By Bill Williams

  • Newspapers are louder than they used to be.

Do they bother you? They do me. I’ll be sitting there with my mind as changeable as a baby’s diaper so I decide to change pages. I want to go from page one to page two. That involves reaching up, getting the page between thumb No. 1 and forefinger No. 1 and…turning the page.

Very simple, and the deed is done.

But the page CRACKLES. And the page crackles louder than it used to crackle.

Across the way, my wife is trying to take a nap. And I just KNOW that this crackling is going to give her pause. And I don’t like to give her pause. If I do, the next time I turn a page I might read my name on the obit page. Not good.

We live in an area populated by birds. A LOT of birds. They talk to each other. I have heard them often enough that I can just about answer their respective calls: E-M-A-I-L!…E-M-A-I-L!…E-M-A I-L!

Take the bird that sounds off a hundred times a day with: RAUNCHI-GOO….RAUNCHY-GOO…RAUNCHY-GOO.

I stand there transfixed. I don’t get transfixed very often, so I stand there and wait to see what this transfix is going to do to me. (Have you been transfixed?) (Or just plain fixed?)

Only a few seconds pass and there comes an answer from deeper into the woods. E-M-A-I-L!… E-M-A-I-L!…E-M-A-I-L!

By this time, my transfixation has worn off and I am able to pay attention to what the other transfixed birds are saying.

There is one bird, apparently with an Italian leaning, that belts out: MAMA-MIA! MAMA- MIA! MAMA-MIA! He’s apparently new to the game and he sounds rather disconsolate as he waits for an answer.

Sorry little one, but why don’t you try D-A-D-D-Y-O! next time.