Ever wondered what it would be like sharing an office with William Carlos Williams?

September 8th, 2013 · 54 comments

First with the plums, now lemons? Seriously, Bill?

I hope you enjoyed the half lemon I had just taken out of the fridge. Next time buy your own. We all Work for ourselves not to feed Strangers.

And by the way, I’d like my red wheelbarrow back, please. (So much depends upon it, after all.)

HELP YOURSELF But NOT to the Wheelbarrow (like last year) please!

(Thanks to our submitters Sarah in NYC and Steve in the U.K.)

related: What rhymes with putrid?

extra credit: This Is Just to Say

FILED UNDER: food · New York · office fridge · pure poetry · stealing


54 responses so far ↓

  • #1   wah?

    i hope somebody
    appreciates
    the connection between
    these two notes

    for the life of me
    i cannot find the lines
    to make
    sense of the dots

    Sep 8, 2013 at 4:06 pm   rating: 19  small thumbs up

    • #1.1   Justjenny

      The poet,
      William Carlos Williams,
      wrote
      random ditties
      about unrelated things..

      Sep 8, 2013 at 4:26 pm   rating: 15  small thumbs up

       
    • #1.2   wah?

      Ah, ty! As my not-a-poem reveals, I lack familiarity with his work … or that of most poets.

      Sep 8, 2013 at 5:14 pm   rating: 3  small thumbs up

       
    • #1.3   weed store

      lol op

      is retarded

      Sep 8, 2013 at 5:31 pm   rating: 3  small thumbs up

       
    • #1.4   Lynne

      so much depends
      upon
      a red wheel
      barrow…

      Another WCW poem

      Sep 8, 2013 at 6:35 pm   rating: 5  small thumbs up

       
    • #1.5   H for Toy

      There are always so many funny/obscure references on this blog, that I have to wonder if Kerry does a lot of research, or if she just kicks ass at trivial pursuit.

      Sep 8, 2013 at 8:51 pm   rating: 23  small thumbs up

       
    • #1.6   Jessi

      Is WCW really considered obscure, though? I remember reading his stuff in 10th grade English (which was 2000-2001 for me).

      Sep 8, 2013 at 10:47 pm   rating: 10  small thumbs up

       
    • #1.7   H for Toy

      Maybe varied is a better word. Literary, art, musical, pop culture, political references. Her weak spot may be sports though ;)

      Sep 9, 2013 at 5:40 am   rating: 7  small thumbs up

       
    • #1.8   Tesselara

      WCW is a little obscure. My superintendent quoted from him during a speech, and without context, WCW comes off as something of a series of non-sequiturs. Lots of confused faces in the audience.

      Sep 9, 2013 at 10:44 am   rating: 5  small thumbs up

       
    • #1.9   wah?

      OK, weedstore, if a little bit of self-depreciation = retarded then I suppose calling others retarded = the height of maturity.

      Sep 9, 2013 at 5:05 pm   rating: 7  small thumbs up

       
    • #1.10   FeRD bang

      Pay no mind, wah?. Ganjemporium’s simply a dick.

      Sep 9, 2013 at 11:26 pm   rating: 4  small thumbs up

       
     
  • #2   shwo! bang

    When life gives you
    lemons

    make
    lemonade.

    When life takes away your
    lemons

    you’re pretty much
    screwed.

    Sep 8, 2013 at 4:12 pm   rating: 28  small thumbs up

    • #2.1   cowbert

      When life gives you lemons, don’t make lemonade. Make life take the lemons back! Get mad! I don’t want your damn lemons, what the hell am I supposed to do with these? Demand to see life’s manager! Make life rue the day it thought it could give me lemons! Do you know who I am? I’m the man who’s gonna burn your house down! With the lemons! I’m gonna get my engineers to invent a combustible lemon that burns your house down!”

      Sep 8, 2013 at 6:14 pm   rating: 31  small thumbs up

       
    • #2.2   Jessi

      I prefer Phil Hartman’s response on NewsRadio: “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade, and then toss it in the face of the person who gave you the lemons until they give you the oranges you asked for in the first place!”

