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Summit up

Good morning and welcome to Summit Up, the world’s only daily column nonpareil that’s ready, once and for all, to resolve the great caper caper.At issue is the very essence of the caper itself, a humble, squishable, pickled green, uhh, thing, sometimes served as a garnish with other food. The question is, is it a fruit or is it a bud? This may seem like an inconsequential issue in the context of world events, and most of our millions of readers in Summit Up Land may not care one way or the other, but in the minds of some great thinkers, it’s a burning question. On one side of the table, we had the bud advocates, who note the scaly green covering that appears to be petals, at least as near as could be discerned after the pickling process. Those in the berry camp also made a convincing argument. But we are sad to report that, during this dinner party discussion, no one showed the initiative to get up and fetch the dictionary. So in the interest of truth, justice and the American way, and with the noblest of journalist intentions, we promised to look into the matter back at the Corporate Suites, where we have the most advanced technological devices and sophisticated software available to track down the bottom-line skinny. And then, just as we were firing up our trusty turbo search engine, we decided it would be much more fun, not to mention easier, to let our intrepid readers do the sleuthing. Now we’re asking you: fruit or bud? E-mail the correct answer to and send us your favorite caper recipe at the same time. You’ll be helping to make the world a more enlightened place.Bonus points if you can tell us why every single jar of capers is tagged “nonpareil.”***On a more serious note, Summit Up wants to share one person’s emotional connection to the terrible situation in New Orleans …”Just days ago I got word that a dear friend of mine was found dead in her home in New Orleans. The unbearable fact of it is that it wasn’t the storm, Hurricane Katrina, but events in the aftermath that brought this tragedy. I believe those who die by violence are completely innocent and are covered by the special glory of the sanctified – wherever it is they may have gone after leaving this painful world. Grief like mine for her is so powerful it can only be a sacred thing; the loss of her is so pure of the evil that made it that it can only be a kind of redemption against that evil. When I was a boy in another country I witnessed horrors so unspeakable that since then I have struggled not with the enormity of emotions those sights held, but a total void, an absence of human feeling for a loss that cannot be faced directly: One’s own life is simply too small, too brief, to not be overwhelmed by the meaning or meaninglessness of such suffering. It was the only event I have ever encountered myself that was so utterly worldly while being absolutely indescribable. My intention here is to dispel any attempt I would make to come to terms with the loss of my friend or ever try to make any peace with death. The only way to unburden oneself of something unendurably private is to put it out in the hands of others who are not so susceptible. I have tried to preserve for myself the knowledge that her death’s meaning is beyond the compass of any language.” – To J. L. P. 1978-2005, anonymous*** We’re outta here, garnishing our wheaties …

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