Capital idea


I was downtown today, and it was windy. Sunny, too—mostly. Note how tattered one of the flags is; budget cuts?

KC Constantine (a pen name), in Blood Mud (1999, p. 278), speaks wry wisdom through his character Mario Balzic, now a retired police chief in a smallish rust belt town in western Pennsylvania (in earlier titles, he was still chief). Mario’s trying to reduce stress in his life, and struggling with that goal.

Naturally, he was immediately fascinated by the idea that a person could be addicted to thinking, which seemed to be the very opposite of addiction. Addiction implied compulsion, whether physical or emotional made no difference, and compulsion meant doing something repeatedly in spite of thoughts to the contrary. Not only that, thinking was something he’d been told all his life was ideal behavior…; all had told him to think before he acted or spoke, to not let any person or situation provoke him to do or say something he’d regret….

I think Constantine’s book The Man Who Liked Slow Tomatoes (1982) is my favorite. Plus, it’s hard to beat that title!


  1. jcb says:

    So, I get the US Flag, and the Georgia flag. Which is that third one is in tatters? And what’s that stubby green fourth flagpole for?

  2. Sammy says:

    Picky picky (har)! Does Atlanta have a flag (not pennant, mind you)? Otherwise, I wondered, too. I guess I should have Photoshopped that green post out; it was a light pole or something in the mid-ground. The world is not always organized for best framing….