Three niqabs

July 21, 2022

Waiting for the bus, two blocks in the distance I saw a woman approaching, with two small kids. When they'd walked a block closer, I could see that the woman was Muslim, wearing the head thingie I later Googled to know how to spell (niqab). Her two kids were apparently girls, 5ish and 7ish, because they were also wearing niqabs. Full-body drapes, all three all covered, everything but their eyes, and it was gonna be a hot day, too.

It's amazing to me, the things people do for their gods.

When the family crossed the street, still approaching me and coming closer, I noticed that the mom was pushing a baby stroller. They didn't join me at the bus stop, they kept walking, but as they went past I noticed that the infant in the stroller was not wearing a niqab. Congratulations, it's a boy, I guess. Or maybe girls don't have to cover up until they're old enough to walk, and then for the rest of their lives...

At that same bus stop a different morning, a rooster crowed in the distance. It's an urban neighborhood, so you really don't expect that sound. Someone's raising chickens in their back yard. Cock a doodle doo.

I'm tempted to add a crack about —yum— fresh eggs for breakfast, but eggs fresh from the chicken are all wrong. Me and the wife once bought a dozen fresh eggs from a lady who lived on a farm but worked in the city, and they were better for us, no doubt — all-natural and free of hormones, speckles all over the shells, and inside every egg the yolk was a bit different in color from all the other all-natural eggs — but there was one kinda big problem. They didn't taste like eggs.

Well, I guess they tasted exactly like eggs, but they didn't taste like the processed, hormone-fed, factory eggs we'd eaten all our lives. Our reaction was, ick. We decided it would probably take months of eating those weird eggs before they'd maybe start tasting like eggs to us, and anyway they were more expensive than ordinary grocery-store eggs, so we switched right back to ordinary grocery-store eggs. We didn't even eat the entire dozen 'real' eggs we'd bought. Just trashed 'em.

So you can keep your fresh eggs from the back yard chicken coop.

At the perpetual construction site almost literally across the street from my rented room, one of the excavators is pink. Same as the several others, it's another giant machine with jaws-mouth for digging and scooping and moving dirt, only it's pink. It was never there until yesterday. Or it got painted.

Is it owned by someone gay? Owned by someone female? I don't know and don't care enough to ask, but construction has such a male macho image, that piece of machinery sure stands out, and I'm declaring it cool.

"Support for NPR comes from" [this giant corporation that's destroying the world], followed by the corporation's motto, or a brief sentence or two about how marvelous the corporation is.

And then, "Support also comes from [another giant corporation that's destroying the world], followed by that corporation's motto, or a brief sentence or two about how marvelous that corporation is.

This continues for what feels like two minutes, listing several monstrous corporations and telling the audience from coast-to-coast how marvelous each corporation is.

When these commercials on the non-commercial network finally finish, we're given a bland news report containing no news I didn't already know from reading newspapers and surfing the net. When that story ends, there might be another story just as bland, but it's all just filler, until very soon comes the information that really matters — when again we're told that "Support for NPR comes from [the giant corporations that are destroying the world]. By now, I think we all know that.

Walk to the bathroom in your bare feet, stand in front of the toilet and pee, and begin to realize that you're standing in someone else's pee dribble at the base of the toilet. Ah, life in a shared house.

Ah, fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck. Seven movie reviews were ready to go, and somehow I lost the file. I don't even remember what six of the seven movies were, but I'd put some time into the writing and now it's gone and I'm angry — at myself. At some point, I must've forgotten to hit 'save'.

Twenty minutes later, it occurs to me that I probably have a back-up version on a thumb drive from a few days ago, so I've edited out one of my fucks, above. Still, I'll have to re-write at least one review from scratch. Fuck.

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And now, the news you need, whether you know it or not… 

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King County Elections calls for removal of unauthorized signs near ballot drop boxes 

Republicans' lies and fears and bullshit are so tiresome. There's nothing worrisome about ballot dropboxes. They make it a smidgen easier for people to vote, and people who believe in democracy want people to vote. Republicans don't, and don't.

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State legislators passed abortion bans. These corporations sent checks. 

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Amazon to buy primary care provider One Medical for $3.9B 

I lack the inside info to list why and how this is going to screw people over, but this is going to screw people over, or Amazon wouldn't be doing it.

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Internet Archive is facing a Big 4 Publishers lawsuit 

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Bizarre vintage tobacco advertising that made smoking seem healthy, 1920s-1930s 

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One Seattle restaurant staff's walk-out raises the question, 'How should a tip pool be distributed?' 

It sure sounds like management was stealing tips, and I'll bet that happens at a lot of restaurants.

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San Francisco surrenders, shuts down Mission District plaza 

Not smart, not funny. When they give up and padlock public space, it's the ruin of society. And sadly, I see lots of padlocked public spaces, everywhere.

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Tennessee State Park unveils new trail made of illegally dumped tires 

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Secret Service turned over just one text message to January 6 panel, sources say 

Whatever really happened on 1/6/2021, it's starting to look like the Secret Service was in on it.

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FBI successfully forced a criminal suspect to unlock his Wickr account with his face 

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The worst All-Star Game ever 

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US National Park Service:
What are these weird creatures that washed up on the beach?

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One-word newscast, because it's the same news every time...

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The End
Ho Wang Lee
Gerald W McEntee
Barbara Thompson

Cranky Old Fart is annoyed and complains and very occasionally offers a kindness, along with anything off the internet that's made me smile or snarl. All opinions fresh from my ass. Top illustration by Jeff Meyer. Click any image to enlarge. Comments & conversations invited.
Tip 'o the hat to Linden Arden, ye olde AVA, BoingBoing, Breakfast at Ralf's, Captain Hampockets, CaptCreate's Log, John the Basket, LiarTownUSA, Meme City, National Zero, Ran Prieur, Voenix Rising, and anyone else whose work I've stolen without saying thanks.
Extra special thanks to Becky Jo, Name Withheld, Dave S, Wynn Bruce, and always Stephanie...


