. I’m taking up a collection so I can buy gift cards.”
I already know all of this but it’s part of her process to go through her own checklist aloud. She’s not actually talking to me.
We complete all that and get back to the car. Because of where it’s parked, my cables are too short to reach it. I head back home because I have a longer set, and return.
The car won’t take a charge. Although the radio comes on, the engine won’t turn and the starter makes a tinny clattering noise. I know the sound: it’s definitely a flat battery. But it’s a five year battery that’s two years old.
Probably the alternator. I can’t change it myself with the arm I have. I’ve swapped out three generators or alternators in my lifetime (also replaced a starter before). That was decades ago, when I was younger. Besides, that Ford’s engine compartment is too packed. The traversely mounted engine is festooned with wires. There’s not a spot of daylight in it. The cars’ engine compartments of my youth had room to work, less wires, and simpler belts.
I’m also annoyed. I’ve been after my wife to replace her car for about fifteen years. We’ve had it for seventeen years. Since the beginning, my wife has complained about its squeaky brakes. Its auto transmission also does some odd clunking. Then there was the seat fabric; it’d worn through, so I’d put some custom seat covers over them. It looks great, but it all points to a cheap car.
That’s not a surprise. When we bought the car, one of her requirements is that it use regular gas and it costs less than fifteen thousand dollars because she insists on paying cash for cars. The woman does not like having debt.
My annoyance has been growing because I’ve been telling her that parts will start failing. “But I don’t use it much,” she answers. “I just drive it around town. And we keep it in the garage.”
“They’ll start failing from age and fatigue.”
“But it only has a hundred and five thousand miles on it.”
“That has nothing to do with it. It’s still a 2003 car in 2020. Driving it less is actually worse for it in many ways.”
She’s not listening. A tow truck is arranged. The car is taken in for testing. “You need a new alternator,” they tell me.
I nod. “Yeah. I know.”
I dreamed I made a pie. I think it was something creamy but it looked like it might have been key lime. The flavor was never addressed.
I was talking to a friend on the phone. A retired Yale professor of literature, Herb, he’s a social activist and someone I admire. Never dreamed about him before, though.
I told him about my pie during my telephone conversation with him. He said it sounded good, so I told invited him over to have some whenever he was in the area.
Next, I’m walking down the street. It’s a sunny, pleasant day. A dark blue Volkswagen is coming toward me, a diesel, from its sound. I think that can’t be my friend, because he doesn’t drive a VW, but then he pulls alongside, and it’s him.
He puts down his window. “Michael! I came by to taste your pie.”
Well, cool. We go into the house. I’m about to serve him a slice when my phone rings. A woman on the line says her name is Lily and she’s my friend’s wife. Except I know his wife and her name isn’t Lily.
She tells me that she needs him to come home right away. I relay this information. He replies, he’s going to have a piece of pie first. I relay that to Lily and hang up. Then I serve Herb some pie. Grinning — as he’s so often doing — he sits down to eat.
Some rhyming lyrics popped into my head this morning.
She’s been a bad girl, she’s like a chemical
Though you try to stop it, she’s like a narcotic
You wanna torture her, you wanna talk to her
All the things you bought for her, could not get a temperature
h/t to Genius.com
The rest of the song swam in, leaving me dancing around the kitchen as coffee was brewed. I thought, that’s a faux peppy song suitable for these days. I think that because so many want to pretend that everything is normal, especially the telly people setting up broadcast schedules, the sports people who want to pursue their championships, and the POTUS. “Everything is fine, look at the stock market.”
Meanwhile, the U.S. west coast is on fire and Hurricane Sally is beating down Alabama and other southern states. Unemployment is at an ugly number, food prices are rising, and food insecurity is spreading. On top of these disasters, we have the cherry on top that is the COVID-19 pandemic. What’s the death number in the U.S.? Two hundred thousand? Whatever, time for some football! Woo-hoo.
So, here is “Pump It Up” by Elvis Costello, another 1978 memory.