Thursday, November 29, 2007

Since I am now convinced about the Perfect Storm bearing down on America and the impending collapse of the economy and everything else, I have been watching the Discovery Channel and the program about the guy surviving in the wild. It’s a great show and I have picked up some super tips that will help me survive. It’s even okay if the government takes my single shot 22 away. I have had that gun since I was 14 years of age and killed a lot of squirrels with it when I was a kid. I would hate to see it confiscated but I learned from the TV show how to catch a rabbit, so I really don’t need the gun anymore. The guy on TV used a piece of string and a stick to make a rabbit snare. I have been practicing in the back yard. Even though I have had no luck so far, I’m sure it’s going to work. It just looked too easy on TV not to do the trick.

The thing I’m working on now is a trap for a squirrel. I’ve got plenty of those in the yard and on the roof. They really love my bird feeder, so my plan is to rig up a trap with the feeder. Squirrels used to be one of my favorite foods. I killed a lot of them with my uncle when I was a kid and my aunt made great squirrel dumplings and fried squirrel. All this is probably not good for my cholesterol, but with the world situation such as it is, keeping the cholesterol in check is not a high priority. I am more concerned about what I can do to keep from starving and to protect myself from a nuclear blast from Iran.

I have also purchased some tapes to teach me Spanish. I figure Spanish will soon be our national language. I should have taken Spanish somewhere along the line, but didn’t have good advice. I took two years of Latin in high school and two years of German in college. A lot of good that did me. All I remember from Latin is Te Amo and the German I know is Gesundheit and Heil Hitler. Now it’s going to be hard to learn Spanish at my age, but I am trying. At least I can read the menu in the Mexican restaurants.
Learning these great survival tactics is keeping me occupied in my retirement. The only problem is that it is taking me away from the porch. I am even considering making the porch a bomb shelter. Things could be worse; I could be forced to listen to the presidential debates. That is definitely a torture worse than waterboarding.

I thought Halloween was scary until I recently heard Pat Buchanan talk about his new book on the Glen Beck Show. Both of these guys think that American is headed toward the “Perfect Storm” and we may soon see our county go down the tube. They both feel we are doomed economically and culturally.

We are witnessing a flood of illegal aliens crossing the border. The aliens are doing the work and the US citizens are either on welfare or unemployed. We are accruing a massive debt with the war and are now about to start paying for everyone’s healthcare. Soon the baby boomers will be retiring which will put an incredible strain on Social Security and Medicare. There will not be enough people working to fund these two giant government programs or anything else.

Buchanan is for bringing most of the troops stationed around the world home to protect our own borders. We have had troops in South Korea and Europe for over 50 years and they are needed more at home than those places.

Buchanan claims that the US dollar is like the Mexican pesos in the 80s. The value has dropped to an all time low. He gave an example of how shoes are made in Italy and Italians come to America where they can buy their own shoes for less than at home.

We are importing much more than we export. Nothing is made in America anymore. We are also completely dependant on foreign oil, which has placed us in a very weak position since oil runs our economy.

Our culture is also vanishing. With the influx of so many aliens we are quickly losing our identity as Americans. Even our language is threatened. The American people are more concerned with what is happening to OJ Simpson, Lindsey Lohan and Paris Hilton than with the oncoming storm. As long as we can watch TV and race our cars up and down the highway everything is okay. The looming problem is that the gas tanks and the water supply are about to be depleted.

I’m afraid these guys are right. I fear most for my children and grandchildren. Perhaps our only hope is that the effects of global warming will destroy the planet and put us out of our misery. The only place I feel secure is on the porch with the TV off and the phone unplugged. I have started stockpiling water. Just hope Hilliary doesn’t take my trusty 22 away. I can live off the deer and squirrels in the backyard for a long time.

