“Nice night,” I said as a friend and I stood outside of Red Car, having returned to his house after going out to dinner.
“Yes, the cooler temperatures and breeze make it more comfortable than it has been for the past couple of nights.”
“I mean the sky.” In one clear patch the waxing moon shone clearly. The rest of the sky, marked with moonlight, was covered with slowly moving dark and grey clouds against the dark.
He looked up and said, “That, too!”
Mayonnaise. Two friends and I were at a cafe. I ordered a BLT with extra mayonnaise.
“Like mayonnaise?” asked Claire.
“Yes, brought up on it. Did you ever make a mayonnaise sandwich?” I asked.
“All the time,” said Ben. “And sometimes I added peanut butter on top. My mother used to eat mayonnaise sandwiches with sliced onions.”
“Did you ever dip potato chips into mayonnaise?” I asked.
Both agreed that that was the best dip, at least in the minds of children.
“And canned pear slices,” said Claire. “You lay the slices on a plate and smear mayonnaise all over them. Good stuff. And it was one of the two ingredients of what we called thousand island dressing: mayonnaise and ketchup.”
The waitress brought the lunches and asked me if that were enough mayonnaise. Before I could answer, she said, “I’ll be right back with some more. You can spread it on the cut side of the sandwich, right up against the side of the bacon and lettuce and tomato.”
That was exactly what I had in mind to do.
Notes on Reading. Nonfiction. Michael Hodgson, editor. No Shit! There I Was. . . : A Collection of Wild Stories from Wild People. Globe Pequot Press, 1994.
There are twenty-five short narratives of people in precarious outdoor situations, such as suffering dehydration and heat stroke in Death Valley, being lost on a tropical island, being stuck in mud with onrushing incoming tide, navigating a motorcycle about to slam into a sports car at an intersection, experiencing technical complications while skydiving, and being in an avalanche of snow.
The selections vary in quality of writing, but all capture well the danger the writers are experiencing. Many take a humorous tone.