I have learned from my wife that everything we own should have a name. Naming things allows you to have a relationship with them. They come alive, have personalities, even histories and futures. And so, in our long time together, we have owned Herbie, my first all-terrain cycle; Spot, a leopard-print wheelchair cushion; Little Towel, our favorite hand towel; Bodacious, a bright yellow van with Harley wings painted on the side; The Professor, my commode on wheels that I often commune with; Lenny (now Mini-Lenny) and Riggs, my left and right legs, which at times have seemed more like inanimate objects than living appendages; and now, Stupid Thing, who selfishly commands way too much attention.
In his first incarnation, Stupid Thing was an old T-shirt, ragged, nameless, a castaway in a bucket. But one day I realized that my newly amputated leg (Mini-Lenny), sagging and lagging in my wheelchair, made balanced wheeling difficult and dressing while in my chair almost impossible. So I reached into the rag bucket, pulled out Stupid Thing’s nameless ancestor, rolled him into a cylinder and positioned him transversely between my wheelchair sling and the underside of my thigh, near my knee. This boosted Mini-Lenny up just enough to put him on a level, more or less, with Riggs.
But Stupid-Thing-To-Be kept coming unraveled. So I rummaged through the drawer-that-contains-everything-under-the-sun, pulled out an old roll of paper tape, and wrapped the stupid cylinder, forcing it into a rigid form. But not rigid enough. My youngest grandson, 1-year-old Peighton, decided it would make an interesting plaything. It took him two