Is it finally the end of America? I’m beginning to sound like my father during the great depression and the bad times of World War II. What’s really scary is Republicans and Democrats are beginning to sound alike. Soon there may only be sheer panic in everyone’s voice.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

People seem to get great satisfaction out of bashing others. Often we don’t even know the full scope of the problem, but join in the bashing. The president is a good subject for bashing. Poor George W. Bush gets blamed for everything. He appears to have made some bone headed decisions, like running for office. The truth is that many of the things for which he is blamed would have occurred with anyone at the helm. He has taken some pretty severe bashing. It’s easy to be a critic and everyone enjoys the roll of the Monday morning quarterback. When the team loses, the first words are, “fire the coach.” Many presidents have been the victims of bashing. Harry Truman’s approval rating was 20% when he left office. We are like Huck Finns’ pap with too much liquor. Huck said, “whenever his liquor begun to work, he most always went for the government.”

The medical profession is also the subject of much bashing. Most medical historians agree that the greatest medical discovery was the circulation of blood by William Harvey in 1628. The medical establishment thought he was crazy and refused to accept his theory. No one would believe that Galen, the Roman physician, could be wrong. Galen thought the center of circulation was the liver. A century before Harvey, the Spanish physician and theologian Michael Servetus correctly postulated how blood circulated through the heart, lungs and into the body. Servetus was not only bashed, he was burned at the stake for his ridiculous theory. Medical history is full of such stories.

Semmelweis was ridiculed and had to move to another country because he suggested that doctors wash their hands before delivering a baby. Of course, what he proposed virtually eliminated childbed fever, because washing your hands killed germs.

Freud continues to be bashed. He had the idea that early experiences, as well as primitive and evil impulses exist in our minds in a repressed state, in the subconscious, and wait for the opportunity to manifest themselves as neurosis, anxiety, depression and other mental disorders. The way we behave and our emotions are influenced by these subconscious and repressed impulses. Freud invented the field of psychoanalysis. Many claim today that this is all hog-wash and even suggest there is no such thing as mental illness. Many doctors fell that all we have to do is take the right combination of tranquilizers or antidepressants and we will be “normal.” It’s easy to bash old Freud because psychiatry like the government is not a pure science.

I’m trying to become more understanding and tolerant of all the ignorance which surrounds me off the porch. There sure seems to be a lot of it and it’s hard to keep my tongue in check. Like Huck Finns’s pap, I am going to try and stick mainly to the government like everyone else does. It’s a great target, almost as good as other folk’s religion.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Had a great Thanksgiving. It’s the eleventh Thanksgiving since the diagnosis of two cancers. That is something to be thankful for. With the extent of the cancer, the eleven Thanksgivings, is almost a miracle. Saw two movies this weekend that were a reminder of the reason for the miracle. One was Amazing Grace, the story of William Wilberforce and the abolition of slavery in the British Empire. He was greatly influenced by John Newton, the fellow who wrote the song Amazing Graze. The other movie was The Last Sin Eater. This one was a little weird but had a strong message.
Faith has been the secret to my miracle of survival. There have been many deterrents to that faith along the way including bad preachers and the church itself. One close college friend became a minister, then abandoned the faith. Another schoolmate wrote a book on becoming an atheist and is now a leader in an atheist movement. I have had people of a different Christian denomination tell me I am going to hell because I didn’t go to their church. Of course, to the Muslims I am an infidel. I am impressed that they have the gift of judgment but yet posses no brain. With all this I have remained steadfast. Long ago, before I heard about the intellectual voices of the Christian faith, such as Soren Kierkegaard and C.S. Lewis, I took the leap of faith Kierkegard talks about in his philosophy. Fortunately my leap landed on solid ground even though it has been subjected to many earthquakes induced by Christians themselves. The faith has sustained me and for that, along with my family, I am most thankful this Thanksgiving.
I did venture off the porch this weekend to eat a Thanksgiving meal and also to attend a memorial service to celebrate the life of a remarkable man. I am thankful I knew that gentleman.
So, there was a lot to be thankful for this holiday, but I’m most thankful to be back safely on the porch.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

