Douwe and Paul

2 February 2012

Bambi, politicians, celebrities and other High Value Targets were rejoicing today at the news that a company out in Arizona has invented a “guided bullet” that can turn around corners and hit its target more than a mile away. A spokesperson for the company said potential customers included the military, law enforcement and recreational shooters.

And would-be assassins?

“Oh, those we include under the moniker of ‘recreational shooters’.

Whew, glad we got that cleared up.

I felt like a heroin smuggler on this last trip as I brought in two keys of my favorite coffee: Douwe Egberts from Holland. It comes in 500 gram bricks, lined with foil to keep it fresh. One whiff and I’m transported to the highlands of Guatemala, Ethiopia or whereever else they source the stuff.

I watched Arthur Miller’s “The Crucible” last night, with Daniel Day-Lewis, Winona Ryder and Paul Scofield, which is about the Salem Witchcraft trials. I feel a special relationship to this movie as my family tree includes a Massachusetts Fire and Brimstone Preacher from the colonial days (though not a witch burner, hopefully). Paul must have smiled when they offered him the role of the prosecuting cleric: Back in 1966, in “A Man for all Seasons”, he played the victim of a politically-motivated trial as Thomas More, who refused to bless the divorce and remarriage of Henry VIII and paid for it with his head. In ‘Crucible’, it is Day-Lewis who refuses to ‘take the deal’ offered by Scofield: confess to consorting with the Devil and escape the gallows. Ryder is quite scary as the young girl who whips the whole town into hysteria over supposed cases of demonic possession.

What is with me and portents? I saw a red shouldered hawk devouring a snake in a tree while out playing golf the other day. (Not the snake, me. Playing golf) It was the day before Newt lost in Florida.

Rupert Scofield


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