Thursday, December 8, 2011

Jolly thoughts for a cold dark morning with steam rising on the ponds and ducks in the water-- Not!

Bah Humbug.

No, this is not a Christmas rant. I've got no gripe with Christmas this morning. My gripe is with morning.

Morning, I hate you.

Especially in winter, I hate you. I hate waking up in the dark, stumbling around in the dark to get the coffee pot fired up. Looking for my shoes, rubbing my eyes red, the taste of elephant hooves in my throat, and not even getting to dip a fishing rod in the water as a reward.

Ah, morning. A rod in the water, hot coffee in the Thermos, the promise of crappie for lunch. Dream on.

Ducks leave wide sparkling wakes on the big pond off Highway 45. Steam rises and the sun is barely above the horizon. Yes, but no joy for me. I left my camera at home and I don't have time to fish. Drive on by, big boy.

Instead, I have a final exam to give. Which these days means presiding over a room of 30 people who feel exactly as I do about morning; me feeling their angry eyes for interrupting their progression to the credential they believe they need to have a decent life. As a tiny reward, I'll show them "Who's On First" from "Naughty Nineties," knowing they could find it themselves on You Tube any time they wanted, anyway.

Some mornings I feel useless. I feel like life has passed me on the highway and decided not to take a picture.

A few minutes later, I'm sitting in a coffee shop with fake logs in the fireplace, unlit, watching the sun come up over Taco Bell and the early arriving employee who unlocks the door then sucks down one last cigarette in the cold air on the sidewalk outside. Man, what those gloves must smell like after a few of those morning heaters! A chubby carpenter works his way into a pair of brown quilted coveralls. He’s got a cranberry colored awning to fix this morning.

It's just 8:15 but the Taco 12-Pack is back and we've got to get ready.

And I'm ready for another day of murder, abuse and mayhem in the early years of the new century. Child abuse is much in the news these days -- and the accused are the he-men of the big time sports world. Funny thing about child abuse, in the 1800s it didn't officially exist. The first case was brought by the ASPCA. That's right, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. The first case required an 11-year-old girl to be declared an animal for the court to hear the case.

Then child abuse kind of went away until an article in a respected medical journal in the 1960s declared it a disease. It was everywhere for a while, then it kind of went away again.

And now it is back with a vengeance. Priests and coaches have made it news this time. And, do not take me wrong, it should be. I just wish I wasn't here to witness it. I just wish I could have gotten in and out of this life without knowing such a thing existed. Without watching it endlessly crawl across the bottom of the television screen while I'm trying to lose myself in a basketball game.

Selfish, eh? I stand accused.

Well, it will be one of those days if I turn on a television or read a newspaper over somebody's shoulder or click on a newspaper Web page. Nothing but static. Stomach turning crawls, bright faced talkers bringing horrific news and all the brain killer static of modern life. The Republicans will be after Obama -- they remind us of our first and second wives who could find something objectionable in everything we did. And murders in bucolic Kansas City will be reported. Dead bodies discovered. Road rage pile ups. Some favorite food found unhealthy. Tony will be busting out the exclamation points and big healthy mostly uncovered breasts. Otherwise, meanness and stupidity will be everywhere.

Have a good day, sir. Would you like a bag for all that stuff?

--Lofflin, just a bit out of sorts. Be glad yours is not the next paper I grade...

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