Wednesday, September 06, 2017

Calvin Trillin stays in fine form

To "The New Yorker" readers, 81 year old Calvin Trillin remains someone whose articles are immediately read when they appear.  To readers of "The Nation" his Deadline Poet column is reliably there for each edition.  While he is a serious man, his deft touch with humor is unique.  This week's New Yorker has a new article, looking at both the past and playing with his grandchildren today.  The following excerpt is a perfect example of this style.

"I had reached the age at which one's children begin sentences with the phrase "You are no longer allowed..."  This phrase of selective prohibition began a few years ago with my adventure on an exceedingly long, steep slide near Abigail's house, in San Francisco.  Another visitor to the slide had presented my grandchildren and me with some waxed paper; sitting on it, she suggested said, would enhance the experience.  When I gave it a try, I found myself hurtling toward the bottom at a speed I later estimated to be between sixty and seventy-five miles an hour.  My landing didn't seem to cause any injuries, but I understand for the first time what the football announcer means when he says something like "Manning was shaken up on that play."


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