Posted in animals, dogs, Election, Politics

No, No, No, and No

Photo Courtesy of Public Domain Pictures

One day, I threw some slightly stale bread into the yard for the birds that love to forage there. Within minutes after I got up the back porch stairs, and into the house, a critter, much like the one in the photo above, its cheeks stuffed with as much of the bread as it could gather, was on my porch scratching at the back storm door.

I rapped gently on the glass, hoping to scare it off, but it wasn’t fazed. It lifted onto its haunches, begging for more.

At that time, our Sheltie-Cocker-Beagle mix was queen of the yard, and went after squirrels with a ferocity that never failed to surprise, as she was affectionate to a fault with all humans. As soon as she caught sight of the critter, though, her predatory instincts went into action, and she started to bark. That ended the squirrel’s greedy campaign.

***

I stopped signing petitions in 2016, after I realized none of them accomplished anything, except providing the host organization with enough data on me to become a pest.

Despite checking all the “No emails” in my email settings, repeatedly, I should add, and unsubscribing to future emails, also repeatedly, the requests for more signatures and donations kept pouring in.

That’s when I marked all of them as Spam, and let my email software do the rest.

This year, conditions being as they are, my husband and I decided to give additional support to our favorite charities and candidates.

That’s when this happened.

Phone: Ring, ring.

Me: Hello?

Male: Hello, is this Barbara?

Me: Who is this?

Male: I’m with ****, and I’m calling because as you know, we need your help more than ever. So, could we count on you for a monthly pledge of $1,000?

Me: I’m sorry, but I gave what I could give. So, no.

Male: But (prepared blather…).

Me: I said, no. I wish I could help, but I can’t.

Male: I hate to be persistent, but…

Me: (Interrupting) This is a difficult time. There’s a pandemic. Everyone is hurting.

Male: I realize that.

Me: Then you should also realize there’s a limit to how much people can give.

Male: (Blather blather blather, gimme gimme gimme, shameless attempts at emotional manipulation…)

Me: (channeling my mother) Listen, honey, I know you need funds. That’s why we gave you as much as we did. But now, rather than showing respect for that generosity, you’re badgering me, and addressing me by my first name when you don’t even know me, an assumption of familiarity I find frankly insulting and offensive.

Male: But…

Me: NO. ENOUGH. All I want to hear from you at this point is, Thank you for your support, Ma’am.

Male: (hesitating, a few seconds, then) Thank you for your support.

Me. Ma’am. Say it.

Male: Ma’am.

Me: Thank you for calling. You have a nice day now.

***

Sometimes, the only way to deal with troublesome critters is to bark at them.

©2020 All Rights Reserved

Posted in history, human nature, Irony, poetry, Politics

Provenance

“Picture of Dorian Gray” by Ivan Le Lorraine Albright,

His car belonged to a Nazi.
Not a would be,
Or wannabe,
Or could have been,
Or clone,
But a Nazi high in rank,
A name you’d know,
And I forgot
The minute he smiled and said it.

He keeps it under wraps in his garage
To shield it from harsh winters,
Hungry salt;
But brings it out when sunlight burns
Each Independence Day,
To drive in the parade.
Crowds wave and sweat,
And he waves back,
Honking,
Drowned out by marching bands.

Afterward, he parks it by his house,
And beams as neighbor’s children
Ooh and ah,
And beg to climb inside.
He doesn’t balk, but
Makes them wash their hands
Of sticky cream,
And cheesy dust,
With disinfectant wipes.
He is insistent on this step,
Of course,
To keep the car pristine,
Interior unstained—
As if it could.

©2019 All Rights Reserved

Posted in Election, human nature, Patriotism, Politics, presidential election

Reality

I’m always amazed when people pin their hopes on others: mates who will fulfill all their needs; children who will take care of them in old age; siblings who will call regularly or visit, or extend invitations to visit them; friends who will be kind, thoughtful, and noncompetitive; businesses that will conduct affairs honestly; and especially, politicians who will put country over party.

If I’ve learned anything over the many decades I’ve lived, it’s that more often than not, reality falls short of ideals: mates fulfill some needs but not others; children have valid (and, sometimes, not) reasons for being unavailable; siblings forget to call, or have valid (and, sometimes, not) reasons for not visiting, or extending invitations; friends become thoughtless or competitive; businesses care more about profit than product safety; and politicians…well…..

We can complain endlessly about the way things are, voice our anger and frustration over the selfishness, greed, entitlement, and epidemic cruelty and corruption, demand justice, and continue to pin our hopes on investigations and investigators, courts, judges, and others to set things right, but in the end, it falls to us.

It’s like the empty toilet paper roll in your house, the one that seems left just for you, the one with several useless shreds hanging off it. You can rant at your kids and mate all day about responsibilities, the importance of considering others who need to do their business, and even stick reminders all over the house and washroom; but in the end, you’ll just wind up frustrated and angry.

So maybe it’s time to accept reality, the same reality we accepted in the 2018 election. November 3, 2020 is 587 days away. Let’s replace that roll.

©2019 All Rights Reserved