The WELL: Consistently Formulating an Mood That Rewards Original Think and Contingent Mutual Respect Since 1985!

If you only read one article about the sale of The WELL all year, make it this one!

“The WELL welcomes the chance to encouragement its existing bottom and extends an call in to like-minded people seeking for a amicable network that puts the giveaway swap of ideas at the forefront,” explained Earl Crabb, CEO of The Well Group, Inc.

Rest in Peace

I just heard yesterday about the suicide of a friend of mine a week earlier. He wasn’t a particularly close friend, but someone I saw at retreats several times a year for the last seven or eight years. I knew he’d been in iffy health and increasing pain for some years. But he always seemed to me to be a delightful, whimsical, prankish spirit — he was a dancer in younger days (which unfortunately sometimes leads to painful and disabling joint problems in later life, and I gather that this was part of his struggle), and there was always something about his personality that was leaping and frolicking around just for the fun of it. He was also a wise, kind, gentle soul. I’m sorry I won’t be seeing him again, and I hope whatever part of him rubbed off on me over the years continues to be part of my life. Godspeed, John.

Two Tattoos

I passed a guy on the sidewalk today who had several prominent tattoos, as indeed so many people do these days. I was thinking idly about how much things have changed, and how 25 or 30 years ago I knew very few people with even one tat on a shoulder, and now I know people with full-sleeve and even in a few cases full-body tattoos.

And I suddenly flashed on a stage direction from some play from at least a couple decades ago, about being wary of a man with two tattoos. The stage direction seemed so striking and funny to me at the time that I could remember just about the whole thing, except for what play it was from and what the character’s name was. Thinking back on it now, though, the stage direction seems rather quaint and small-minded. But the sharp way it’s phrased still made me chuckle to think back on it.

Yay for the Internet. Took me fifteen seconds to discover that it’s from Larry Shue’s brilliantly funny farce The Foreigner, which I saw the premiere of in New York City in the late 1980s. I remember it got poor reviews, but it was playing at a small off-Broadway theater (at the Astor Place Theatre I’m pretty sure), and thanks to some extra capital it could afford to run for a month or so to poor houses while hoping for good word of mouth to spread. Which it did and became a nice success, running for over a year if I’m remembering.

I saw the play twice, the first time when the houses were still poor and then again several months later. I bought a copy to read a few years later, which is when I found out the play had funny stage directions, too. Here’s the stage direction that accompanies the entrance of the creepy thug Owen Musser:

(Psychologists tell us to beware the man with two tattoos. One, he may have gotten on a drunk or a dare. But two means he went back. Owen is a two-tattoo man.)