Haikus Around Harriet*

By Jim Triggs

… the State Fair was packed.

I love the State Fair.  The food!

Did you see the huge …

… but she had to know.

Really? Who else knew? Mary?

Mary, Maggie, Joe …

… Mauer?  Zip. Nada.

God, it was a bad series.

Losing is the shits …

 … Zu and Poodle

Ohhh.  He is sooo cute.  How old?

Thank you.  He’ll be 1 …

…on June 20th!

Congratulations! Boy? Girl?

Michael says boy.  I …

… hate that red table!

It’s more burgundy than red.

Whatever – I hate …

… her ring – it is gorgeous.

Which ring finger?  Right or left?

That’s the big news. It’s …

…on the left … [winter cyclist]

… me no choice. I quit.

Do you have other options?

My wife doesn’t think …

… so I said, ‘Enough!’

He just quit?  What did he say!

Nothing!  He just sat …

 … on the bench all game.

Did he give you his reasons?

Coach said Eric needs …

… two teaspoons of nutmeg.

Nutmeg?  Really? And how much? 

Recipe says two …

… more days. Chemo sucks.

How’s the nausea? Still bad?

Yeah.  It sucks, really…

… can’t wait for Christmas!

Did you buy Kate’s present yet?

No, I’m getting Kate …

*  According to a Portland State University study, the average pedestrian walks at a rate of 3.34 feet per second.  The 1961 edition of the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD) says 4 feet per second is the recommended estimate.  In the case of Lake Harriett, a public lake close to downtown Minneapolis, I’m guessing people walk its 2.8 mile circumference faster because the north wind coming off the lake is exceptionally cold in December and walking at a faster pace increases body temperature.  So, for purposes of this poem, I believe 4.4 feet per second is more accurate.  (I have no data or empirical evidence to back this up; it’s purely a hunch.) When two average Minnesotans at Lake Harriet are walking directly towards each other, their speed, relative to each other, is 4.4 feet per second + 4.4 feet per second or 8.8 feet per second.  Assuming you are within earshot of a conversation at a distance of 20 feet, you hear 20 feet of conversation as you converge plus 20 feet as you pass and get further away — for a total of 40 feet.  In high school Algebra, Mrs. Schmidt taught us that Time (T) is equal to Distance (D) divided by R (rate).  So, 40 feet divided by 8.8 feet per second equals 4.55 seconds of conversation; which is about the same amount of time it takes to hear a haiku.  For simplicity sake, I did not take Doppler Effect into account; my math is not that good.

2 thoughts on “Haikus Around Harriet*

  1. on the left reminds me of tia leone running in Spanglish…..intense…this reminds me of walking in central park when i saw a huge, i mean huge turtle….like something off the galapalos islands climb out of the reservoir and i tried to point it out to a jogger who yelled as she ran “thank you for pointing that out to me” but she never looked at the turtle!

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