With the smell of Thanksgiving preparations in the kitchen and the news of an approaching cold front in a couple of days, it’s Christmas Card time. We try to have the cards addressed and ready to mail right after Thanksgiving.
We don’t send out as many cards as we did in days gone by, but we still like to keep in touch with those who are out of town and we don’t see very often. Most of these people have been special to us in the past and remain special in our memory. We try to keep that memory alive with the Christmas Cards. These are folks from high school, college, medical school, the army, church, work and everything in between. Unfortunately, the list is growing shorter each year.
One of the hardest things is keeping our address list current. Some of the young folks, who are mostly relatives, move several times a year and even their parents have trouble keeping up with them. I think only one person on our list has had the same address for the past 50 years. There were two until last year and one is now in a nursing home.
Going through the list is also sad. More die each year and I have to drop either a Mr. or Mrs.. We have had a few casualties from divorce and other odd circumstance, but this number has been small. A few have just sort of disappeared from the face of the earth as if they didn’t want to be bothered again.
We like to send out a card with a picture of our grandchildren but that is about to end because they are growing up and it’s hard to get everyone together for a group picture. It takes about a hundred shots before you get the right photo, without someone’s eyes closed or looking away. I know it is like bragging to send out this picture and we are careful not to send it to a few who are sensitive about kids because they don’t have any or they don’t like a happy family. Yes, there are a few Scrooges on our list, but I pretend I am a ghost of Christmas past and want to remind those folks of what Christmas could be like.
The cost of cards, photos and postage have increased incredibly in the past few years. It’s almost as bad as gasoline. The cost may become prohibitive for anyone except the most wealthy to send cards. That will be too bad because many of the wealthy, like Scrooge, don’t always seem to appreciate the meaning of Christmas.

As for me, sitting on the porch, I like to mainly think about Christmases past. That’s why cards remain important to me and I will keep sending them even if I have to go back to work to afford the postage. The cards are a way of celebrating Christmas of the future. I will honor Christmas in my heart and try to keep it all the year.(Scrooge to Ghost of the Future)

Monday, November 19, 2007

Even though I complain about the post office and the deer who eat my plants, Salado is a pretty nice place to live. The crime rate is fairly low. Jesse James is supposed to have camped near the banks of Salado Creek in the 1800s but didn’t kill anyone. I believe that’s the last desperado we had in town. Sam Bass must have passed through on his way to be killed in Roundrock, but I don’t think he even stopped at the Dairy Queen or Stagecoach Inn. We did have an attempted bank robbery a couple of years ago but the female bank teller apprehended the culprit. After that embarrassing fiasco, no respectable criminal wants to commit a crime in our town. Our women are too tough. I think there has been some hanky panky with a few of the preachers but no murders by irate husbands. We don’t even have much child-molesting going on since there are no childcare centers and only one priest. There are a few gays in the community but they keep pretty much to themselves or do their stuff in the near by gay capitol of Texas in Austin. All in all Salado is pretty safe compared to some places like Detroit. I’m sure glad I don’t live there.
Detroit was recently ranked as the most dangerous city in the US. It is number one for crime. It has also been called the murder capitol of the country. The city officials are up in arms about this report and claim it is really hurting their city for information like this to get out. If you exclude murders by domestic violence and crimes like rape, they are no worse than anywhere else. Certainly their child molestation rate has to be lower than Boston or most of the cities in California. Everyone knows Washington DC has the largest number of crooks and Los Angeles has the greatest number of DWIs because of the movie stars. Miami and New York City have to reign as the drug trafficking centers of the country. Las Vegas must still be the gambling and prostitution hot spot of the nation and Chicago remains the home of the mob. So, why are they picking on poor Detroit because of a few extra murders? After all, Detroit is in Michigan and that is the home of Michael Moore, the conscience of America.
Here are a few if the comments by folks who think it’s unfair to put such a terrible label on Detroit.
Detroit police officials released a statement Sunday night disputing the report, saying it fails to put crime information into proper context.
The mayor of 30th-ranked Rochester, N.Y.—an ex-police chief himself—said the study's authors should consider the harm that the report causes.
The rankings "do groundless harm to many communities," said Michael Tonry, president of the American Society of Criminology.
"They also work against a key goal of our society, which is a better understanding of crime-related issues by both scientists and the public," Tonry said.
Critics also complain that numbers don't tell the whole story because of differences among cities.
""These rough rankings provide no insight into the numerous variables that mold crime in a particular town, city, county, state, or region," the FBI said. "Consequently, they lead to simplistic and/or incomplete analyses that often create misleading perceptions adversely affecting communities and their residents."
After all that, my little town of Salado looks pretty good even if we are close to Killeen. I still think I’m going to keep the doors to the house and porch locked.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

