I am waiting for the cable guy.
I spit into a tube and mailed it off. It’s an odd feeling. I have given samples of every kind of fluid that my body excretes; what’s one more frisson of discomfort in a surpassingly strange world? Still, it feels like a peculiar moment in the evolving history of everything.
Maybe you’ve done this already. The tube of spit goes to the 23 and Me headquarters in Mountain View. Trained humans test it and tell you the results, including your genetic heritage and any dread diseases you may be carrying. I didn’t care about the diseases; few of them kick in after 70, and I do not believe that I will be participating in the creation of any more children.
It could have been relevant to my grandchildren, but, as it turns out, it wasn’t. No difficult talks with my daughter along the lines “you know that cough that seems to be getting worse? Maybe you should have her checked for William-James Syndrome.”
But I was curious about my heritage. My mother was adopted, so there’s a whole side to my family I know nothing about.
My father was very Irish so that side of the family is accounted for.
But what about the other 50 per cent? I was hoping for Cherokee blood.
The results came back. I am 99.9 per cent Northern European. I am the whitest person you know. I plan to speak on behalf of the white race from now on. Our first demand: Better sunscreen.
You can subscribe now! In answer to overwhelming public demand, I have put a little widget up to your right — if you’re viewing this on a computer ; or down there all the way at the bottom there — if you’re viewing it on your phone. Use said widget, and I land in your mailbox automatically. Wow.
So please subscribe. Tell everyone in your friendship circle to subscribe. Get 500 people, and you’ll receive a free airline ticket to anywhere Southwest flies. Get 1000, and I’ll come with you, to Phoenix or wherever. I can stay with your Mom in Billy’s room.
The cable guy is still not here. The “window” was supposed to be 12-2, but that window has been shut and the blinds drawn and the residents asleep long e’er now. It’s OK, I’ll watch this again.
My personal hero this week is Kathy Kiely, a respected political reporter who became the Washington news director of Bloomberg News. Michael Bloomberg, the billionaire ex-mayor of New York, is, unsurprisingly, the owner of Bloomberg News.
Last week, Bloomberg kinda sorta said that he might run as a third party candidate in the 2016 presidential election. Kiely thought that was news and reported on it. Bloomberg News, which had been reluctant to write about its owner from the beginning, spiked the story. She couldn’t cover it.
So she quit. If she couldn’t do her job the right way, she wouldn’t do it at all. She said: “The organization does have to come to terms as to how to cover its owner as a newsmaker.”
Yes it does. The billionaire pushback on facts must be stopped somehow. It should start with the media asking itself about all the free publicity it’s given to Donald Trump, a person who sucks up fact-free publicity like a vacuum cleaner. The media has fed the beast; without television, Donald Trump is just another short-fingered vulgarian.
So hooray for Kathy Kiely. May her next boss be a billionaire who is not kinda sorta running for president.
Many thumbs have been sucked recently about the relationship between football and our apparent national tendency to make war while lecturing other nations about peace. Maybe we are trained to be centurions at birth.
Maybe we don’t even care about the head trauma thing. That’s the way it seems. There are parents out there who would let their kids play football but would not let them walk to school.
I do want to slow the pontificating down a little bit. Here’s the thing: A whole lot of the popularity of football, particularly professional football, is related to gambling. Not team spirit, not regional pride, not even breathtaking catches or spectacular runs.
An exciting last-second score is only relevant if it messes with the spread. That guy you see weeping at the end of the bar? He’s not unhappy because the home team lost; he’s unhappy because Matt Hasselbeck threw a touchdown pass in the final seconds that blew up his Tampa Bay wager. And he’s lost $1200 and he’s thinking of going double-or-nothing on the Monday night tussle.
That’s America’s game, baby.
I am a “preferred” customer, which means “a consumer too lazy to shop around for another cable plan.” So they answer quickly and they are very sorry. So sorry. I am sorry too. We are bonding over how sorry we are. The cable guy is on his way. He was temporarily delayed by the rising waters, the civil unrest, the tainted burrito, the man on the ledge, the comet over Pittsburgh.
So let us finally decide: Who is the eviler, Donald Trump or Ted Cruz? Cruz wants to take over the government and turn it into a theocratic fascist state, sort of like Iran only with more cowboys. He’s also a yawning maw of ambition prepared to bomb a convenient Arab nation just to control the news cycle.
Trump just wants to be president. He likes the prime White House real estate, the press following him everywhere, the photo ops with colorful despots and famous pandas. He doesn’t want to bomb anyone; he just wants to look dynamic while threatening to bomb someone.
So clearly, Cruz must be destroyed. He must be buried in offal and carried off to Greenland. His flaming funeral pyre must be floated out to sea off Galveston. His name shall be anathema to all the peoples of the world.
On the other hand, Trump has as lot better chance of beating Hillary or whomever. Anyway, it’s Iowa. Those people are cray-cray.
Oh my. There has come as tapping, as of someone gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door. Is it he? Has he come to put me out of my non-HBO misery? Hold on. I shall soon have news of my deliverance.
Nope. Neighbor, extra lemons, reminder about alternate side of the street parking. I despair.
Photography by Tracy Johnston
Widget wrangling by Michelle Mizera