      Sep 8, 2013 at 11:32 pm   rating: 17  small thumbs up

       
    • #2.3   KittenPlaysTheViolin

      Lol cowbert, I believe that is a perfectly reasonable response.

      Sep 9, 2013 at 11:01 am   rating: 0  small thumbs up

       
    • #2.4   Raichu

      My favorite is: when life gives you lemons, throw them at stupid people.

      Sep 9, 2013 at 6:08 pm   rating: 4  small thumbs up

       
    • #2.5   Snicklefritz

      My favorite – If life gives you lemons, make margaritas.

      Sep 10, 2013 at 7:54 am   rating: 1  small thumbs up

       
    • #2.6   magicdomino

      When life gives you lemons, squirt juice in your enemy’s eye.

      Sep 10, 2013 at 3:08 pm   rating: 3  small thumbs up

       
    • #2.7   oooh

      “I believe that if life gives you lemons, you should make lemonade… And try to find somebody whose life has given them vodka, and have a party.” – Ron White

      Sep 12, 2013 at 5:30 pm   rating: 2  small thumbs up

       
     
  • #3   GhostWriter bang

    I’ll bet if you hold the first note over a candle, words written in lemon juice appear in the empty spaces.

    Sep 8, 2013 at 5:07 pm   rating: 29  small thumbs up

    • #3.1   The Elf

      I hope you enjoyed the half
      lemon *you fucking theif.*
      I had just taken out of the
      fridge. *I was going to make lemonade. Guess I’ll just have water now.*
      Next time buy your own. We
      all *hate you so very much. We*
      Work for ourselves not to feed
      Strangers. *I’ll fucking cut you next time. Don’t think I won’t.*

      Sep 9, 2013 at 4:37 pm   rating: 10  small thumbs up

       
     
  • #4   Emma

    “When life gives you lemons, don’t make lemonade – make life take the lemons back! Get mad! I don’t want your damn lemons, what am I supposed to do with these? “

    Sep 8, 2013 at 5:11 pm   rating: 5  small thumbs up

    • #4.1   anon

      “Demand to see life’s manager! Make life rue the day it thought it could give Cave Johnson lemons! Do you know who I am? I’m the man who’s gonna burn your house down! With the lemons! I’m gonna get my engineers to invent a combustible lemon that burns your house down!”

      Sep 8, 2013 at 6:17 pm   rating: 4  small thumbs up

       
     
  • #5   Eileen

    Someone’s line
    spacing
    Is off
    Just a bit
    Not liking the random
    Capitalization
    either.

    (That first note should decrease their font a bit, methinks.)

    Sep 8, 2013 at 5:41 pm   rating: 6  small thumbs up

    • #5.1   The Elf

      It’s hard to edit through the RED HAZE OF RAGE.

      Sep 9, 2013 at 4:38 pm   rating: 4  small thumbs up

       
     
  • #6   H for Toy

    I thought the rule when given lemons by life was shots of tequila.

    Sep 8, 2013 at 8:48 pm   rating: 6  small thumbs up

    • #6.1   FeRD bang

      Perilous. Next thing you know, you’re charged with a salt.

      Sep 9, 2013 at 11:29 pm   rating: 13  small thumbs up

       
    • #6.2   H for Toy

      Oh man. That’s bad.

      Sep 10, 2013 at 6:46 am   rating: 3  small thumbs up

       
     
  • #7   twhit

    The poem by William Carlos Williams, which always made me think he was kind of a douche:

    This Is Just To Say

    I have eaten
    the plums
    that were in
    the icebox

    and which
    you were probably
    saving
    for breakfast

    Forgive me
    they were delicious
    so sweet
    and so cold

    Sep 8, 2013 at 11:33 pm   rating: 13  small thumbs up

    • #7.1   Kwyjor

      I cannot believe this is a legitimate poem. Surely the man (or someone else entirely who happened to be living with him) wrote a PAN that somehow accidentally got swept up into an envelope that was sent to his publisher, who was probably high. Surely.