The fluctuating price of gasoline has made me pay more attention to the price of everything. This has become more important to me now that I’m retired. The little gas station down the road from me is part of the adjacent chain grocery store. They must have a guy who does nothing but change prices on the gasoline sign. I have noticed the price listed on the sign to change two and even there times in a day. It’s interesting to me how they must pay X number of dollars for one of those big tanker trunks to fill up their underground tank and then vary the price so much. It seems reasonable that they would set a profit margin for the contents of that tank of gas and not change until they have a refill. That’s not the way it works. The price of gasoline from that supply may vary 20 cents or more. Someone is ripping me off.

It’s not just gasoline. Recently, I have been Christmas shopping with my partner. We have been looking at jewelry for the grandkids. In a major department store the price of a single piece of jewelry will vary several times during the day. We looked at some earrings that were 60% off. They were giving another 30% off until 1:00PM. You could then get a twenty dollar rebate with a coupon. I decided to wait a little longer in hopes they would pay me to take the merchandise.

I have started playing their pricing game. For instance in a fast food restaurant where the drinks have free refills, never pay for a large drink. Just go back with your small cup as much as you like and save over a dollar. You have to be stupid to pay for the large size if you plan to eat in the restaurant. It’s not a bad idea to have the grandkids bring in a clean cup from home and you can give the whole family a drink from your refillable small cup.

To analyze a medical bill takes an accountant. No one ever pays the amount stated on the bill. For example, in the case of Medicare, the bill may state three or fours thousand dollars, but neither Medicare or the insurance company every pays near that much. The medical facility apparently just writes off what is not paid by insurance. Medicare sets a maximum allowable payment for a service. They pay 80% and the supplement insurance pays 20%. You pay nothing regardless of what the statement says. If you pay anything the doctor goes to jail for fraud.

They need to start putting some of the merchants in jail for fraud for the way they vary the price. Even on the porch where I think I’m safe from all the thieves in pursuit of my dollar, I’m being robbed. The air conditioning and heat to keep me comfortable are costing a fortune and to figure the pricing for this utility takes more than an accountant. Even the CIA and FBI together are forbidden to probe the secrets of the utility pricing. My porch as a kid was a lot better. It was open and Mother Nature took care of the air conditioning. Gasoline was also 16 cents a gallon and the service station attendant checked the oil, cleaned the windshield and sweep the floor board of the car.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Recently, I read an article by a Family Physician, of my vintage, in which he described the problems with American Medicine. He claimed that all our problems started with Medicare. He reflected about how he used to do most everything for the patient with a little help from a surgeon and an orthopedist. There weren’t many other specialists in his town, so he was it. If a patient was unable to pay, he simply didn’t charge them. In his world of healthcare, everyone was covered. What he didn’t mention was that the doctor couldn’t do much for the patient. If you got real sick you died. People didn’t go to the doctor very much, they just toughed it out.

I have a little different view. I would argue that Medicare has been a savior for the majority of America’s senior citizens. The problem started in the late 60s with the explosion in technology and the spiraling cost of providing healthcare. Patient’s expectations also changed in that they developed a gluttonous appetite for healthcare. Folks started going to the doctor for everything and expecting miracles. Miracles became possible because of the incredible advances in medicine. Medicine was the fountain of youth. The problem is all of these good things cost a lot.

