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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 - 56

August 1, 2018


Iron Filings – 56

Since we’re into that season now here’s a funny vacation story. A number of years ago we took our families for a brief vacation/reunion up to Door County in Wisconsin. Since we all get along well and have fun together it didn’t matter too much that we found Door County a bit boring with not much to do. We even thought it was hilarious when we decided to take in one of the famous boiled whitefish dinners and unanimously declared the meal awful. However, one afternoon a number of us were standing on our hotel balcony and looking out over a small park that bordered Lake Michigan. We saw a young couple having a good time near some park benches, the man taking pictures of the woman. Then they had sex behind a park bench. It wasn’t explicit, just obvious and we all thought it was just – hilarious? bizarre? – or simply not what we might have expected.
* * *
Here’s a little quiz for you, the answer to which escapes me so we’ll have to leave it up to our readers. While enduring the plethora of pharmaceutical ads on television I’ve noticed a number of them – all of which are intended for quite different ailments – have the suffix –umab (e.g., adalimumab). Since I’m a fair trek away from my high school and college biochemistry I’m just curious if anyone knows what that suffix signifies.
* * *
Those of us out here on the corn coast are waiting for a double-whammy that’s going to have a profound economic impact nationally. First, we’ve had a glorious spring with close to seven inches more than our normal rainfall. The corn and soybean crops out in the country are lush and abundant. Now, with very hot weather coming at an ideal time the yields are expected to be record-breaking – which, of course, will drive down prices. Secondly, with the tariff wars going on the demand for U.S. corn and grain is already falling – which, of course, will drive down prices. While this may result in a modest decrease in prices for some commodities in the supermarkets, the overall, and long-term consequence for farmers, and those of us who eat, will be a disaster.
* * *
Things I Occasionally Do So That You Don’t Have To: I was curious about a term I didn’t understand but have been hearing more and more frequently so I did a little research. The word is ‘gaslighting,’ as in, “Oh, he’s just gaslighting you.” Turns out it’s a significant form of psychological manipulation that seeks to undermine the reality of a person. It involves blatant lying to your face, often followed by, “Hey, I never said that,” even though you have proof that they did. It involves discrediting you by saying something like, “You’re just overreacting.” They’ll confuse you by saying things like, “Do you really believe that?” or “Why would you think that?” Essentially, the gaslighter is trying to get someone to question their own reality, (“Who do you think you are?”), memory (“Do you honestly think that happened?”), or perceptions (“I don’t think you heard that right.”). Finally, they question your sanity: “You’re just crazy if you really believe that.” It’s a powerful tool when one person gaslights another, but even more powerful when the gaslighting is done by a government against its people.
* * *
Strange Incident In DeKalb The Other Day – It seems a local couple went to a nearby convenience store – Casey’s – to sell something to another couple. When they got there the woman was grabbed by two men and forcibly put into a car. The car with the two men and the abducted woman then sped off followed quickly by a kidnapping call to 911. Area police were alerted but unable to locate the car. Here’s the twist. Turns out it wasn’t exactly a kidnapping. The two “abductors” were actually bail bondsmen and the woman, arraigned on various charges and bailed out in Mississippi, had jumped bail. Legally, the two men were able to take the woman and, through a series of phone calls, local police were able to determine that the woman was, indeed, a fugitive. She’s now back in Mississippi facing additional charges.
* * *
Significant Entomology Note – We’re beginning to see an increase in monarch butterflies fluttering around our gardens this year. That’s a good thing.
* * *
Significant Ornithology Note – Now that the Environmental Protection Agency has said it is going to modify the Endangered Species Act we will once again see the eagle (among many other species) threatened. That’s a shame because the eagle has been flourishing here in northern Illinois and the upper Mississippi.
* * *
And I didn’t mention his name even once.
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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