      Sep 9, 2013 at 1:02 pm   rating: 18  small thumbs up

       
    • #7.2   FeRD bang

      Then it’s fortunate that poetry, like science and Nate Silver’s math, does not require that you believe it in order to be real.

      Also, if “This Is Just To Say” being a legitimate poem concerns you, then you’re really not going to like it that Ellsworth Kelly’s “Green” is an actual painting.

      Go ahead, look it up. We’ll wait…

      (Hint: It’s the first result if you do a Google Image Search for “ellsworth kelly green”. Yes, that’s the actual painting. Worth… well, who knows? Millions, probably.)

      Sep 9, 2013 at 11:32 pm   rating: 4  small thumbs up

       
    • #7.3   Dana

      . . . I hate “modern art” so freaking much.

      Sep 10, 2013 at 11:49 am   rating: 7  small thumbs up

       
    • #7.4   Poltergeist

      Yes, anything can technically be considered art since art is in the eye of the beholder. By the same token, we’re all allowed to reject artwork based on our individual interpretations.

      I personally don’t place any value on ‘art’ that looks like it could have taken literally anybody 2 seconds to brainlessly create with minimal effort.
      Example 1 – a painting of a big-ass green square
      Example 2 – a boring sentence broken up at random intervals that has no type of rhythm and no deeper meaning.

      I enjoy picking
      my nose
      in my car when
      I think
      nobody
      is watching.

      OMG I can be famous poet now?!

      Sep 11, 2013 at 5:00 am   rating: 5  small thumbs up

       
    • #7.5   KHandcock

      I can’t help it…I’m a modern art geek, so here goes: the reason something like a big green square is important is because the first time it’s done, it’s revolutionary. Honestly, before someone did that, literally no one had ever conceived of it before. It really does represent an enormous leap of imagination and creativity to break out of the mold of what constitutes “art”, whatever that is at the time.

      However, once that barrier of imagination is broken, a lot more thought has to go into a piece before it’s meaningful. Just like it’s hard to create a really deeply moving realistic painting now, it takes a lot of care to come up with a truly interesting modern work. So there’s a lot of drek to be sorted through (which has already been done for the paintings of the past — we only look at the best of the best.)

      Anyway, I guess I just wanted to say why these works are so important — but also that, yes, there are a lot of crappy pretender artists out there, too.

      Sep 12, 2013 at 11:20 am   rating: 3  small thumbs up

       
     
  • #8   Crystal

    Apparently the plums, (and the lemon) were fuc*ing delicious.

    Sep 9, 2013 at 12:15 am   rating: 6  small thumbs up

     
  • #9   tch tch

    But what is the green stuff and why would you want it?

    Sep 9, 2013 at 5:53 am   rating: 14  small thumbs up

    • #9.1   Ace of Space

      I think they are Christmas lights. See the holly on the note?

      Why someone would want them in that tangled mess, I don’t know.

      Sep 9, 2013 at 9:57 am   rating: 1  small thumbs up

       
    • #9.2   autumncolors

      I think it’s mistletoe.

      Sep 9, 2013 at 11:32 am   rating: 7  small thumbs up

       
    • #9.3   H for Toy

      We know its not weed, or weed store would’ve been all over this post. Either that, or he’s too busy pondering the lemon poem to get any further.

      Sep 9, 2013 at 11:38 am   rating: 11  small thumbs up

       
    • #9.4   JoDa

      Yes, it’s mistletoe…they probably grow it and it’s nice of them to give it to anyone who wants their surplus.

      However, if you leave something out with a note that just says “help yourself,” you’re asking for *everything* to be taken. That’s how we roll here…don’t want something, don’t feel like hauling it to Goodwill? Leave it out on trash day with a note (“free” “please take me” etc.). Particularly if all the mistletoe had been taken by the time the wheelbarrow “thief” came by, I can see thinking the wheelbarrow was up for grabs.