Medicine became a big business and the goal of hospitals was profit not quality care. Reimbursement for the hospital by all payers further compounded the problem. The emphasis was to move patients in and out as quickly as possible to maximize reimbursement. Payment for doctors favored the procedures they performed. Self-referral gave physicians the ability to greatly profit from owning their own equipment and resulted in unrestrained utilization to reap more dollars. Doctors became unbridled thieves with a license to rob.

American medicine has become a business and is driven by greed. Altruism is dead. I know I am a traitor for writing such things, but it feels good to tell the truth.

So, in my view, the problem is not with Medicare. Physicians, themselves are a big part of the problem. Not all are bad. 99 percent of physicians can spoil the rest.

It’s sure good to be retired from practice and sitting here on the porch. I don’t have to worry about solving the problems anymore. The wonderful field of presidential hopefuls have the solutions. Hillary will likely become the next president and we already know of her success in solving the healthcare dilemma. My prediction is that we will have a single payer system, which is the federal government. It may only be 99 percent bad but that could spoil the rest.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

A friend recently ask me if I had written any blogs about the presidential candidates. My answer was, very little, because there is nothing of substance to write about. A few days ago I did express my concern that Obama may be the AntiChrist.

All the Democrats say pretty much the same thing and the Republicans do likewise. It’s hard to tell one from the other. You can tell Hillary from Obama because one wears a dress. I have trouble telling the Republicans apart because they are all the same color and gender. All of them, to me, seem to be pretty shallow and just want to criticize each other and what the other party is doing. It’s kind of disgusting and I really don’t like to hear all the rhetoric.

I prefer to write about he the celebrities and who they support. It gives me great comfort and assurance to know that Pat Robertson recently came out for Rudy Giuliani and that Oprah and George Clooney back Obama. I’m waiting to see who Paris Hilton and Lindsay Lohan favor. I would also be strongly influenced by Hannah Montana’s choice for president. John Edwards is the best looking of the bunch so I suspect he will be the choice of these younger stars, provided they are sober enough to make a decision. I wish the Republicans would give louder support to Alan Keys to add some color and brains to their field of candidates. Alan Keys was truly my favorite a few years ago, but he is much too smart for the job.

I already know who the various special interest groups back. Transsexuals and gays, of course, will support a Democrat as will most of the blacks and other minorities. Naturally, pro-choice folks and those who favor more social programs will also be Democrats. Christian fundamentalist and rich folks will be in the Republican column as well as most of the retired Middle Americans I encounter in Branson. CEO’s of big companies may give lip service to Democrats but when in the privacy of the voting booth will pull the Republican lever. Most college professors and pseudo-intellectuals feel cool to be like their liberal and communist colleagues at Harvard, so they will be Democrats.
My problem is that no one represents my point of view. I feel very isolated. If Pat Paulsen were still alive I would be on the campaign trail with him. Remember, he was the guy who appeared on the Smothers Brother’s TV Show and was always running for president.
To avoid severe depression, I allow no political talk on the porch and write very little about it in the blog.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

I recently saw an hilarious You Tube Video clip featuring Achmed the Dead Terrorist. This is a ventriloquist act with Achmed as the dummy. He is a skeleton with very large eyes and a scowl on his face. All terrorist must have a frown on their faces. There is certainly no reason to smile in that profession. The Achmed act is a side splitter. One of the funniest things is that Achmed keeps saying to the laughing audience, “silence! I kill you.”
Achmed, of course, is a joke. His frown makes you laugh. Frowning people usually put me in a bad mood. I love people who smile. That’s one of the things I love most about my partner. She always has a smile. Even when she comes out of the post office or the dentist office she is smiling.
I don’t know much about Joel Osteen, the TV pastor of the mega- church in Houston. I do know, he smiles a lot. He always has a fantastic smile and that makes you fell great before he opens his mouth. He was on Larry King a few nights ago and was ask about his smile. Osteen claims it’s because of the positive effect God has on his life. I think this positive attitude is the reason he is so successful. He has a very positive message about how God can improve your life. He doesn’t preach Hell Fire and Brimstone. He talks about a God who is not trying to scare you into believing but makes you excited to be a follower. Unlike Achmed, you don’t have to commit suicide to have the reward of eternal life. It’s a great message to put a smile on your face.
I’m putting a mirror on the porch so all who visit can check their smile. I have also found that keeping the TV off makes it a lot easier to smile. Like laughter, a smile is also contagious. Just looking at someone with a smile makes it easier to turn the corners of the mouth up rather than down. For me it’s easy because I just look at my soul mate.

