Sunday in the Park with Brian: Therapy Session #5 (The Hanging Chad Version)


Despite being out of the country for most of the past week, theoretically engaged in relaxation and responsibility-avoidance, I couldn’t help but reflect on a few things that are rattling about in my head. And here we go…

ONE. Colin Kaepernick takes a stand by taking a seat.

There are many things that can be said, from many different angles, about choosing not to stand during the National Anthem, but it essentially comes down to this: Colin is exhibiting one of the true American principles by speaking out, in his own way, about social injustice. The people who are bashing and booing him for daring to have a different opinion than their own are showing their disrespect for the Constitutional rights of all citizens, thus making Colin’s case even stronger.

TWO. A conversation on the elementary school playground.

Little Brian: “But I don’t understand why you’re voting for Ronald Stump for Class President. He’s a bully and a racist.”

Little Rudi: “He’s going to make the playground great again!”

Little Brian: “But the playground is just fine. In fact, the playground has been doing pretty good for the last eight years, despite what they might be telling you on Fox News Junior.”

Little Rudi: “He’s going to build a wall between us and the fifth graders and make them pay for it!”

Little Brian: “Why in the hell would he want to do that?”

Big Martha, passing schoolteacher: “Watch your language, young man.” Then she went back to not caring about the students and tippling from her flask.

Little Brian: “Sorry. Why in the heck would he want to do that?”

Little Rudi: “Because they steal things and they sniff glue.”

Little Brian: “Do you even know any fifth graders? Most of them are decent people, just like you and me. Well, like me, anyway. You’re kind of an idiot.

Little Rudi: “You’re persecuting me for my religion!”

Little Brian: “I haven’t said a word about your religion. But if idiocy is the new religion, I might have to persecute that.”

Little Rudi: “Ronald is going to deport people like you!”

Little Brian: “Deport me? For what? Where did that come from?”

Little Rudi: “He’s going to get rid of everybody that doesn’t belong here. Everybody that he doesn’t like. And  I don’t like those people, either. It’s nice when you meet someone who hates the same people. God bless America!”

Little Brian: “Do you even listen to yourself when you talk or do you just like the sound of your voice?”

THREE. The desecration of foliage.

Dear Credit Card Companies,

I see that you have just sent me the 376th offer to take advantage of your ability to produce a little plastic rectangle that will allow me to indebt myself for the rest of my natural life. Perhaps you didn’t notice the previous 375 non-responses to your dubious offering, so it appears that I am forced to be the adult in the room and explain a few things about life.

I don’t need you. This might seem a bit harsh and un-neighborly, but let’s get real. The only reason you are attempting to reach out and touch me in the morning is the fact that I already have a credit rating that is higher than most states in this country. I have done the right thing for decades and I pay on time. You are not going to get any interest payments out of me because I clear my balance every month. If you don’t grasp what this means, you clearly went to the wrong school. (Was it a charter school? That might be your problem right there.)

More importantly, those thick packets of promotional material that you keep sending me indicate that you have no concern for the trees on this planet. Paper comes from trees. Did you know that? Probably not, so let me clarify: You are needlessly killing the forests of the world by sending me something I didn’t request. Perhaps your marketing consultants could go on a team-building exercise in what’s left of the Brazilian Rain Forest. Maybe they can learn that “fewer trees = less photosynthesis = we need to stop screwing around with Mother Nature or we’ll all be breathing through those oxygen masks that flight attendants are always babbling about on airplanes even though no one is paying any attention.”

FOUR. Spitting in the wind.

Here’s the deal: Voting for a third-party Presidential candidate in America is currently ineffective, at best, and seriously detrimental, at worst, depending on your political leanings. Either Hillary or Donald is going to win the election in November. Nobody else has a chance. Yes, you might get some type of personal satisfaction by voting Libertarian or Green, and I do grasp the concept behind a “protest” vote, but the only impact such a vote will have is a balance shift between the Democrats and the Republicans. So you might as well vote for one of the two people who can actually prevail. Perhaps someday we can move to a multi-party system, which I fully support as it will chip away at the rigid partisanship that has resulted in congressional gridlock, but that day is not today.

Oh, and a side note to those Democrats who are threatening not to vote because Bernie isn’t the party nominee: I actually was a big fan of Bernie. (Hell, I voted for him in the primary.) But he didn’t get enough votes, it didn’t work out, and Bernie has moved on. You should do the same.

