Stephen Kahn

Not alive, but not doing well

In Bad news on December 3, 2011 at 2:52 am

Besides dying pets, tonight I learned that our truck, we we hoped to last as long as we do, is not going to make it much longer. Well, my wife and I grumbled at each other about how we can’t afford another vehicle, and the problems in picking out something that will do, but at least she did not start sobbing.

  1. I’m sorry to hear about your vehicle troubles. That sort of thing is stressful, even when you can afford it.

  2. We spent today arguing about trucks, talking to our mechanic, looking at used trucks, and generally going through a day of pickup existential dilemma. We sold some of our (very few) stocks (fortunately, the market was up today); then we decided to keep the truck running for a while and search slowly for another truck that has a good reason for looking for a new home. In the unlikely event you become rich as a writer (writers no longer make a lot of money — rust me on this), think kindly of your virtual big brother and then spend the money on someone who is starving. If our three hens stay alive, we probably won’t starve for at least another year. No matter how bad things seem to be, there is almost always someone worse off than you are. Don’t think about this very much; it takes you down a very cold path.

  3. Bummer about the truck! You just bought that a few years ago! But look at the bright side… You could still be working at that library! And sorry about the sick chicken. We learned a few years back to always get one or two more chickens than you actually want because this sort of stuff happens.
    I am uncertain about your last sentence. Your statement about someone always being worse off than you is a very wise one, and something we all need to remember. It is also an excellent cure for depression. The more one dwells on their own misery the more miserable they will be. Reflecting on the state of those in a much worse situation (Like 90% of the rest of the world) helps us take our mind off ourselves and see how truly blessed we are. I could agree that dwelling on how miserable it appears that much of the world is could take one down a cold path. Cold enough to make one blog about the collapse of civilization!

  4. Pete: In regard to my last sentence: each time a chicken dies, my wife sobs. Then she bounces back. It’s kind of practice. A few years ago I was taken to the hospital with a severe (and never really diagnosed illness). I survived. While in the intensive care unit, I thought, this will be what it will be like when I really am dying, so I got a little practice with how to deal with it. My wife may live longer than I do (women frequently outlive men). I presume she will sob; I hope she will bounce back and carry on. Losing chickens is practice. Not worth getting as attached to a truck as to a chicken, though.

    The last time we bought a truck we did it in a hurry and regretted it. We are going to nurse the truck along for a while and look for a new truck gradually. If anyone reading this has a good condition used pickup truck, and a good reason for selling it, with these features: 4WD (we get ice and snow); a regular back seat (for taking the mommies and AE places); fits a regular sized male (5’11”) and a petite lady (5’2″) so she can reach the pedals and see over the wheel; full size bed so we can haul bales of hay and other hobby farm stuff. Anyway, if anyone reading this has such a used truck for sale, email me at We looked at some; none were quite right. Craig bought a brand new Chevy Silverado. We can’t afford a brand new truck; and probably can’t afford a used Toyota (they seem to be the best). Also, the truck should probably have a special seat for the chickens to ride in with a good view of the road, special little chicken harnesses that protect their wings, and a buzzer to peck in case they see something good to eat out the window and want us to stop for them so they can scratch and peck at it.

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