Friday, November 09, 2007

I got a call from an old friend last night. He now lives in another state and we have little communication. We had a great visit for over an hour. We talked a lot about another time in my life when things seemed bad. Our conversation made me think about how good can come from bad
The old friend and I spent a lot of time talking about all of our mutual acquaintances who had passed on. When you are my age that is a subject that is always a big topic. The first thing I check in the paper everyday is the obituary column, mainly to make sure my name is not there.
This friend and I first met in the military when we were physicians in a big Army Hospital. It was during the Viet Nam War and a terrible time in our history. At the time, it also seemed like a terrible time in my personal history. I had been drafted as a young doctor with a wife and three young children. I was completely uprooted from a very successful family practice. It truly seemed like the end of my life. The event changed the course of my life. I decided to specialize in Radiology. This turned out to be a a very satisfying career change and I have loved the practice of Radiology for over 40 years. During my military time I lived in Hawaii and the Washington DC area. These are two places I have enjoyed the most in my life. Our lives were immeasurably enriched by our living experience in these places and by the acquaintances we made. In my case, something that seemed horrible at the time became a blessing and changed by life for the better. So, if ask, if I had history to repeat itself would I have Viet Nam occur again? I would have to say, from a personal point of view, YES. In my case, all the positive things may not have happened. That is a very selfish point of view. Perhaps a better way to tell the story is that I made something good from something bad, but the fact is that it wouldn’t have happened if it had not been for Viet Nam.

So, the bright side is that maybe good things will happen from the mess we are in today. I can’t stand to hear the news. The economy is about to hit the tank. The housing market is at the bottom because of the subprime interest debacle. The dollar has lost its value and it cost much more to go to a foreign country now. Our imports far exceed our exports. The price of oil is approaching 100 dollars a barrel and the cost of gasoline is through the roof. Consumer spending is down and businesses are feeling the crunch. The Iraq War goes on without an end in sight. Everyone hates us ,and Iran, terrorist, and the entire Muslim world are threatening to annihilate us infidels from the face of the earth on behalf of their loving God. The planet is melting from global warming and the infrastructure of America is crumbling. The highways are filled with 18-wheelers and raging maniacs in little cars trying to kill everyone. China is poisoning our children and perverts, priest, school shooters and other molesters are helping to abolish the entire child population. We are being invaded by immigrants and the English language and the rest of our culture will soon disappear. Once again, a nuclear holocaust looms. To top it all off, we have a group of self-serving, partisan morons running for President. Anyone has to be a moron or crazy to want the job of president. What we need is a combination of Washington, Lincoln, FDR and Jesus to get us out of our mess.

So, I thought Viet Nam was bad. I just hope my children and grandchildren can someday make a positive story for their lives out of today’s events. Hopefully, they can say, Yes, I would have history repeat itself.

As for me, I’m just setting on the porch longing for the good old days of Viet Nam, the Cold War and civil rights demonstrations. At least we had good TV shows in those days, it was safe to go to school, people went to church, the music was pleasing to the ear and most folks knew how to flush a toilet.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

J.F. Brondel invented the flush toilet in 1738. We didn’t get them in my little hometown until sometime around the early 1930s. They didn’t get them on the farms and in the country until the 1950s. Some people still don’t have them. Many people still don’t know how to use them. Even in nice places, people leave a large bowl of their excrement to be flushed by the next user of the toilet. I might expect that at a service station or a ball game where the use of the facility in these places is by lower than average intelligence folks. I have been to nice restaurants and even bookstores where people didn’t flush. It’s sad. Rednecks, terrorist and intellectuals don’t flush, but there are a lot more who just don’t care about others.

