Magness Lake, in Heber Springs, is a magnet for swans
Ah, man, I'm feeling gloomy this week. I don't know what it is. Maybe the heat. Maybe suffering by people I care about that I can't do anything to help. I think Why them? and feel bad toward the Grand Designer for the amount of chance that weaseled into the scheme, and how little merit counts for, and I wallow guiltily like an old slug at the thought of how evolution has cooked furiously for ages now to bring about a circumstance in which a Dick Morris finds fulfillment in sucking the red paint off of some old whore's toes.
It's the dog days, it's nut season, cranks and gasbags galore, when wells dry up and ponds scum over, snakes molt and skunks go mad, when the dog-peter gnats gather at dusk into great horrid clouds, and I'm needing a shot of kickapoo courage to finish out the string here. Some sort of Gatorade for the soul, or in this case more like Geritol. In brief, I need you to tell me something to cheer me up.
Tell me the one again with the punchline, "Hey, Hugh, get off of McCloud!"
Tell me, and make me believe it, that some bright morning when this life is o'er, I'll fly away. And that they won't charge me $30 a bag for my luggage.
Tell me you'll pull the plug when it's time, and if Tom Delay and the Bush boys come slinking around wanting to write writs and pass bills to keep the meat warm, you'll run them off with a shotgun.
Tell me it really is a Communist plot by the FFA boys and square dancers of Saline County to take over Nuthouse City and Sundown.
Tell me that acai berries will save me from whatever mortal pestilence is even now gnawing at my vitals. Or peanut butter, which is what saved Lily Peter, or so she claimed, slowly mummifying the old flesh for a hundred years, with it still trying to go on, probably to this day, after the light in the attic finally went out.
Tell me that one of the deer overrunning Eureka will try out for the next Passion Play Jesus. Tell me he might not get the part on account of being theatrically overqualified.
Tell me there'll be no televangelists in Beulah Land.
Tell me we're really not going to make even worse asses of ourselves in November than we did in 1994. That by the miraculous intervention of some sane and decent deity, the loons amuck will snatch defeat from election's jaws, and in its closest call of the epoch, civilization as we know it will barely, improbably scrape by. Maybe until Christmas.
Tell me the others in his cellblock got together and gave Bernie Madoff a good warm rosy introduction to the red-belly.
Tell me that the South is a better place than a bluebelly might think from hearing the morons who presume to speak for it in the hallowed halls. Except South Carolina. It's not better. It's worse. So is Georgia. Georgia is beyond bad. It's just one big Shreveport. It's God's vengeance on us for slavery. And Texas — lord, yes. And ... . Well, OK, let's just skip this one. Say our prayer and move along.
Tell me that Percy Dovetonsils yet lives, evidenced by the movie review in the local daily last week that had this soaring passage: "Tone deaf and mawkish, the movie stands as a vulgar monument to the New Age tendency to trivialize the numinous and to misread Emersonian American Individualism as permission to take whatever one deems essential to the nourishment of Self." Isn't that something? Don't it make you want to hitch your thumbs under your armpits and just crow? Campho-Phenique!
Tell me that Phyllis Schlafly's boy who helped compile the Conservapedia saw the movie "Throw Momma From the Train" and thought it was a good idea and did it.
Tell me that Dan Quayle's boy to show his independence spelled it potatow.
Tell me that the current bedbug plague has infested all the icky romper rooms of The Family on C Street in Washington D.C.
Tell me that Mormons know the real score but are just too well-mannered to say so.
No mas! This just isn't going to work.. The 2008 bestseller titled "Is It Just Me or Is Everything Shit?" pursued a more high-minded coping strategy, so I might give that a try. When my granddaughter was two years old — two years old! — she said to her grandmother, "Marney, has the whole world gone mad?" And we were obliged to tell her, " Yes, Anna, it has."
Because it has. And she deserved to hear the truth, even if she was just two. If you start lying to them when they're two, what hope is there? Tell them the truth and at least they'll start out with a glimmer of what they're up against. Being undeluded won't do her any good, of course. Won't make her feel any better. Flies and Skinners all day in the hot sun was about all that ever helped me, but that was a while back.
Bob Lancaster, one of the Arkansas Times longest and most valued contributors, retired from writing his column last week. We’ll miss his his contributions mightily. Look out, in the weeks to come, for a look back at some of his greatest hits. In the meantime, here's a good place to start.
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