FIVE. The wider shade of fail.

I used to have excellent vision. Truth be told, the first time I had a consult with an optometrist, in my late teens, he was completely bamboozled by my ability to read the fine print on the menu of Dora’s Diner located in the next county. I think he even nominated me for an award of some kind, but I don’t recall the details because no teenager pays any attention to authority figures whatsoever.

Flash forward a bit, and I eventually hit the point where the optometrist evaluations went from “You can see Russia from your house!” to “Are you even aware that I’m standing next to you?” Age progression is an evil thing, ripping away your youthful dewiness and replacing it with dissatisfaction and loss. I skated along quite nicely until my mid-40s before my ocular abilities warranted any measurable type of intervention, but once I started down that mountain, somebody somewhere hit an accelerator button and my vision will never be dewy again.

Still, it’s not all that bad. I actually don’t need glasses most of the time, as my mid-range vision is just fine. (I’m at full-functioning form in most cocktail-party situations.) I only have trouble with things that are very close (the tiny warnings on prescription bottles, the text-dense screen on my phone when it’s giving me details about how I screwed something up, menus written by hobbits) or things that are very far (screens in movie theaters, road signs that are impractically small, the blue-plate special at Dora’s Diner). The whole situation is more randomly annoying than life-threatening. And eyeglasses are so expensive these days that I really can’t afford to be running out to buy a new pair every time my vision degrades from one night to the next morning. (Sound familiar?)

So the strategy is to just keep on carrying on and hope for the best. I’m sur that if things get realy bad, where it becums obviously cleer that I can no longer evan use a keeboard, then I mifht have to lake some changes. But unlit then, I plam to krrp tekking my sorties as long as I camp and purple still want to glisten to them….



29 replies »

  1. Chairs! I’m dying. Okay, I’m not really *dying*, but belly laughter can often take ones breath away. Incidentally, I want to shout from the mountain top that I can’t climb because I’m scared of heights, that I AGREE WITH EVERYTHING YOU’VE SAID HERE. Thank GOD I can count on you to be the one to put into print exactly how I feel about these issues. Thank you. Have a nice day now.

    Liked by 1 person

    • My dearest TiffAnn: I am so pleased that my words had resonance for you. But enough about me. Let’s move on to your avoidance of mountain-climbing. We fully plan to revisit southern Spain AND Gibraltar within our lifetimes, and this time you must go with us, refusal is not an option, so it’s highly imperative that you rid yourself of pesky altitude-based fears. It’s not nearly as bad as it seems, being on top of the world, especially since we now know how to request adult beverages in seemingly fluent Spanish. With just the tiniest smidge of therapy, you should be good to go, so get to packing your bags and wait for us to pick you up on the way to the airport. Chairs!


  2. OMG – aces, right here…aces!
    Friggin’ nailed it!

    1. The people who are sending death threats to Colin Kaepernick are completely missing the point about protesting. “Freedom of Speech” is just that – FREEDOM OF SPEECH. It doesn’t mean, “You can say what you want, but only if my words are coming out of your mouth!”

    2. Supporters of the Drumpf are mindless morons, IMHO. I mean, seriously – a direct question can be asked of them, and the first words out of their mouths are, “But, Hillary…” My ears close up immediately. I wasn’t asking about Hillary, I was asking about the man that they want to put in the White House. When a person derails a conversation in that manner, I feel that they are being disingenuous, at best…

    3. Co-sign. I’m fortunate enough to belong to a credit union, so I get fewer credit card solicitations than others, but still…their raping of forests to advertise their nonsense was old before Y2K – you’d think that they’d learn!

    4. I could go on a novel-long tangent about third-party candidates! To keep it short, I registered to vote on my 18th birthday, and still resided in Alaska at the time. I registered as an Independent. Sadly, ‘Independent’ means ‘Tea-Partier’ these days, which really sucks…I mean, isn’t “Independent Party” an oxymoron, or something similar?

    Fast-forward to today: even though I’ve lived in Alaska, Oregon, and Washington states, respectively, my Independent status has remained secure. Therefore, I have always gotten ballots that are insanely long, because every single viable candidate is listed. Because of this, I research any, every, and all candidates! In every election – not just the presidential!