      Sep 11, 2013 at 5:47 pm   rating: 0  small thumbs up

       
     
  • #10   Lil'

    The wheelbarrow note made me think of my coworker. He offered his pool service technicians some of the kids leftover Halloween candy last year. They didn’t speak much English and he brought out the whole HUGE bowl full (They just dump all the kids candy into one big bowl to share each year). He said he would just leave it on the patio for them to take some when they were done. The language barrier meant 15 minutes later his wife was making him chase down the service truck as they backed out of the driveway with the whole bowl of candy. She didn’t want to explain to the kids when they got home from school why they didn’t have any candy left. I guess you have to be specific.

    Sep 9, 2013 at 10:17 am   rating: 5  small thumbs up

     
  • #11   KittenPlaysTheViolin

    Lol who would help themselves to the wheelbarrow? Freakin’ savages I tell you.

    Sep 9, 2013 at 10:57 am   rating: 4  small thumbs up

    • #11.1   The Elf

      On the other hand, imagine how funny it would be to see someone slow down as they approach, look to either side furtively, and then grab the wheelbarrow handles and start running away with it.

      If you see the wheelbarrow thief, don’t try to stop him. Just keep watching. That wheelbarrow will inevitably hit that little pothole or divit and catch, and then the thief will go crotch first into the metal edge.

      Sep 9, 2013 at 4:43 pm   rating: 10  small thumbs up

       
    • #11.2   AuntyBron

      But, Elfy – how else was I supposed to move the body?

      Sep 9, 2013 at 10:39 pm   rating: 3  small thumbs up

       
    • #11.3   AuntyBron

      But, Kitten – how else am I going to move the body?

      Sep 9, 2013 at 10:41 pm   rating: 3  small thumbs up

       
     
  • #12   Les

    Had to comment on this post simply because I *love* the WCW reference. Way to go, PAN!

    Sep 9, 2013 at 11:08 am   rating: 4  small thumbs up

     
  • #13   redheadwglasses

    If the half a lemon had just been taken out of the fridge, why wasn’t it being used? Sounds like it was left out and another person perhaps thought it was meant to be thrown away.

    As the resident Fridge Nazi here at work, I throw a lot away that people later complain about (“Who threw away my meatloaf?” You mean that stuff that got so moldy, the green fuzz was thicker than the slab of meat on which it was growing?).

    Sep 9, 2013 at 11:33 am   rating: 6  small thumbs up

    • #13.1   FeRD bang

      Hey, some people like to leave their butter out to soften before using it, some people like to let their lemons warm up a bit. Don’t you go judgin’, Judge Judy! ;-)

      Sep 9, 2013 at 11:47 pm   rating: 5  small thumbs up

       
    • #13.2   redheadwglasses

      You will obey MAH AUTHORITAH!

      Sep 10, 2013 at 8:15 am   rating: 5  small thumbs up

       
     
  • #14   Raichu

    Is that a Standard Office Kitchen Clean-up PAN hiding behind the poem-PAN? xD

    Sep 9, 2013 at 6:09 pm   rating: 3  small thumbs up

     
  • #15   Tard

    Someone kept stealing my peanut butter and jelly sandwich from the fridge, So I replaced it with a peanut butter and Vaseline sandwich.

    Nobody said a word, but they stopped stealing my sandwiches. Peanut butter and Tabasco works well also.

    Sep 9, 2013 at 7:48 pm   rating: 12  small thumbs up

    • #15.1   redheadwglasses

      I love you!

      Sep 10, 2013 at 8:14 am   rating: 1  small thumbs up

       
     
  • #16   MrsBass

    That’s a new wheelbarrow?

    Sep 10, 2013 at 5:40 pm   rating: 0  small thumbs up

     
  • #17   Thel

    I didn’t see this as poetic at all .. the connection to the poet mentioned. What first grabbed me was the interesting way a person was making a passive-aggressive statement about how conservatives don’t want to share with the masses who “don’t have”. Just sayin’.

    Sep 15, 2013 at 3:44 am   rating: 0  small thumbs up

     

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