Flushing etiquette should be taught in school as early as kindergarten and repeated each year until graduation. It should be taught along with other things such as washing your hands after going to the toilet or before you eat. Flushing etiquette includes flushing just after the first dump hits the bowl to take the excrement and flatulence on down by the suction action from the magical pot. This helps eliminate odor and make it a little less nauseating for the next user. When you are completely through, a courtesy flush is helpful for complete cleansing and as an act of kindness and mercy for the next person in search of relief.
Most toilets used to have a little lever on the side of the bowl or an obvious metal rod which projects from the back of the apparatus that simply needs to be pushed to start the flushing. Many people don’t want to touch these things, thinking they are too filthy. Many times I do the pushing with my foot and it serves the purpose. I have found that a large number of folks are either too stupid or just don’t care and they don’t push the lever.
Another problem is the automatic flushing toilet. Over half of toilets in nice places have this feature. A magical light lets the toilet know when you are through and the flushing is done for you. Sometimes the sensor doesn’t do its sensing and there is no flush. At other times, it has a mind of it’s own and will flush while you are sitting on the pot. When this happens you get a cleansing spray while you try to keep from being sucked down with the other contents in the pot. At times, I have done all sorts of maneuvers in front of the toilet to get the thing to work. I will stand up and sit down several times or move away and even jump on the floor. With this dance someone might think it was some sort of signal to a US Senator for sex. Fortunately, there is usually a little inconspicuous button on top of the mechanism to activate the flush.

Anyway, I wish we had a law that required everyone to flush. It would sure make the world a nicer place. For now, I try to avoid going to a restroom in a restaurant before I eat, so as not to spoil my meal. Maybe I should go before eating and have my appetite spoiled; this would be a good way to lose weight. I am well trained in the art of flushing. My home training has paid off. If I failed to flush at home my partner would make sure I would never flush again; dead people don’t flush.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

In our little village of Salado we have a major event every day except Sunday. Every morning, just after 10:00, the mail has been distributed in the boxes at the Post Office. At that hour the entire population rushes to the parking lot of the Post Office that is about the size of my den. It looks like the landing on Omaha beach on D-Day. It’s a spectacle to behold. The city should charge admission.
Since Salado is somewhat of a retirement community, the average age of the combatant in the Post Office invasion is probably around 102. They saunter in and out of the facility. Many are lucky to find the way back to their vehicle. Most plaster a cell phone to the ear after returning to their car. No one looks as they fire up the motor and back out of the angle parking places. Many will just start the car as they read the days mail. These cars have the backup lights on as if the occupant is ready to leave. But no, that’s just a ploy to fake you off. One never knows when those folks are going to decide to put their car in reverse and blast off. Also, I never know the mood of these people after reading their mail or looking at a bill that may have been higher than anticipated. The news could have been bad, and they are ready to take it out on whomever is in the way. Rear view mirrors are never used and arthritic necks make turning around too painful; so the driver just backs out, totally unaware, in their senile state, that there is another soul on the planet. If you happen to be the one waiting for a space, you are busy praying that your life will be spared, and that your car will escape major damage. All the cars seem to back out at once and another wave is ready to move into the slots. Everyone is handicapped, so those markers have little meaning. Horns are blowing and brakes screeching.
To make matters worse, service in the Post office is by non-smiling government workers who have service as a very low priority. I usually make a dash for my PO box and exit like I’m in a relay race. Some folks use the PO as a place to visit their neighbors and this adds to the congestion.
The congestion is made even worse by the exit onto main street. The letter drop box is located at the exit, so the cars pile up behind the person checking each envelop before depositing it in the box.
It’s truly a war zone and extremely hazardous.
I have started sneaking off the porch just before bedtime and going to the Post Office under cover of darkness. Most of the citizens are in bed by that time and the wreckage from the day’s activity has been cleared from the parking lot. I would like the mail delivered to the house, but my dwelling is located on the wrong side of the street. I would have to put a tacky mailbox in my neighbor’s front yard across the street. For now I’m doing my night run and paying all the bills electronically from the porch.