Thursday, February 24, 2005

Watching for Teapots

There are two kinds of people at our house--the teapot spotters and the teapot scoffers.

About five years ago Matt manipulated the computer (how does he do these things?) so that when it sat unused for a few minutes the dark screen would suddenly grow pictures of pipes, colored water pipes that popped in from the side and turned corners and grew ever longer and more complicated until the whole thing looked like a roomful of convoluted pipes in the basement of the Eugene Water and Electric building. Then they would all fade away and a completely new roomful of pipes would appear.

One day Emily was watching these pipes appear and disappear when she yelled, "There's a teapot!" The scene faded away but she insisted that an actual picture of a teapot had appeared on a bend in the pipe. We were all skeptical. Not for nothing did Beverly Cleary once write a book called Emily's Runaway Imagination.

Emily was vindicated the day a few more of us saw the phenomenon. There on a perfectly normal elbow in the pipe sat an honest-real short-and-stout teapot, as incongruous as a baboon hopping into church in the middle of the sermon.

Since then, some of us have been staunch teapot-watchers. Stuck in long phone conversations, I wait for teapots. "Um-hmmm, yes, I understand, oh my, I would have been upset too [YES!!!] dear me, what are you going to do?" My two youngest children squeeze onto one chair and sit in a dark office staring at the computer. We attach profound meanings to teapots. If one appears, then life is good, the stock market is up, and God is smiling on me.

The teapot-scoffers, on the other hand, think we're nuts. So someone was clever enough to program a teapot on a pipe every 5 minutes. Big deal. And reading some kind of cosmic meaning into a teapot--you've got to be kidding.

They're probably right: we're nuts. But if you can't appreciate life's incongruities, what a dull existence you must have.

Quote of the Day:
"So far my MPS is very low."
--Ben the 11-year-old math guy, calculating his Mushrooms Per Scoop as he dipped curried chicken and rice onto his plate


  1. Dorcas, I never saw a teapot, but I don't doubt they are there. What happened to your format? Everything is jammed together. I had to hunt for your quote of the day :)

  2. I've set my computer to the pipes now, and shall keep an eye out!

  3. Oh yes, very nice. Tea right out of the computer.