“We couldn’t,” I say bitterly, “even have real food at our recent big art show down the mountain in that really nice place. Last year we had a huge spread of home made food there and everyone came for the food. Not the art. The food!
“This year, every last bite we laid out had to be commercially bought and sealed in plastic. Crackers in plastic, peanuts in little plastic packets, bottled colas. No more homemade lemon aide with fresh lemon slices and real ice tea…no more home made main dishes or desserts. It was a disaster. People hated it. I never want to go to another plastic art show.”
“It’s totally awful,” she says, “pretty soon we’ll have to ask permission to use toilet paper on our butts.”
I’m thinking, “Geez. I need to go up town and see the sights. Just get away from being so mad about all the increasingly intrusive rules we are all expected to live by.”
Walking into the post office I get in the long line that’s waiting to be served. I love the post office but here they are, having to fire lots of workers and maybe not being able to survive.
I think the post office is the very best for moving mail quickly and with the least expense. But, who cares what I think, right?
I’m just hanging, waiting for my turn to (eventually) come up to the counter when suddenly I realize there is a huge big man in line causing a commotion. He’s yelling at the man next to him and at the whole post office.
“I’m scared!” he thunders. “To even leave the house any more with all this new deadly flu that came in from blank blank carried by blank blanks…!! And who made that flu? Who’s experimenting with deadly viruses that can get away from us and take out the population? I’m gonna have to start wearing a mask when ever I leave the house…!”
The postal worker behind the counter calls out, “It’s the Government flu!”
Which sets the man off on the government.
I lean near the man he’s personally yelling at.
“I think I came in here in the middle of something,” I whisper.
The great big man is now waving a letter in the air.
“It’s a bill from San Diego Gas & Electric! ” he shouts. “We all know their power lines went down in the wind and we had the huge fire storms because of them. So now they raise their rates to cover what they did to us. My house burned down! How dare they even send me a bill!”
The man next to him says “I was a firefighter in that fire.”
The big guy scratches his chest. It’s kind of covered by a tee shirt and old woolen something, but his furry belly hangs out.
“I’m afraid to even pick up my mail any more with all the contamination of everything. I’m gonna’ have ta’ carry bacterial wipes and wipe down every thing I wanna’ touch.”
He looks at all of us and we all look at him. There’s a very long line.
“Obama is ruining the country!” he bellows.
It turns out, according to this man that “Everybody is ruining the country, you can’t do anything you want anymore, there are no freedoms left to step on!”
Well. He has my attention with that one. We The People can’t even have a fund raising dinner or homemade food made by little old ladies who really know how to cook.
The man snorts loudly like he’s raking up a huge knot of phlegm.
“I got a mother dying in a care home, those damn blank blanks let her fall out of bed, she has a huge gash on her back and they can’t fight the infection.”
“I got a new motorcycle and they didn’t send me the damn keys. Then they sent me the keys and the postage wasn’t enough so the keys got sent back! That’s why I’m here. To get those damn keys.”
I can’t help myself. I’m trying to be helpful.
“Life” I call out to the man “is a carnival. If you see it that way it helps.”
Mr. Outraged looks at me and yells, “Did ya’ ever see that Movie Carnival Whore?!”
The old lady behind me in line leans back away from me and her eyes streatch out to her forehead.
OK. Guess I won’t be dishing out any more unasked for advice!
But, I’m busy thinking. This man doesn’t seem truly nuts. He seems like he is on the thin edge of the knife between ‘normal’ people and ‘crazy’ ones.
I have the sense that he is just expressing verbally and in public for a captive audience, what many of us are thinking and feeling about life right now.
He’s just being more generous and outspoken with his observations.
When I leave the post office I feel better and I feel worse.
I feel better because Mr. Loud just lanced a boil for the rest of us.
I feel worse because more and more is being taken away from us.
It’s true that life is a Carnival and that’s what makes it interesting. But there is no law that says we can’t jump in and stop the trainers from beating the elephants or taking the food away from the parrots.
We can right what we think is wrong by speaking up and saying “‘Fock ’em’. That’s not right and We The People are not going to let you get away with it.”
And then we have to do something. We can do what we can to right the wrongs that bother us while the Carnival continues to amuse us.
The Carnival of Life ain’t going away, folks…but it can be less painful then it needs to be.
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