    Jill Stein is an anti-vaxxer, so that rules her out for me, Green Party or no. Gary “What is Aleppo?” Johnson is a friggin’ moron, and his inability to name even ONE world leader that he respects was beyond the pale. I’ve not found out enough of the other third-party candidate to make a difference to me, so…he gets a big *SHRUG* from me. I can’t even recall his name, and he was mentioned on the news earlier, LOL! Third-party candidates need to make themselves known as much as the Dems and the GOP does…and not just every four years! They need to be consistently visible, and I’ve never seen them do so.

    5. I hate my parents for making me wear reading glasses constantly when I was a kid…I didn’t need them, and they just screwed my vision up worse. I keep thinking that it was my “mommie dearest’s” first attempt to ‘uglify’ me – the glasses were given to me literally two months after my sister was born. She was their blood; I was not, so…there you have it.
    Anywho, my vision without glasses is 20 / 200; 20 / 20 with, and 20 / 15 with contacts…but astigmatism and contact lenses don’t go well together!

    “Menus written by hobbits…” ROFLMAO!

    Wow – this comment of mine was longer than some of my blog-posts! Sorry for being overly verbose, LOL
    *crawls off of soapbox*

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh, don’t be sorry for the verbosity. I love reading epic soapbox comments. It sometimes makes it a challenge to respond, but I’ll give it a run:

      1. It was the death threats that prompted me to do this bit on Colin. It shows how fundamentally jacked-up some people are in this country. You are so afraid of difference that you want to kill somebody? The arrogance and intolerance is overwhelming…

      2. Yep, the default “But, Hillary” response is annoying, and it’s indicative of the overall childish behavior of Trump supporters. They are stunted in their maturity (and knowledge base), and the only defenses they have are pointing fingers and blaming others. IMHO, Trump supporters fall into two categories: those who love him because he’s made it okay to be openly racist and xenophobic, and those who long ago sold their soul to the Republican party and happily swallow the lies being fed them…

      3. And let’s not forget the ludicrous and excessive packaging of products in the supermarket. It’s such a waste. Put my crap in the tiniest package possible and I’m good. I don’t need a box the the size of a laptop when I’m just buying a bottle of antacid.

      4. Here in Texas, if you’re registered as an Independent, you can’t vote in the primaries, which I think is a violation of voting rights. To me, “Independent” means that you don’t adhere to any established party and you should therefore get a ballot (like you describe) that has ALL candidates. An Independent should be able to participate in the entire process. (For the record, I’ve always been registered as a Democrat, which puts me in a minority (for now) in Texas, and there were probably only three of us in the entire state when I lived in Oklahoma.)

      5. I actually avoided getting glasses for a few years after I realized that I might need them, because it’s true that glasses can make your eyes “lazy” and weaker and you’re soon completely dependent on them. But I finally succumbed and now I’m trapped in the cycle. And I can’t wear contact lenses, either, despite multiple attempts. I just can’t get used to them. So I’m the guy who is always wandering around the house, trying to figure out where I left my damn glasses…

      Liked by 1 person

      • Whew – that’s good, then! Sometimes I go off on a tangent, LOL…people usually head for the hills when I allow my opinions to be known!

        The family that I grew up with is firmly and unapologetically Republican, so I’ve heard their excuses all of my life…but, I didn’t want to be “tied” to a party, which is why I registered “Independent” – it’s nice to live in a state that recognizes that voting status. Yeah, Texas is definitely a huge “red” state…from what history has taught me, they weren’t fond of JFK at all, evidenced by the confederate flags they flew there during his pre- (and post?)Presidential election.

        Excessive packaging drives me bonkers – it’s just so damned wasteful! Do I really need a 2’x4′ box when I order a mouse from Amazon?

        On a side note, I actually got my webcam to work – so I can finally test out the vlogging thing! That will either boost my blog numbers…or make people run screaming from my Medusa-like appearance!

        Liked by 2 people

  3. Unfortunately I can totally relate to #5. And it really sucks! I now wear contact lenses where one lens is for up close, the other for far away. Which means everything is blurry! Funny post, and I have to say… I think Kap is an arrogant twit regardless if he’s standing or sitting, 😉 . Chairs! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • My eye doctor keeps trying to convince me to get bifocals, but I just can’t get used to them. So I have one pair of glasses for distance and another pair for the up-close mess. (And a third pair of prescription sunglasses, because you have to look cool yet still see things when you are outside, yes?) I basically have a separate suitcase just for my eye-wear when I travel… 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  4. “purple still want to glisten to them” – I love purple, it definitely does glisten 🙂 🙂 😉

    I’m with you on the eye thing – I am avoiding going back to get retested, but I know I need too as I can’t see shop signs walking down the streets now, and teeny tiny writing should be outlawed – everywhere! Also, my hearing is shot, I really should go back and test hearing aids again, but they make one of my ears hurts so much I just ripped them out when I got home (much like a bra -? a bra for my ear? – although, I suppose you wouldn’t understand that feeling. ALTHOUGH, men really should be forced to wear on just to understand the agony!!!!!!

