Posted by: David | June 3, 2007

Charlie and the Talking Mime

Saturday morning the boys came to strip off the concrete forms. The young rookies get to do the fun jobs. And they get to be mildly abused by their seniors. Like being called Henry when that’s not really their name. So, before 8 am (yeah, Saturday morning) they start by sorting and piling the many pieces of two-by used for bracing, and when that’s all neatly piled up they’re  banging on the forms, removing the various metal connectors and fasteners, sorting them into buckets, finally begin removing the form boards themselves. I snuck this picture from our bird feeder window. Henry didn’t know I was photographing him.

See the date I scratched in at the top of the frame?

Around 9:20 they were hopping into their truck to go buy a replacement hammer for one that got broken somehow. There had been lots of banging after all. I offered one of my hammers (have a nice Estwing framing hammer), but they wanted to go buy a new one. So they left and I got ready to go on a much needed bike ride with my Wilmot friends. I trusted them to find a hammer at the local feed store or building supply place.

 So, I ride with my Wilmot friends probably about once a month. I’ll call them Charlie and the Talking Mime. One is really named Charlie, and hope he doesn’t mind that I used his real name in my blog. Hell it’s a common enough name in’t it? I mean, Charlie could be anybody, right? He seemed to be confused about his name when we first met up by the Wilmot Grange Hall. He thought he was Charlene. Close enough. The Talking Mime has a real name too, and she’s not confused about it at all. Starts with a B and rhymes with Johnny. Anyhoo, she and I ride together quite a bit, accomplishing our first (for both of us) century ride (100 miles in a day) together a couple summers back. Charlie accompanied us on our last raggedy 25 miles or so.

Charlie had the route for Saturday’s ride in his confused mind. And we trusted him, even though he took the blame for a similar ride last summer that took us about 30 miles out of our way and onto some dirt road for a while. It was about twice what we’d planned to ride, but was a fun adventure anyway.

So we went up Route 4A to Four Corners Road and to Route 114 for a little bit to George Hill Road, which we followed back to 4A and went north to Mascoma Lake. It turned out to be really a nice ride. Our friend B was in need of some moral support after having had a pretty bad turn of bike-luck a few days earlier with some other bike friends while starting off on a long ride to Maine. Her rear bearings came apart and she had to get them fixed. After leaving the bike shop she hit a drain pipe and took a nasty fall. With skinned knee and elbow, bruised thigh and pride, and mourning the loss of a fun trip with a fun group, she needed to get back in the saddle. So a ride around Mascoma Lake was motioned, seconded, and exectued. It was a humid morning but intermittently overcast, so not terribly hot.

We discussed various disaster scenarios en route. All of us in our 50s, we were aware of the risks of such discussions, but conversation has a way of flowing all on its own. Our rides are usually pretty conversational, with average speeds of around 12 mph. So we managed not to jinx ourselves.

Conversation usually runs the gamut from highbrow to lowbrow comedy, sci-fi, music, and general critiques, or maybe vignettes is a better word, of life in this post-post-post-modern madcap world in which we now live. Charlie and the Talking Mime are both community theatre performers. Or, as I like to call them, thesbians. We all LOVE the malaprops! (If you don’t get malaprops,  oh well, leather mind!) She laughs with great gusto as we pedal down the road.

As we came around the south end of Mascoma Lake, our  topic became conversation itself, regionalisms of Connecticut (li-locks), etc. In explaining how she irresistably mimics the people she encounters in her life, she came up with her present nickname: Talking Mime. I confessed to doing a similar thing as a child, mimicking new friends talking styles, until I discovered somewhere in the 7th or 8th grade that my new friends sometimes found this very annoying. However, I think that it’s also a sign of good listening powers, and that’s worth keeping.

Our 45 mile ride ended at her place, a lovely abode in the woods. She showed me their remodeled upstairs bathroom, nicely and simply built around a $50 yard sale purchase her husband had found- a lovely corner shower stall with sliding glass door panels that opnen in a quarter-circle arc. With new toilet, sink, vanity, paint, and towels the $50 yard sale shower stall bloomed into a $2500 bathroom makeover. The sink, made of a translucent faux-marble, lets light through so you can find your dental floss and toilet paper rolls, etc. B says it ‘s also a night light,  glowing with LED lights mounted underneath. Very cool.

So I finally got home around 3:30. The dog “behaved” in his crate. That is he didn’t pee out onto the floor. He’d been contained for about 51/2 hours. And the noise of the guys cleaning and carting away all the forms must’ve been pretty distracting. The guys were gone and the foundation now fully exposed, as it will be for only a few more days. Then it will be back-filled, the interior filled with sand, and then slabs poured.

The gaps in the walls will be filled when the slab is poured, probably toward the end of next week.

Things are looking pretty good here, although there are a couple of seriously large hardened cement blobs here and there, results of trying to unplug the big pump. Hopefully they can plop them into the hole when they backfill. Otherwise we’ll have to figure out how to make them into some kind of hideous statuary.



  1. The talking mime is Bonnathan?

    Bonnathan Greenwood on lead guitar… sounds Canadian… dunno why…

  2. Now that’s what I’m talkin’ about! Thanks for the “press”, Da-bid…any publicity’s good publicity, that’s what I say…and I don’t care who knows that, typically, in the middle of a bike ride all the blood goes from my brain to my furiously peddling legs, taking my grasp of the English language with it! An event which *never* stops me from blah-blah-blah-ing away – no surprise there!

    Thanks for the notariety – but even more, for the much needed support to get back on that pretty blue “horse” of mine after being thrown the other day…tis much appreciated, fer sher!!

    (Yes, Nimish, *of course* there’s a Bonnathan Greenwood – don’t listen to those school-yard bullies who would doubt her existence, ‘ey?!)

    Oh, yeah – nice looking foundation, D.!! 🙂

  3. That second photo looks like a sand trap… Mini Golf ahoy!

  4. Oh, I can hear the laugh now. No, it’s not in my head… I think I can actually hear it in Vermont as it emanates from that lovely abode in the woods and roars its way over the Connecticut River and pinballs its way around the Green Mountains. I guess something was really funny. Probably the joy at getting back after allowing Charlie to be keeper of the route. Dude, you’re brave.

    You have no idea how very cool that counter is as a night light. It rules for late night pit stops. Did you look at the Greece bathroom? Taking a bath is fun. I’ve hear that in some houses, bathrooms are merely functional and somewhat boring. Pish tosh to that!

  5. Oh it’s much worse than a sand trap. It’s a cement trap!! Off frame are several large “concretions” (don’t know what else to call them. They came out of the pumper thingy. The look like the Reagan-era fecaliths recently found in the Brown Room of the White House) which would challenge even Tiger Woods™.

    And dude. I said rhymes with Johnny, not Jonathan!


  6. Yes, I inquired as to why there was no Mediterannean scene in the upstairs bath, and well I guess that there just wasn’t room for that kind of thing.

    And yes, I imagine that laugh must have startled you as an infant. Perhaps that’s what has caused your allergies.

    I hope to never see the glowing sink. I’m sure it would creep me right out. As cool as your parents are and all.

  7. Интересно и по сути.

    Hi Мужские сумки!! Thanks for visiting and leaving that link to the nifty web site with all the cool gear! The Зажигалка Zippo Harley Davidson Bar & Shield Emblem sounds like a terrific bargain at Цена: 1950 руб!

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