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Cold Iron consists of random bits of irreverence, surliness, and contumely; sometimes it's even funny. Reading it is entirely optional.

...the iron monger and rusticater himself


Cool Iron
(archive)

"Never hit someone over the head with a hot iron. Wait until it cools so you don't burn them."

...the source of my ideas



Iron Filings - 57

The following is from the Police Report in the Daily Chronicle in DeKalb, Illinois. It is copied exactly as it appeared:

Erik R. Carillo-Noriega, 26, of the 900 block of North 13th Street, was charged Friday, August 3, with biting dogs and animals.

I don’t make these things up.

* * *

Eyewitness – My wife and I were driving north on Annie Glidden Road on a beautiful August day and heading to Madison. Our granddaughter was having a tenth birthday weekend and we were going to be a part of it. Crossing Illinois 64 and continuing north we found ourselves behind one of those huge concrete mixer trucks. He wasn’t going that slow but he was giving us a nice diesel stink so I passed him. We continued on for a couple of miles but as I topped a small hill and began descending it I happened to glance in the rearview mirror and saw, maybe a hundred yards behind us, the bottom of that concrete truck and the tires as it seemed to fly up into the air and roll once, maybe twice. I quickly pulled to the side of the road and said to my wife, “Give me your cellphone! Hurry!” She, of course, had no idea what had happened. Phone in hand, I got 911 and explained what had happened. At the end of the call the 911 operator said another call on the accident had just come in. We sometimes decry our omnipresent technology, but in this case help was on the way literally before the dust had settled. I was thinking of going back to the scene but there were already three vehicles on the side of the road so I knew he was getting whatever help could be given. There was a brief story in the paper the next day saying that the driver had apparently swerved to avoid something and then overcorrected causing the heavily loaded truck to tip. The driver was ejected from the truck and had to be airlifted to a nearby hospital. There’s been no word as to his condition.

* * *

Short Logic Lesson – The ad hominem argument is frequently used to attack someone’s position. However, instead of disputing the facts of the position or the soundness of the argument, the person holding the position is attacked, frequently with simple name-calling; i.e., saying someone is a “dog” or a “low life”, or saying that the person is guilty of “outrageous allegations” or “wild outbursts.” It’s a poor excuse for a counterargument, yet it is highly effective.

* * *

I think all of us on occasion have run into or been near someone spouting some ludicrous bit of nonsense or propaganda, and while we might get tired of living a life of constant confrontation, we still wonder what we might say – especially since just turning your back on the person is a kind of validating of what they’re saying. My own preference is just a quick, “that’s not true,” thus letting the person know that their view is not necessarily shared by everyone (which such folks often assume). No further engagement is required. A better response is to say, “How do you know that?” This puts the burden of proof on the speaker and, since they’re often just spouting some party line they’ve given little thought to, this will either shut them up or prompt further ridiculousness. Mostly, we have to relearn the old saying about not suffering fools gladly, since there seem to be a lot of fools out there these days.

* * *

I’m feeling a little conflicted right now. Lately we’ve noticed a number of hawks in our neighborhood going after the squirrels. I like squirrels but, since the squirrels have been going after our sunflowers, I find myself secretly rooting for the hawks – and feeling a bit guilty about it.

* * *

Somebody once asked me when I was going to retire from writing. I said that would be like retiring from breathing – and realized I’d just answered the question.

* * *

From comedy to tragedy the dialogue about men not understanding women has been going on since the first clock ticked its tock. What do they want? men ask. You wouldn’t understand, they reply. Among the many things I don’t understand is how any woman can remain within the Roman Catholic Church, an institution that demeans them, excludes them from any significant role, infantilizes them, and uses them for carnal release from childhood through adulthood. We really need to stop forgiving those people their sins.

* * *

Recently, my wife and I went out and bought a new car. This is something we’ve been talking about for some time. Our current car is five years old and in perfect shape, but at our age we want to have minimal maintenance and something so reliable that we can hop in it and go anywhere as the mood strikes us. Our current car meets those requirements for now, but with tariffs popping up all over the place it seemed like a good time to avoid a whopping increase in prices. American Honda for the win.

* * *

G.K.Wuori © 2018
Photoillustration by the author







Selected Works

Novel
I think this book would appeal to anyone who likes a dark crime story set in a rural, somewhat remote part of Maine in a time when the radicalism of the nineteen-seventies was sweeping the country.
Ellen DeLay, an upstanding citizen of Quillifarkeag, Maine, suddenly and unpredictably leaves her happy, twenty-five year marriage for a lonely cabin deep in the Maine woods, where she makes a living dressing hunters' kill - bears, moose, deer. It seems an idyllic life, punctuated only now and then by rifle fire as she shoots into the air to scare off cheeky teens who come to taunt "the crazy woman."
Novella
A small-town lawyer in the middle of a gruesome murder case finds salvation in the world of a homeless woman and her daughter.
A young woman's morning walk through her small town finds her immersed in a small tragedy, an indifferent government, and the "science gone mad" of her best friend's husband. Quirky, goofy, nutty - yes, but a gentle look as well at some of the values that keep us from falling off the planet
Essay
A hint of generally true autobiography, this piece is part of Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill's "How I Became A Writer" series.
Stories
Quillifarkeag is a state of mind, one marked by innocence and regret, by guile and sympathy. The people there will let you into their lives - but not very far. Go too far inside and things start to echo, people get close. Honesty becomes negotiable. Bare all and someone might still say, "Were you naked or nude?" It's an important distinction. In a small place like Quilli the naked truth is hurtful. The nude truth is not so bad.

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