And now's as good a time as any to panic. We're talking about running around in a tin foil hat, talking gibberish, panic. If Romney wins we'll be forced to move to Romania, or Liechtenstein, or someplace where the women wear short skirts and the Republicans aren't running the country. We like to think we're apolitical--all politicians are inveterate liars, and they have only one interest, and that's their self-interest--but when push comes to shove we loath and fear the Republicans over the Democrats, because they really do favor the rich and like wars and would just as soon see the poor get eaten by sharks as help them. Why, we might actually be forced to cast a ballot in this atrocity, something we'll do holding our nose and with the feeling that we're sullying ourselves by choosing one inveterate scamp over another. Then again, our ballot in DC means nothing anyway, so we might get away with hiding under our bed election day and praying that the American people--who have a knack for picking monsters and losers (they voted for George W. Bush not just once, but twice, for Christ's sake)--don't do the insane thing again and vote for Romney. Lord help us if they do. Obama is no great shakes--he'd have made our day if he'd tried Bush and Cheney for war crimes and torture, but no, he had to "look to the future"--but he's clearly the lesser of the two evils in this campaign. If he loses, woe betide the American republic. We'll have another rich man for President, and we know what rich men want. To float all boats, by sinking the little ones. God help us all.
For your too kind comment on our piece in The Vinyl District. It was sweet of you. As for our attending an England Dan and John Ford Coley show at an amusement park in the midseventies, what can we say? We did it for a girl. Namely our first love--unrequited of course--Darlene Shrader. We did all kinds of insane things, including taking square dancing lessons, for her. We remember sitting at her house--she lived above the railroad cut that separated the foundry from the cemetery, and actually lived on Cemetery Street--listening to John Denver records. That is some sick shit there. But we'd have done anything for her, including joining the Catholic Youth Organization even though we were a dyed in the wool Methodist. We attended retreats, even went to mass. We'd have become a priest for her, that's how crazy in love we were. We never kissed, that's how chaste our love was. We wanted to--we weren't nuts--but she was so sweet and innocent that the situation never arose. No, we just listened to John Denver records and soaked up her beauty and dreamed of the day we would be together forever. We made excuses to pass her house hundreds of times per day, especially after we got our driver's license and got access to our old man's orange and black ex-gas company truck. Anything for a glimpse of her, and her otherworldly beauty.
What happened? We're still not sure. We suspect it had to do with our discovering drugs. Fellow CYOer Hughie Redding turned us on to pot, and something changed. We went off to college, and that was all she wrote. When we came back on weekends we still saw her, but she was older and we were older and we'd lost the urge to hang out at the CYO, preferring instead to hang out with our new pal Dan Diehl and talk about Jack Kerouac while seeking all the wild kicks his books promised. There was booze and pot and a whole wild America we wanted to know, and Darlene just kind of got lost in the shuffle.
But we still wonder, all these years later, what our life would be like had we settled into a real relationship with her. Would we be bald, with grandkids, and living on Cemetery Street? An insurance agent? Would we still be listening to John Denver records? Or would we have sooner or later gone our separate ways, into a world that doesn't understand the kind of love we shared, the kind that takes you to England Dan and John Ford Coley concerts out of sheer, heartrending obsession?
Don't let this get around, but our dog Rudi gets stranger and stranger. He already hates everyone--he's the archetype and inspiration for Kurtz the Dog in that respect--but he's taken on some new habits that lead us to suspect he's more than just vicious, he's crazy. Take last night. He retreated to a closet--something he's never done before--and commenced barking. Now barking is something Rudi loves doing--it's his vocation so to speak--but going into a closet to do it strikes us as sheer bonkers. He's also taken to licking our face to the point where it's sopping wet. In this he seems to be imitating our other dog, Maddie, who loves to lick our nostrils. The thing about Rudi, though, is that he doesn't--and don't ask us how we know this, we just do--seem to have a clue as to why he's doing it. It's simply beyond his control.
You get a dog and you get what you get. What we got with Rudi was a dog who hates the world but loves us to distraction. And for all his bravado, he's a big chicken at heart. Take thunder. At the first peal, he's under the bed, cowering. The same goes for fireworks. In Germany on New Years Eve, we had to sedate the poor guy. Unlike our other dog, however, he displays real courage. Maddie barks like mad at other dogs, but let them approach her and she practically crawls up our leg.
Despite their eccentricities, we love both dogs madly. You might even say we love them for their eccentricities. Sure, they drive us to distraction with their maladatation to existence, but they make up for that fourfold with their sheer unadulterated love for us. You should see the way they go mad everytime we stop over at Mrs. UF ex's for a visit. It makes our heart grow four times larger.
So we accept their odd and unsocial behavior, and we love them just the way they are. It's what makes pets so great. They love you unconditionally, and you love them unconditionally in return. Sure they'll drive you nuts, but it doesn't matter. They're the better people, furrier and smaller, and when they're on your lap just looking for affection, you find yourself wishing the whole world could be just like them.
We're not sure whether it's symptom of depression or just an urge to see some All-American ultraviolence, but we watched game after game and derived great satisfaction from it. We do know that it lowered our IQ by a good ten points, listening to the announcers constantly saying the same things over and over again like "they've got to chew the clock" which led Mrs. UF ex--with whom we watched one game--to say "Wouldn't it be great if there was a guy on the sideline who job it is to chew on a big rubber clock?" Anyway, we fell asleep watching the late night game and woke up on the sofa and it was still going on and we had to fight the urge to watch the end of it and go to bed. That's how bad a case we have of it. For years we didn't watch football--didn't watch any sports--and those were our years of highest intelligence. We read Proust and lied through our teeth about reading Kant--we never got past page of any of his books--and went to graduate school and generally didn't miss football at all. Then one day it returned--like a bad virus--and now we look forward to the football season the way we once looked forward to reading a difficult book. Speaking of which, we haven't picked up a book in well over a week, which is a first in our adult life. The books we have we don't want to read and there's no bookstore in our area, so we make do watching bad movies that we can watch--along with football--thanks to the fact that we just got cable. And we don't know what this all means except that we're dumbing down to a new level of dumbness that doen't bode well for our ability to hold intelligent conversations, or write intelligible sentences. And despite that we're looking forward to Monday Night Football tonight, so there may be no hope for us--we'll soon be reduced to the level of intelligence of your average Bud Light commercial, of which we've watched hundreds over the past several days.