I just finished a bout of some variety of COVID-19. I don’t know what flavor it was. Omicron? Omega? Strawberry? It honestly tasted like cardboard mixed with seaweed. Not the good kind of seaweed that you get in Japanese restaurants. The kind you find clinging to the toes of oblivious seagulls.
Speaking of obliviousness, I am supposed to get worked up again over the possibility that there could be a big earthquake here. The latest twist on this is I’m expected to worry now about the ensuing tsunami.
It’s not enough anymore that every couple of years I have to be reminded that the building I work in is poised to fall on my head and flatten me like a fly under a flyswatter; now people want to tell me to be very, very afraid of being swept uphill in a most rude way, having already been crushed.
Post-flattening, the experts say I will have at most three minutes to pick myself up, dust myself off and run up a hill. The nearest hill high enough would take five minutes to summit, and only if I sprinted full out and didn’t look back.
Why do they pick now to tell me to be so afraid, just as I’m trying to celebrate getting over the coronavirus? Just as the summer is underway, and I can expect to have to breathe smoke for weeks thanks to wildfires?
The seagulls don’t care. They’ve got all the spare French fries they can eat. Why should they care?
Have you ever looked closely at seagulls? They always have runny noses. They’ve got the sniffles constantly. If you were a seagull, you wouldn’t care about earthquakes, tsunamis or wildfires. You’d just want a couple of Benadryls.
Meanwhile, the Supreme Court is done making a mess of the country for now, mainly because it’s not in session for a while. It feels so good when it stops. Look out for October. Then there will be one month of the court mucking the country up more before the midterm elections finish us once and for all. Unless there’s some kind of miracle.
I keep thinking I’m getting too old for this, but actually I think I was already too old for this years ago, and it’s only just now sinking into my old bones. I need a couple pounds of salve.
I have also been thinking about how the overturning of Roe v. Wade brings abortion law in line with the equal protection provision of the 14th Amendment. Before this, men couldn’t get abortions. Now most women can’t get abortions either. Equality in our lifetime!
Also, making abortion illegal almost everywhere makes it really easy to check whether everyone wanting one gets due process. You’re all due zero process. The Supreme Court says so!
Somebody, besides me, should write a sequel of “Grapes of Wrath.” In the sequel, Oklahomans head to California to seek reproductive care. I smell a Pulitzer for a young, enterprising writer — not me — who likes writing novels (not me). The book will be read in every high school in 30 years, and the movie based on it will win all kinds of Oscars.
Because sequels always work great. Go for it, somebody.
Questions for extra credit and virtual treats (electronic donuts or maple bars):
1. Your governor says the State Patrol can’t interfere with women seeking abortions in this state. Who does he think he is? Some kind of old judge appointed for life? Compare and contrast Gov. Jay Inslee, Marjorie Taylor Greene, a Muppet and a sniffling seagull. When you’re done, pass your answer to your left, unless there is no one to your left, in which case despair, panic and race around the classroom like a chicken sans head.
2. Voters have four months to figure out that Trump and Republicans got us to this point. What are the odds that will happen? Express your answer in terms of an unknown x, a known y and a jar of honey, all wrapped up in a gift package with a bow, suitable for your annoying daughter-in-law. What did your son ever see in her? And why didn’t white women vote for Hillary in 2016? Why did they vote against their own interests? For the honey packages? You guys blew that one.
Please don’t do it again.
Dr. Wes is the Real Change Circulation Specialist, but, in addition to his skills with a spreadsheet, he writes this weekly column about whatever recent going-ons caught his attention. Dr. Wes has contributed to the paper since 1994. Curious about his process or have a response to one of his columns? Connect with him at [email protected].
Read more of the July 13-19, 2022 issue.