Here's something I'll bet you didn't know about me: I was an Eagle Scout. God's own truth. I earned it, too. Nobody becomes an Eagle Scout without putting in a lot of hard work and acquiring a lot of useful skills.
So it was a particular pleasure Saturday to attend the Eagle Scout Court of Honor for J. Colin McCormick, the son of a family friend and the second of the McCormick boys to earn that honor. Congratulations, Colin!
And totally unrelated to the above . . .
Saturday I also wrote stories for a lantern I bought for that purpose recently. The lantern, pictured above and below, has a paper screen, so I wrote four short-shorts, one for each side, inspired by the lantern itself. The stories ended up having a common theme: They were all about women.
Specifically, the stories and their heroines were: Tinkerbell, Persephone, Lucifera, and Diogenes.
But I hear you thinking doubtfully, Diogenes? You betcha. Here, just so you don't have to take my word for it, is the proof:
by Michael Swanwick
Admit it. You never could figure out what the deal was with Diogenes. Carrying a lantern in broad daylight? Looking for an honest man? What the fuck?
Perhaps she was a cross-dresser. Maybe the historians goofed. In either case, she was a looker: Eyes, mouth, breasts, hips, all in the right order and proportions.
“Why the lantern?” a prospective suitor would say.
“Because it’s night,” she’d reply. Or: “I need it to see in the daylight.”
And if he agreed with her, she knew he was no good.
This much is known and no more. Did Diogenes ever find romance? Did she die a spinster? On this both history and philosophy are silent.