Spud Walk

By: pbcmedia

Jun 08 2008

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Category: 1, Humor, Humor. Entertainment, Life, Personal, Photography, Random, The Single Life


Focal Length:5.8mm
Shutter:1/0 sec
Camera:Canon PowerShot SD850 IS

John Updike wrote a short story, “The Swimmer”, about a man having just the littlest teensiest nervous breakdown in his affluent neighborhood.

He went from one neighbor’s pool to another, unannounced and clad only in his bathing suit, and took a dip in their pool, emerging with a wave, deep laugh and smile to the startled owners and then moving on. (Burt Lancaster played the part in the movie. He looked extremely good in a swim suit, may I say.)

My spud failure (see two previous posts) and I had a similar day. It followed me into the shower and sat next to my celery green gauzy sponge and bottle of Pomegranate body wash. Then, smelling sweet, we took a walk into our neighbor’s gardens and potato, at first, seemed drawn to things that started with a “p”, like pillows, peonies, and portulacas.

Perhaps, it made it feel less like a failure to be amidst things that had a “p”, I don’t really know.

Then, it left the “p’s” and it went for the herbs-chives, thyme and cilantro. I believe, can’t be sure, but it seemed to start smiling. Cilantro is, after all, the world’s most popular herb so perhaps it felt like it was finally hanging out with the popular peeps.

My neighbors treated us very gently I noticed. They began to point things out that my failure and I might like: a hanging container of purple verbena (very nice, but failure doesn’t like heights, vertigo set in don’t you know so we got down right away), and a shocking pink/purple rhododendron that was just entirely too pleased with itself–so we left there right away as well.

We ended up in the birdbath. Failure loves birds because they sing sweet songs and don’t seem to care what you’ve done or not done with your life, they just keep singing. And, failed potatoes love birdbaths because the birds splash water and, well…speaking softly, dehydration is the main cause of failure in microwaved potatoes.

Then, we went home and made a movie of our day which is up on YouTube and is described as ” A baked potato tries to find a place in this world.” The music is my four year old grand niece singing a song from High School Musical II which I recorded last year and just knew I would be able to use one day in the future.

And, if I have my way, it also shall be opening in your neighborhood theatre sometime in 2009.

Then, off to bed. I slept like a babe. Failure slept on top of the Bose radio. It never leaves my side.

Turning failure into success, or Beckett’s “failing better” or Maxwell’s (thank you, Tysdaddy) failing forward may take more than one good night’s sleep for this aging Irish rose whose name begins with a “p”.

Look closely, people. I just gave you a little wave, deep laugh and a smile. We’ll see what trouble I can get into today.

©Pat Coakley 2008


15 comments on “Spud Walk”

  1. I’m loving the Failure series! Several years ago I bought a trio of little plastic people at a stoop sale: a man in a business suit, a little boy who looked like his son, and another little boy who looked like the country cousin with his red boots and overalls. I bought them specifically to photograph them in various settings. The boys turned out to be not particularly useful to me, and I have since given them away (one is about to move to Spain, so he might show up in some photos yet!). Mr. Carlton, however, has been a regular subject of photos for me. I’ve taken him with me to Ireland, to Jamaica, to Chicago … wherever. Now it’s true that I don’t have to worry about him spoiling, so Mr. Carlton will be around for many photos to come, but I’m definitely hoping for a long run for Failure!


  2. We’ll see how long this runs. Right now my computer is balking at doing the movie. Keeps freezing. A sign perhaps I’ve gone too far? But, Mr. Carlton, please! Bring him on. I’ve been waiting for a post about your Chicago visit, did I miss it? I’m gonna go check right now!

  3. I’m going to love this series! Don’t think of it as FAIL, so much as… repurposing! Yah! That spud was never meant for consumption! It’s “high art!

    Turkish Prawn

  4. Repurposing! You are right, turkish! It had another life besides consumption but pssst. Don’t tell anyone but potato is really, really not lookin’ so good two days out. I may have to microwave another! Oh, failure is fun when you look at it this way. Thanks.

  5. Please, no stand-ins for the spud! Let him run his course. His life will be short, but oh so full of the stuff legends are made of.

    And I love the word “Repurposing!” I’m gonna steal that one . . .

  6. You realise of course that you’ll have to a world tour with the spud and photograph it in various famous locations.

    I’ve heard of people doing that with stolen garden gnomes and then sending pictures of the gnome back to it’s owners as sort of, “wish you were here” postcards of a gnome on holidays.

    I’d like to see the reaction the spud would cause when customs people come accross it.

    “Failure”, world tour.

  7. Oh wows :D wait… OH WOWS then bows! We love failure it is our middle name… will come back to watch the vid when my connection decides to listen to me and not Eminem… Razz how on earth did you hear about that I thought it was a secret! Failures cousin, Mistake, says hi will send photos soon apparently!

  8. No stand-ins, that’s my policy, tysdaddy. I agree. But, this thing is nasty looking. I may try some of my wrinkle cream on it. Spud Botox.

    Razz, thank you. I could have spent thousands on a public relation firm to come up with, “Failure, world tour.” Free from Razzman, dean of dementalogy.

    Sanity, understood the “Oh, Wows” and be back for vid, then you lost me. But I like the concept of failure’s cousin, mistake with or without photos.

  9. The gnomes photos – I am guilty but blame it on a misspent and bored youthdumb.

    Now a days I own a Munkey soft toy, he’s seen more countries than I have and is hitching a ride with my mother on her return from the UK… sadly I am being dead serious, he is a legend in his own right.

  10. You know… you really are a nut! lol

  11. I heard the Irish potato actually came from Peru , looks like yours made the trip by walking.

  12. Nut. I am a nut. You are a nut. We are nuts. I like to conjugate what can I say, Ambergirl?

    Welcome, Mr. Potato Head, who has been trying to leave a comment since this blog began and has finally triumphed. Amber, if you think I’m a nut. Stay tuned. I know this one outside of cyberworld and he really is a nut. Sometimes salty, always delicious!

  13. Ok… now that I read all of the comments… I get the world tour thing. Sheesh.

    Im catching up with the plot…

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