Saturday, July 24, 2010
A Month of Bad-Hair Days
If ever a month seemed to have a hex on it, this was it for me. It all started when the space bar on my computer keyboard jammed. The Internet still functioned, but all typing, e-mail sending, and blogging ceased operations, until I could get new keyboard. I went to the VA Tech bookstore, but no luck. Try the branch on campus, the sales clerk suggested. I asked if he would telephone them first, to see if they had what I needed, or could order it. Somewhat haltingly, he pulled out a cell phone from his pocket.
Finally he got a human at the other end. It seemed that, yes, it could be ordered, but there wasn't one in stock. I asked to borrow the phone to complete the transaction. Meanwhile, the clerk whose phone I was using wandered off, and he didn't come back. Not wanting to just abandon the phone on the counter, I went looking for him, but he was nowhere to be found. I asked some girls on the other side of the store if they knew where he had gone.
"To the hospital," they said. "You're kidding," I said. "What's wrong with him?" "We have no idea," they answered. All of this happened within the frame of some five minutes. I handed over the cell phone, but was very rattled. Later that day, an email arrived from a neighbor I don't know who lives on my road, to alert people that her house had been broken into and robbed. A few other e-mails followed, with accounts from neighbors of a "dark-haired woman" who was knocking on doors, trying to sell an alarm system. The neighbors all described her as behaving oddly. I had a talk with the police, who were only mildly reassuring. The e-mails stopped coming, and after a day or two, things settled down again, but I was rattled.
Then, I turned on the computer only to find it was black. I thought it had suddenly died, until I noticed none of the lamps nor the radio in the same room were working either. An electrician had to be summoned. He solved the problem with a flick of a switch. Problem was, you had to know which switch to flick. A day or two of calm followed, until my cleaning lady announced that the basement carpet downstairs was wet. The heat pump man had to be summoned--as the air conditioning system had sprung a leak. O happy days. He soon fixed it. But after that, I had to find someone to come and vacuum up the water from the carpet. All this causing much anxiety and costing several hundreds of $.
None of this compares, I know, to the daily travails of the poor people living in the beleaguered Gulf. The gusher has been temporarily capped, so for the moment at least, the Nazi oil is being kept at bay. But a storm is on the way, and clean-up crews have had to stop working and evacuate the waters. Drilling of the relief well is on hold.
Meanwhile, Obama continues to labor on his St. Catherine's Wheel. Every piece of reform legislation the Democratic Congress manages to pass, causes his poll number to drop. Talk about Theater of the Absurd! Republicans have successfully demonized him as the devil incarnate who is destroying our country. Michelle Bachmann, one of his leading detractors, said recently, "I think all we should do [when Republicans take over the House in November] is issue subpoenas and have one hearing after another and expose all the nonsense that has gone on." How are they getting away with this? It makes you scratch your head in disbelief, until you consider the statistic I discovered this week: only 40% of Americans have a college degree. Stupidity combined with political viciousness can make for a heady cocktail.
I hope your month has been better!