I don’t ever recall my dear ol’ bourbon sippin’ Pappy telling me, just before he issued one of his many belt ‘whuppings,’ that ‘this is going to hurt me a whole lot worse than it’s going to hurt you.’
He definitely knew who was getting the worst end of that deal. And you know, I kind of think he felt much better than I did afterwards.
And then the coup de grace in the painful humiliation was I had to tell him I was sorry for making him ‘strap’ me.
Sheesh… Talk about domestic abuse.
And these days I still laugh to myself about his carefree insouciant choice of words at one of our last dinners together with my older brother and me. All he could say was: “If I had to do it all over again I would have been much harder on you boys.”
At that moment I finally spoke up in a bodacious manner of an audacious young adult who recognized that no whupping was ever as bad as the first one. And now whippings in life were no longer a punishment, but a challenge. You know: How bad can it be when you already had the worst.
Sooo… after another bite of my mother’s bland chicken. And a swig of ol’ Pappy’s bourbon, I offered: ‘If you don’t think what you did worked, did it ever occur to you to think you might wanna try something different?’
Now dear ol’ Pappy was a successful, self-made man whose father was killed in an accident when he was 16. And his mother died of cancer when he was 21. And after the Great War he went on in the country’s afterglow to successfully conquer a few great tasks. Like a one-man chainsaw. And the riding mower.
Over his tortoise spectacles he scowled at me like I would never stop saying the stupidest things. And I smiled a little cheeky to say: There is nothing you can do to me that you haven’t already done… except kill me.
And, not for the first time, I think that might have come under serious consideration — especially if I had hung around for the dessert of humble pie ala mode.
Sometimes when you’ve had a long series of disappointing things happen, you can get into the very bad habit of just expecting more of what you’ve already had.
And sometimes you don’t. You just whistle past the graveyard.
And these days in the midst of a bizarre Presidential election; a corrupt bunch of inept politicians in our Congress, State Houses and City Halls; a planet of distrusted and lying old allies – more than the Saudis; shamed and crooked leaders here, there and everywhere — and not just Brazil; a combustion of immigration backlash, football concussions and transgender confusion; Cold war generals still dueling with old world windmills, and a world without end of robbing, raping and pillaging…
I think we all have to ask ourselves an insightful question in some variation to the one the South American President of Columbia asked out loud after 40 years of the War on Drugs and losing: It’s time to rethink what we are doing. And how we are doing it. And why…
Indeed it’s time for a lot of ‘rethinks’ about so much. The trouble is old beliefs die hard even when demonstrably wrong. And yet we trek along in our mental ruts on the path of least resistance and least trouble.
In other words, we are too busy watching football.
Obviously what we’ve got here is a failure to communicate… with ourselves.
Now, I may be wrong, but I don’t think so.
Sooo… why am I wasting oxygen to inform you all of this? Because, once again, we may hate the way things are, but we are afraid of change. We’re miserable because we live too long… or we’ve been married too long… or our golf scores go up with our age… and, meanwhile, our dicks and tits are sagging in the climate change of melting glaciers.
We’ve got aches and pains and all we do is bitch… bitch… bitch… We’ve got bills we can’t pay because we’re living beyond our means and oversized TVs feeding us a fatty diet of junk food. And instead of putting in some mental overtime to figure a way out, we think there’s a magic pill.
In fact, the other day during one of my guest lectures/speeches/diatribes this round mound of excess pounds kvetched that his wife had decided, after nearly 30 years of houses, cars, kids and colleges, that she wanted to get away from this life – namely him and his persistently being too tired, old, fat and annoying. And he actually said he didn’t know what to do.
I told him to start exercising… and to drop that bag of Doritos.
He shook his woeful jowls and actually wished out loud that he could just take a pill to change his life.
And I simply suggested: Try cyanide…
Do you think I was being too honest… or politically incorrect? Because I can hear you tisk-tisking like a choir of Mormons.
The fact is: I just don’t care!
My bag of woe is probably a lot worse than yours. But I drink heartily. Exercise daily. And tell a lot of people to go f-k themselves.
After all, we live in America…. How bad can things really be? Oh, we aren’t what we once were. But we all know how things should be even though people have a lot of different, deeply-held beliefs. And at the end of the day, those personal beliefs probably don’t make sense to anyone else – including your neighbor.
But, the fact we can actually act on them. We can organize, protest, submit a referendum, and, most importantly, vote for change. Of course, the sad fact is we don’t. The other day Hillary and The Donald won their respective New York primaries… with only one-third of the more than 5 million registered voters casting ballots.
Some folks actually think that was a lot of voters. I, on the other hand, think it’s a bloody disgrace. Hillary could be the first woman in the oval office – vertically I mean. And The Donald could be the first outlier in recent history.
And, by the way, it’s no secret that I actually went out a few months ago and changed my registration so that I could vote for The Donald in the upcoming Pennsylvania primary. It was simple. It was easy. And just because I don’t own a TV doesn’t mean I don’t want to see some great entertainment for at least the next four years.
I mean if The Donald actually wins it’s gonna be ‘showtime!’
Look, I am sick and tired of being sick and tired of losing this war of dumb, stupid and ugly politicians who get into office not to keep their promises but only to keep their perks. They think they’re anointed instead of appointed representatives of us folks who check the box next to their names. And they keep their jobs because the rest of us don’t vote them out. And mostly I vote against the incumbent. It’s my duty to perform.
Indeed it is time for a ‘rethink.’ Today is, certainly, the tomorrow we weren’t promised yesterday. I would say it is our duty to vote, but it really is a privilege to perform. And, as we all well know, an ounce of performance is worth pounds of promises – especially from politicians.
And dats yDrewIS on dis penal colony…