Reader Question: Bewildered?

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Here’s the latest reader question, along with my reply!

JE asks: “Transportation Oriented Development” is where I first picked up on the attempt at structural changes for the social changes that are to be implemented. I’m 73 and some of the young people seem so alien to me with their yuppie on steroids lifestyle. I am bewildered.

My reply: I’m bewildered, too – and I’m still sort-of young!

I think part of the reason for the pathological times we live in has to do with the normalization of debt; of living beyond one’s means as routine and even desirable. On the premise that the “good times” will never end; that someone else will always pay the inevitable bill.

Add to this the infantilization of society; the extension of adolescence into middle age. The feminization of thought (feelings given primacy over reason) and . . . well, here we are.

I often feel like the Big Chief in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. I’m betting you do, too.

. . .

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  1. Ah, there’s little a stiff shot of Kentucky’s best won’t cure.

    That creosote makes even more of a mess when you’re climbing one of those poles and lost your gaffing spike’s grip in the pole…and instinctively hug the pole (“DO NOT HUG THE POLE WHEN YOU LOSE YOUR SPIKES!, said Sarge), all the way down. Yep, creosoted splinters do make creosoted holes in you!

  2. I love that scene. I’m so old it make me wanna cry or maybe it always did. But it’s a special day for me, the one I wish wouldn’t even come around and it came around twice a couple years ago.

    I won’t do anything today and if I do, I’ll be really careful. I’ve nearly lost my life on Friday the 13th, twice in fact. Both were so close I’m sure I lost tooth enamel….at least.

    The last trucking job I had I was heading out the door when it hit me. I stopped and told the boss, “I can’t work today, it’s Friday the 13th” and he looked at me like I was crazy….and I probably looked and sounded crazy….but there’s one thing I WILL NOT DO on Friday the 13th and that’s Truck. Both those narrow misses involved trucking with one involving me unloading 40 Class2 45′ power poles…..uphill. I ended up diving into the mass of sharp steel and hoses in the trailer axles and was saved only by the air tank. I stayed in there a while till things quit popping and the rig was still. I slithered out like a paranoid snake, looking this way and that, listening, feeling, adrenaline rushing and blood pounding in my ears. I was so paranoid I almost didn’t retrieve my hat but I couldn’t crush the last Stetson I had.

    I worked for hours with a pole handler to get the rig loose and left poles all over. All my stake pipes were ruined and jammed. I had to pry and beat them out of the stake pockets with a shop hammed and a pry bar.

    I stopped the truck at my uncle’s house and he saw the mess. He looked relieved to see I was ambulatory. I just said, Give me a ride home please. He did. I got in and the wife looked at the condition I was in, bloody and ruined clothes and a hat that looked like I did. I played with the dogs, drank some Weller and smoked some good ol Lumbo and thought about it all. The wife finally got me to shed the clothes and get the creosote off me which really eats me up. I think I looked worse with my clothes off and you could hardly bruise me back then but I was bruised that day. I’d try to rub an especially bad bunch of creosote off and realize it was gone and that was the color I now was in that spot. Nope, nothing doing for me today.


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