    Ok, got a bit sidetracked, but your park needed some more soapboxes.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m way past due for my next eye exam, and I keep getting voice mails from my eye doctor reminding me that I’m being a delinquent. I just delete them and go on with my life. As for the hearing angle, I’m still okay there, but I know the day is coming, based on all the other parts of my body that are rebelling. And as for the bra, there’s actually a picture of me in the archives wearing such, during a certain Halloween party where things got a bit out of hand…

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I have so much to write on this wonderful post, so I’m not going to write anything at all…apart from what I just wrote…and the stuff I wrote after that…including this part…and…well you can see where I’m going with this…

    Liked by 1 person

    • And I’m not going to respond at all… except for the part where I already did… and this other part here, where I realized that the first part looked a little skimpy and I needed to flesh things out a bit, even though I’m not really responding… 😉

      Liked by 1 person

      • I thank you for not responding to my non response…apart from when I was responsive when I responded in response to your response.
        All in all seriousnessess, (I just never know where to stop with all those S’s) there was so much about that post that I enjoyed, that to sum it up would have been a post in itself.

        Liked by 2 people

        • I fully understand. There are so many times when I have been enraptured by one of your own posts, all giddy with the impending joy of rhapsodizing over some of the more exquisite lines, only to find that 74 people before me have already pinpointed the exquisiteness with their comments. This leaves me bereft and torn asunder, emotionally fragile, and the only thing I can do is meekly click “like” and move on, unquenched. Wait, I think I just made this comment all about me. Perhaps I should stop reviewing Donald Trump speeches…

          Liked by 2 people

          • Aww Brian, I don’t mind one bit if we talk about you…Okay, enough about you, let’s focus on me for a change.
            If there are 74 people commenting before you’ve had a chance to comment, then you’re reading the wrong blog. But I get what your saying. I’m like that with a lot of blogs and I do hate repeating what someone else has already written. It often leaves me feeling bereft and torn asunder, emotionally fragile, and the only thing I can do is meekly click “like” and move on, unquenched… did you see what I did there?

            Liked by 2 people

  6. Thanks for the update. It’s good to know that there are still some intelligent and reasonable (although visually impaired) folks out there. Even in Texas. From what I hear on MSNBC you are pretty rare. My feelings about a third-party protest vote is fine, protest, but please don’t do it when the stakes are so high. The lesser of two evils is still less evil.
    The Dollar Store has a wide selection of eyewear for, you know, a dollar.
    Take care.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, I’m currently a rarity in Texas, but there are growing signs that things might be changing. (Cross your fingers!) And you’re exactly right. Now is not the time for protest votes. Our country is on the verge of clattering down a path that we may not be able to recover from for decades…

      Liked by 1 person

  7. 1- I read “Sunday in the park with brain.” Ha ha ha. Because, the opposite could totally happen. 2 – “You can see Russia from your house!” – Thigh slap! That was funny. 3 – Good luck with the elections. I notice that most people aren’t concerned about the near state of war between Russia and the US so I’m thinking the electorate might be not too interested in a brainiac for president. In high school, someone who hated me accidentally voted for me to be head of student body. I didn’t win, so whatever, but I remember her saying to my face, “I hate you so I voted for [my name].” I thanked her. You saw what happened with Brexit: “Leaving the EU is bad!” People don’t realise that the mind interprets this as, “Leave the EU. It’s bad!” Same principle applies with this current election.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I can’t tell you how many times I would get emails at work that started out “Dear Brain”. It was amazing, and after a while I got used to it, but it’s a clear sign that so many people don’t pay attention to details. Perhaps it’s just the result of the huge mass of information that is out there, and people are overwhelmed, but I consider it laziness. Yes, American citizens should be concerned about Russia. At the same time, we have a presidential candidate who is basically kissing the ass of Vladimir Putin. It’s a crazy, surreal world. By the way, I was elected class president in high school. You didn’t miss anything… 😉

      Liked by 2 people

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