Friday, September 6, 2013

AT SEA IN A LEAKY ROWBOAT

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by Burt Prelutsky

Every day in just about every way, the world keeps getting spookier. Not necessarily in a Stephen King/Dean Koontz kind of spooky way, but more in a Three Stooges nonsensical sort of way.

For instance, we had to replace a dishwasher recently. We went to Sear’s, got a Kenmore, and a couple of days later a guy delivered and installed it. That’s certainly the way the system is supposed to work. But a few days later, I received a notice from the L.A, Department of Building and Safety, informing me that I had to make an appointment so that a city inspector could come out and make certain the job was done correctly. That entailed my making a call and dealing with a couple of electronic voices before reaching an actual person, who let me know that I had to allow for a six-hour window, but would be receiving a call the following morning that would narrow it down to a two-hour time frame.

As promised, I received the call. The inspector would be showing up between 11 and 1. And, so, he did, at 12:56. I led him to the kitchen. He took one look at the exterior of the dishwasher, said it looked okay to him and turned to leave.

“Hold on,” I said. “That’s it? You only needed to see that we had it?”

“There’s really nothing to check. It’s like plugging in a toaster.”

Funny how some people insist they don’t get anything for their tax dollars. How about peace of mind? Don’t try telling me or my wife that we won’t be sleeping better tonight knowing that it wasn’t a figment of our imagination; we’ve now had it confirmed by a city inspector that we actually have a brand new dishwasher!

Speaking of kitchen appliances, in 1957, the U.S. and the Soviet Union agreed to host cultural exhibitions in each other’s country in order to foster greater understanding. In 1958, the Russians held theirs in New York City. In 1959, we held ours in Moscow. The main attraction was an entire house filled with labor-saving appliances, all of it supposedly affordable to the average American family. The highlight of the event, however, was the meeting between the Soviet premier, Nikita Khrushchev, and Vice-President Richard Nixon.

Khrushchev allegedly told Nixon that the Soviet Union would eventually bury the U.S., with some Americans thinking he meant it in an existential way, but apparently he only meant that America would succumb to the glory of socialism. Nixon allegedly countered, insisting that the Soviet Union would inevitably adopt capitalism. Who would have ever guessed they’d both be right?

Speaking of which, under Obama, the richest 7% of Americans have seen their wealth increase by 28% since 2008, while the other 93% have seen their net wealth decrease by 4%. Is it any wonder that the seven percenters donated so generously to his re-election campaign and why Hollywood’s pampered poodles all go gaga over him?

In order to pave the pathway to the latest round of idiotic peace talks with the Arabs, the Israelis are prepared to release 100 terrorists. Someday, someone will have to explain why Israel or the U.S., for that matter, even bothers taking prisoners. When the enemy refuses to wear uniforms or fight under a flag, no nation is obliged to treating them like actual POWs. All that ever happens is that the Israelis wind up swapping those they capture for the mutilated corpse of a Jewish soldier or as a peace offering to schmucks who yearn and strive for Israel’s extermination.

For our part, we see these creeps busted out of jail in places like Iraq, Pakistan and Afghanistan or released from Gitmo, so they can be free to burn down our embassies, murder our diplomats and wage war on our civilian population.

More and more often I see teenagers and twenty-somethings huddled in small groups, ignoring one another even at a lunch table, as they focus all their attention on their electronic toys. For a long time, it had me befuddled. Then, as with all epiphanies, the answer hit me square between the eyes. All I needed to do was take a good look at these young creeps with their tattoos, dyed green hair and pierced lips, and try to imagine the conversations the young louts would be having if they weren’t preoccupied with their texting and twitting. By comparison, Tarzan, I hazard, would sound downright Churchillian.

Finally, although I generally like to give myself the last word, Steve Hayes of the Daily Standard earned it when, after Barack Obama pooh-poohed the Keystone Pipeline by claiming it would only create 20 permanent jobs, Hayes pointed out that was 20 more than Solyndra.

©2013 Burt Prelutsky. Comments? BurtPrelutsky@aol.com.

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