Farmington, N.M. -- Very. Young. Small. Early. Mol…

Dublin Core


Farmington, N.M. -- Very. Young. Small. Early. Mol…


Dan Schwartz.






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Farmington, N.M. -- Very. Young. Small. Early. Molly Maxwell found these peas the other night while I was looking for a 28 oz. can of peeled whole tomatoes, which I found. The can read, "it's a whole new game!" // There's a theme here. Listen, can you hear it? A bathroom sign about a broken toilet, saying, "Sorry for any incontinence this may cause"; a dance studio for God-loving girls called, ambiguously, "Dance for Him"; even "Dave's Killer Bread," made by the ex-con. // In a good mood I'd call a lot of this word play: "Very, young, small, early"; these whole tomatoes are a "whole new game!" Cute, but not clever, and maybe some even accidents. But catch me skeptical and I'll side with George Orwell in his 1946 essay "Politics and the English Language." In it, he compares a man who drinks because he considers himself a failure -- and failing more because he drinks -- to how you and I can sometimes talk and write. "It becomes ugly and inaccurate because our thoughts are foolish," he says, "but the slovenliness of our language makes it easier for us to have foolish thoughts." // But maybe you think he sounds like a snob. And maybe he is. Language to all who can speak or write is expression. Words carry the meaning. But there are other vessels. A photograph, for instance, or a painting. Or a pair of eyes or a set of lips. Even, perhaps, in a decision: "very, young, small, early peas." And if pride or precision or originality is relevant, it is to be had in expression. // Looking for dinner with Molly in Smith's, amid the isles of identical food, we laughed when she found the peas, and she put the can in the cart. She said she liked the name, and its many modifiers made her curious. "I should have gotten some old, adult peas for comparison," she said afterwards.




Dan Schwartz., “Farmington, N.M. -- Very. Young. Small. Early. Mol…,” The InstaEssay Archive, accessed August 5, 2020,