Midnight plus some and I can’t sleep. It’s raining outside and I’m listening to old songs on the radio. I’m leaving in a few days for some down time in the hills to do a bit of hunting and to say that I’m wired up to go would be understating things by about a mile. Sleep isn’t in the offing, so I thought I’d put a few thoughts into a column. It’ll help pass the time.
(1.) H. L. Mencken once said that “Every normal man must be tempted, at times, to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin slitting throats.” Having watched our elected representatives fall in at the money trough yet again - this time in the name of a “bailout” - doesn’t give me good feelings about where they’re taking us as a country.
Too, as we watch our savings dry up and the taxes we pay disappear down the ratholes they’ve dug for it all, the thought crosses my mind that Mr. Mencken’s proposal was too timid by half.
(2.) I’m not a big believer in Karma but, after seeing O.J. found guilty on enough counts to keep him in jail for the rest of his life, I have to admit that a certain sense of balance has returned to the universe. Not in all places. Not in all cases. However, some of the ripples in the fabric of justice seem to have been smoothed out. I like that.
(3) Looking at the recent milk product fiasco in China, it might be appropriate to rethink our position as regards the cost/benefit ratio of buying so many products from them. The idea that some of their producers didn’t really mind poisoning their own babies throws up a pretty big warning flag as regards their product safety standards. Note: The toothpaste with anti-freeze chemicals in it and the recent toy recalls aren’t very reassuring either.
(4.) I just noticed that the song being played on the radio is “Crying In the Rain” by the Everly Brothers. I danced to that song with Gaynell McArdle one October night back in 1961. Over the years some memories dim, but not that one. It’s hard to forget your basic ears-tingling, face-burning, doing-stupid-things- whenever-she-was-around kind of first love.
That night, when I asked her to dance and she said yes, I knew what heaven had to be like. It’s been 47 years but sitting here, listening to “Crying In The Rain,” it all came back.
Memories like that can sure pull at you.
(5.) I used to think that my dad’s voting habits - basically, “always go for the new guy” - were odd. When I pressed him on them, he told me that he thought it best to put new blood in office every election and, then, vote them out before they got infected with whatever fever gets into their heads when they stay in office too long.
If they did a good job in that term, he said, you’d welcome them home, slap them on the back, thank them profusely and, then, send someone else to solve the newest set of problems. His theory had the benefit of getting rid of fools, incompetents, and assorted con artists before they gained real power and got us all into more trouble than we’d like to imagine.
Seeing where all of our “experienced” and very sage legislators have gotten us, I’m coming to think that he may have been ahead of his time. For sure, given the depths that the legislative and executive branches have sunken to as regards courage, competency, and integrity, I don’t think his ideas could get us into any worse straits than where we are now.
(6.) Finally, having recently been run onto a curb by some oblivious idiot texting away merrily while on the Mukilteo Speedway, I’ve concluded that the folks who do this while driving should have their heads unscrewed from their shoulders and their cell phones rammed into the open storage space now available. Since reason, caution and attention weren’t part of their driving persona anyway, what would be left behind the wheel would likely be every bit as competent as what was there just prior to the cranial removal.
Time for bed.
By the way, Mr. Mencken also noted that “Every election is a sort of advance auction sale of stolen goods.”