Monday, February 13, 2012

Things I learn walking my dog

This morning I walked my dog, Bela (who is a bad dog we love ultimately), down on the old Canal Greenway and we were assaulted by the songs of a myriad of birds, more birds than I've heard since September.

Even Bela stopped several times and listened. It was a concerto that sounded to me a lot like Spring.

I hope they didn't come back too soon, for their sakes. I don't want birds whose timing was off to die on a February Connecticut night. But, for my sake, I hope their centuries of DNA told them right and soon all the birds will be back. I've missed them. I lean toward Spring....

Then, at 5:30 or so, when night was coming on hard--though later each day by a few minutes (God bless the tilting of the earth back toward the sun in the Northern Hemisphere)--I walked Bela down on Main Street, hoping he'd do his business somewhere close to the huge house of the bad man who used to live across the street from us and yelled, unmercifully, at his kids. I'd have picked it up, but I don't like that man and like that Bela often poops near his house. (Once, a few years ago, he came out when I was walking Bela and yelled at me. He yelled something like this: "Your dog always urinates and defecates near my house! I want that stopped! My children smell it in their rooms!) Nevermind that I had a plastic grocery bag in my pocket and nevermind that picked up dog defecation and un-picked up dog urination couldn't possibly be smelled on the second floor of his house. And never mind that I heard him yell equally irrational things at his kids when they lived across the street. Never mind all that--who in the hell says "defecates' and 'urinates' when they are angry and yelling???

If he has enough self-restraint to not say "shits and pisses" when he's yelling, why doesn't he have enough self-restraint not to yell at a neighbor or his kids? Go figure....

We walked down toward the Town Hall and three of the Tea Party guys who are there several drive times a week were in front of Town Hall.

They had three signs.


Well, I voted for Obama before and will again. I'm a 'yellow dog democrat', but believe you me, our President is not a 'socialist'. I actually wish he was. He's a moderate Democrat, much more moderate than me. I can't for the life of me understand that sign or why someone would write it or hold it.

The second said, EXTREMISM IN THE CAUSE OF FREEDOM IS NO VICE. That's a quote from Barry Goldwater. I was a devotee of Barry Goldwater when I was 17 years old. I was a convinced conservative back then. I even spray painted AUH2O on several public buildings, which meant I could have been arrested for vandalism except my father's two brothers owned most of the little town where I lived and being a Bradley was license to deface.

Then I heard Barry Goldwater promised to privatize the Tennessee Valley Authority, a government entity that provided cheap electric power for a vast swath of Appalachia. That he thought a private company would be as generous as the government had been woke me up.

That's when I grew up and became a Liberal.

I didn't mind the Goldwater quote at all. I actually believe it, just not the way the Tea Party guys do.


Bela and I stood there for 10 minutes or so, watching the three old guys (all of which, I imagine, haven't sent back their Social Security checks or torn up their Medicare cards!) try to hold three signs and two American flags between them.

It was drive time and Cheshire's two major industries are Garden Centers and traffic--mostly on Route 10--Main Street to natives--so Bela and I waited and watched and listened.

Only 4 cars honked in 10 minutes out of several hundred that passed by. An unscientific poll at best. But it gave me faith.

Then, here's the awful thing. The three guys left, gathering their flags and signs and I watched them go. They had parked in the parking lot of Town Hall!!!!

Wait a frigging minute! If you "hate government" and yet you stand on Town property and park in a Town Hall parking lot, isn't that a bit hypocritical. Do you hate the ground you stand on and the parking lot you use? The Town of Cheshire is, last time I looked, a organ of GOVERNMENT, that hated, reviled thing. When people 'honk' do you want the sidewalk to disappear and your cars to fall into a black hole because both are 'government property'?

Don't ever try to tell me, not ever, never in anyway, that IRONY isn't writ large in the world we live in.....

And I, for one, am glad about that.

Irony makes the world go 'round so far as I can see....

Honk if you love IRONY.....

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some ponderings by an aging white man who is an Episcopal priest in Connecticut. Now retired but still working and still wondering what it all means...all of it.