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Havoc In Motion
By Jay White
The Beneficent Properties of Credulity
My mama is like a duck—every morning she wakes up in a brand new world—a world to which, nevertheless, she consistently adapts with grace and wonder.
One time when I was stationed at Fort Bliss and Mama came to visit me, I drove her around on a tour of the facility and by and by we passed by an enormous radar apparatus owned by the Hawk Missile Command. The monster olive-drab dish on a tower swept back and forth as it simultaneously rotated and whirred with authority, and Mama widened her eyes and said, “My Lord, Jay Raymond! What’s that?”
“Those are the new fly traps the government is testing,” I answered casually.
“They are not,” Mama said.
“Sure they are,” I said. “They work, too. You don’t see any flies around here do you? They’re going to put one of those things on top of the Empire State Building in New York City first. After that, they’re going to have one on the roof of every house in America. You watch.”
“Well, I swan,” Mama said, returning her attention to the radar apparatus. We rode along and presently I heard her murmur, “Maybe they’ll make little-bitty ones for skeeters some day.”
One evening a few years later, Mama and I were in our back yard in Sonora, Texas, watching a harvest moon rise over the Sutton County Wool and Mohair company warehouse when I took the occasion to remark: “You know, Mama, the moon doesn’t have any light of its own; what we’re seeing there is a reflection of the light from the sun.”
“Well, I swan,” Mama said.
She didn’t believe a word of it of course, and to this day Mama’s moons get luminous all by themselves in a divine universe crammed with love and mammoth fly catchers; and, you know, I wouldn’t mind it a bit should some of my own moons take a notion to shine that way, too, from time to time. Couldn’t hurt.