“All of our toil / is seed in the soil / the hand on the plow / the midnight oil…”

The old man can barely contain his joy at receiving a visitor. He doesn’t get many these days.

“Welcome to my Room of Interesting Things!” he says. “Would you like an ice-cold Nesbitt’s Grape Soda?”

The soda is refreshing and the room more than lives up to its name. Time passes quickly as the old man regales you with stories, songs, cornball humor, and sometimes quirky, sometimes thought-provoking philosophy.

“‘All in all, we’re just another brick in the wall.’ You know who sang that? …Yes, yes, that was Pink Floyd’s take on life and work, and I guess more pointedly, education which they claimed to not need but I beg to differ…

“How about this one: ‘We work at our jobs, collect our pay, believe we’re gliding down the highway, when in fact, we’re slip sliding away.’ …Paul Simon you say? That’s right–you’re two for two…

“Okay, so my outlook is a little different. What I tried to say in song is that every effort we make, everything done under the sun, as the wise teacher said, is one of two things. It is either a labor of love or else it is futility. I’m inclined to believe… Well, let me just play it for you.”

For several minutes he rummages through boxes and drawers. At long last, he pulls out a decrepit cassette tape.

“Oh dear, it looks a little discombobulated. Do you see a pencil around here anywhere?”

As you help him search, you notice there’s an easier way to hear the song. “Here, old man,” you say. “How about I just click on the mp3 link above our conversation.”

“Oh yes,” he enthuses. “My techno-wizard son fixed that up for me. Go ahead. Let’s listen to it.”

As the song plays, you wonder how to break it to the dear old duffer that his Room of Interesting Things is not a real place, it’s just a website. You decide to keep that to yourself. Why spoil his fun?

Besides, there’s so much more to explore.


Welcome to my humble online abode! I hope you leave refreshed. – Loren Harder