Monday, December 11, 2023

A Better World

The factory kids are getting ready to leave for the holiday break.  I missed the big turkey fry the night that Red came over.  There is a party for the workers at my old boss's house tonight.  The girl who barely asked me out wanted to know if I was going.  "I wasn't invited," I said.  "You're always invited," she wrote back.  I'd like to see everyone, but I don't think it would be appropriate to just show up.  Besides, she is not the only woman who has asked me if I was going.  I've left the company party before for similar reasons.  More than once.  A weird dynamic emerges at company parties.  It is the subject of many an old men's magazines cartoons.  

"Men's magazines?  What's that, grandpa?"

Yea.  It's a perfect new world.  For instance, this morning when I got up in the dark and turned the light on in the kitchen, I looked to see if there were any ants moving about.  I've been having trouble with Sugar Ants, as they are called.  I've just about ridden myself of them, but from time to time I see one or two.  This morning, no ants.  I wondered if ants, though, were active in the night.  In olden times, I would have had to research this in a set of house encyclopedias and/or go to the downtown library to see if I could find the answer in the index of a book I found to be suitable in the card catalog.  Rather, I Googled it.  What a fucking miracle that is.  The old world, though, was much more mysterious.  Much was unknown, at least in the average household.  You can imagine a kid asking his mother if ants were active at night.  

"No, honey, they are like good little boys and girls and they go to bed when the lights go out."

Then dad would mansplain.  

"Actually, I've seen the little buggers working away at night in the tool shed when I've gone out.  Ants never sleep." 

And so the kid would have no definitive answer.  In fact, he may never find out.  

When I was in college, there were bars on campus and people smoked in the classroom.  Actually, at the university, there were two, a Rathskeller and another called The Orange and Brew. When they put up the "No Smoking" signs in the classrooms, people still smoked if the prof did.  I had one guy who would begin his lectures while he folded up a piece of paper into an origami ashtray.  When he lit up, so would everyone else.  Hard to believe?  When I first got hired at the factory, I shared an office with a smoker.  Yup.  Smoking in the office.  Sounds like "Mad Men," right?  

What the fuck happened?

Kids can neither smoke or drink on campuses now.  That is a good thing, surely.  All of this corresponds to the disappearance of the Loch Ness Monster and The Abominable Snowman.  Even Uri Geller, the man who could bend spoons with his mind, has been shown to be a hoax.  

The world's a better place.  

Oh, and yea, ants are active all day and night.  They take very short naps several times a day, but while one ant naps, the rest are still going at it. I looked it up.  

Where you can go to the bathroom on college campuses is still up in the air.  And college presidents are getting grilled about hate speech on campus by a group who think it's O.K. for the president of the United States to call for violence against them.  Why haven't I read that little quip somewhere in one of the "liberal media" outlets?  The whole thing only goes to show, though, how colleges are ruled by "significant parties," i.e. influential wealthy donors.  Don't go pissing them off or you'll lose your head.  

I've had drinks with my own factory head about this very thing.  She told me it was like being in a jungle nuthouse.  She even changed her political party to keep her job.  I pissed off some big donors once with a documentary I made about developers and the environment.  The V.P. called me in to tell me so.  Then he said I needed to show up to a political event that night and make nice.  So that night, I put on my version of the monkey suit--Oxford shirt, khaki pants, crocodile belt and loafers, and a blue blazer--and made my way to the meet and greet.  The V.P. introduced me to some middle-aged women.  They were already in their cups.  I don't think they knew anything about the documentary, but they were interested in me.  One of them said, "You look like a soccer player.  I'll bet you have nice legs.  Take off your pants so I can see." 

I looked at the V.P.  He didn't look as if he was interested in seeing my legs.  In truth, I did have one of those hip pro soccer player haircuts.  Maybe that was the thing that did it.  

When that was over, I told him I thought I had made a good impression.  He smirked and told me I could go.  

As you might have already guessed, it was a Republican Party thing.  I don't know why it is, but those republican women are always pretty hot.  

Just saying.  

I didn't smoke in college, though, and I barely drank beer.  I was a vegetarian hippie who played sports and was enamored with books and ideas.  My roommate and I took off our clothes and ran naked through the streets when streaking was at its peak.  Real college activists, we were.  And Thursday nights were still "Legs Night" at the local bars.  

"What's streaking, grandpa.  What's 'Legs Night"?"

Yea, the world is now a much better place.  It makes me wonder why so many people are so unhappy and pissed off?  We've nearly perfected the goddamned place and here we are living in the Tower of Babel.  

In other news. . . after wasting a beautiful Saturday, I was very productive on Sunday.  Maybe it was all that sleep I had the day before.  I won't bore you with the productive part, but man, I was a at it.  And I made a chicken and bean with rice dinner for mother to boot.  It is her birthday on Wednesday, and I need to make a good day for her then.  I will buy her flowers and a cake, take her to lunch, give her gifts, and get us each a brand new iPhone Pro 15.  Tell me, now. . . am I a good son?  

All of that. . . and you'd think I'd have. . . oh. . . never mind.  

We are two weeks from Christmas.  I couldn't be more excited.  I'm going to need to make more C.S. Advent Calendar pics, though.  I am damn near out.  

I figure you'll need the lyrics for this one.  When I went to the FedEx store to ship my Liberator to its maker, I had to wait while the clerk packed up a bunch of china for the kid in front of me.  Christmas songs were playing overhead, and the nice man working there would occasionally sing along.  When this one came on, though, he only hummed.  "Sure," I said, "you can hum it, but let's hear you sing it."  He looked at me and laughed.  "If you asked a group of people to sing this song, I'll bet that they all could hum it but none of them would know the words."  

"I'll bet you're right," I laughed back.  We were having fun.  You can, too.  Sing along like with Mitch. 

"What's 'Sing Along with Mitch,' grandpa?"

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