  1. Couldn’t disagree more about NPR. There are a dozen shows there I listen to regularly that are obviously uncensored by any sponsors. I can’t say the same for any TV or other radio networks. the fundraising segments are annoying. The corporate thank yous are pro forma. The program content is frequently meaty and occasionally subversive.


    1. NPR is worse than "mainstream" media - because they pretend to be an alternative. But they're pro-war, pro-corporation, pro-police, pro-big pharma.

      They love revolutions in other countries, but not here, tut-tut, tsk-tsk.

      They hate white Christians, but love nothing more than the sound of a gibbering African Americans talking about God. That's known as patronizing condescension.

      They claim to care about workers, but when have they ever interviewed a line worker from a factory? If they have a segment about car manufacturing, who do they talk to? ALWAYS they talk to a propeller-headed "professor of car manufacturing" instead of a worker. They NEVER talk to workers. You have to read the WSWS for that (although those guys - WSWS - have a hang-up where apparently it's de rigueur to call each other "Comrade" which never fails to crack me up.)

      And their language is simultaneously trendy and calcified, like all media. How many times per day does someone on NPR begin a sentence with "So..." ? Once you hear it, it's always there, like an autistic glitch. And how often do they utter a variation of "Having said that..." or "That being said..." ? Hundreds of times per day. Their only job is to communicate with language, yet they're nothing more than reciting automatons.

      Fuck NPR.

    2. Can't argue personal preferences, so enjoy sir.

      I used to listen to NPR's weekend game shows with my wife, but it was only the "with my wife" part that made those shows listenable.

      I have always hated ads, and man, I hear a lot of ads on NPR. So many ads, I don't listen much any more. What have I missed that's 'meaty'? When I catch some of an NPR newscast it always seems meatless to me...

    3. I don't see anything to disagree with Anonymous over, but you sound annoyed by NPR. I'm more in the 'bored' camp.

      When I hear a few moments of an NPR newscast, it always sounds... I guess *subservient* is the right word. Like a key part of their protocol is making sure nobody's feelings are hurt.

      Probably they're no worse than AP or The Seattle Times, but when it's all spoken it gets on my nerves quicker. Spare me from Scott Simon's voice and Teri Gross's smarm...

    4. Jesus, there’s no place to reply, so this will seem out of context. You seem disappointed that NPR is a failure as an IWW mouthpiece. I’m a wobbly fan and a pro-union Democrat. Feel free to vote for the Socialist workers Party. Maybe they’ll win this time.


    5. . . . . and I know the Googs make it difficult to comment with identity, but I make it a point to sign my comments just to avoid any whisper of chickenshittery.


    6. It's not important enough to argue about this, so I'm refusing to call this arguing, as I argue. :)

      Probably I *am* a socialist at heart, but I don't make it a point to seek out the socialist perspective -- it's predictable and boring and uses big words I can't spell, like prolitariot and boughwasie.

      I do prefer and tend to trust news sources that somewhat or occasionally rankle the powers that be. Even the crusty ol' Seattle Times sometimes has a scoop that puts a spotlight on Big Chicanery.

      Can't remember anything ever on NPR like that, or anything that wasn't also reported everywhere across the spectrum. All Things Considered is a round-up of the day's headlines from everywhere else, mixed with light fluff original reporting that's almost all human-interest stuff, of little interest to me since I'm barely human. I wear out the car radio's buttons clicking elsewhere.

    7. In someone else's car I heard some of NPR afternoon newscast, including ten minutes spent on an in-depth review of a Broadway revival of Soundheim's "Into the Woods". Surprise, they loved it. which is only playing in New York for $120 tickets. Why I should care in Iowa?

    8. If this was on an NPR newscast, it is entirely inappropriate. NPR broadcasts four minutes of news an hour, and this doesn't seem newsworthy. If it was on a program about the arts I don't have a problem with it. I'll never get back to New York, but news about art is rare on the radio (or TV). But somebody should be celebrating art, which is an expression of human hopes and dreams. I'm glad NPR does this from time to time. I listen regularly, and NPR doesn't spend all that much time on art criticism. I'm glad for the time they do.

      I'm not a particular fan of Sondheim, even when he makes Sounds. That's why I listen to NPR. I learn something new every day. A recent piece on the work of Edward Hopper was illuminating and celebratory. His work "Gas" is one of my favorite paintings. I enjoy learning new things that challenge my views of America and the world.


  2. Eggs - We have a LOT of farm stands around us. The most local one has an unattended, indoor, air conditioned / heated little store, with eggs of multiple sizes, colors and prices. Have to use the intercom if you want beef, that's locked up. The eggs range from $2.75 to about $3.50 per dozen, depending on size, and that hasn't changed in the 8 years I've been buying eggs there, regardless of grocery store price changes. When they're 99 cents, I get them at the grocery store. When they're more than about $2.50, I pay a little extra for the farm eggs. When they were 4 bucks, I got the farm eggs for a buck cheaper than the grocery store.

    And they're good, too!

    1. Hell, maybe our eggs weren't so farm fresh; we bought them from a lady at the barber shop... Pricey and tasted weird, is all I remember.

      How long did it take you to get used to the flavor?

    2. They taste like eggs to me, so immediately. Only difference is in appearance - the yolks are a more vibrant yellow.


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