Marolt: All it took was ‘60 Minutes’ to figure out SNAFU
November 14, 2016
I don't know how long I had been a writer before I figured out the "creative juices" that creative people always talk about isn't wine. I don't make it a habit to drink and drive the point home, but when I get writers' block (I'm not sure that means a head made of wood), the nectar of the gods usually seems to lubricate the finger joints to make the keyboard hum. I'm not saying wine makes the writing better, it just makes it happen.
Not this week. I'm halfway through a glass of the Italian good stuff, and nothing. I took a vigorous mountain-bike ride this fine autumnal November, California-like afternoon, working up a good sweat and coaxing a noticeable endorphin buzz but failed to let this privilege in this beautiful setting inspire me. This, after going to church in the morning and attending a big, happy family birthday gathering for my twin brothers the night before; three generations of us bowing the floor and pushing out the walls of grandma's house, and still nothing.
I cant blame it on the offseason. I love offseason. Normally I could write volumes comparing our quiet months to my father's quiet years and get all sentimental and laugh and cry and look forward to ski season, talking about getting fit for the slopes and tell you about my dreams of face shots, but none of that seems worth talking about, almost like there's so much of it and the memories so good and time so short that to summarize it in 800 words has become a project too tall and wide to begin. This is new to me. Normally I savor the past like a kid nibbles on a Saturday evening Hershey bar while watching a favorite movie, careful not to take a bite so big as to squander a morsel of the delectable treat.
Things are different around here. We silently watch Donald Trump on "60 Minutes" during dinner, something we just don't regularly do because I am part of the tail that wags the baby boomers and I know the dangers of television that, when they manifest, none of us will realize it because our brains will be mush, so I remain vigilant. We listen to music or talk while we eat, sometimes with our mouths full.
But, there he is, proclaiming that the Mexicans are good people after all and two minutes later insists that the wall will still be built because he is good at construction, his only concession is that maybe just a tall fence might be appropriate in some places instead of bricks and mortar, exactly why is anyone's guess.
The world according to Trump is suddenly a terrific place when last Monday it was all a total disaster. Hillary is a very smart woman, a hard worker and very nice, according to the president-elect. I thought she should have been locked up. My bad; apparently I was misled by the press. Trump is not that kind of a guy, so it must have been the press that promised the incarceration of that bitch. Then there's President Barack Obama. What a smart man he is; so gentlemanly and kind. Not what you would guess from a guy who probably wasn't even born in the United States. Trump's 15-minute meeting with him at the White House lasted 90 and could have gone all day, it was so fascinating.
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The interviewer points out that lots of people on the Trump transition team and cabinet are lobbyists. The explanation, from The Donald himself? Well, that's the way the system is set up. We can't change that overnight. We have to do this for a while until we can do something else. Then what? He'll fire them all and replace them with regular people from the Rust Belt?
Then the topic was Obamacare — it's like it became complicated overnight. We can't change it right away, he says, maybe in a year or two, but just you wait, we will replace it with something terrific, far better medicine at a much lower price. We are left to wonder why Obama never thought of that combination when he crafted his plan. Just a brain fart, I suppose.
And now I am on a roll. The wine has completely worn off, the juices are flowing and the block of wood on my shoulders is now conducting electrical currents that the nerves are using to twitch my fingers in the old familiar way. It appears the same old, same old is returning more quickly than we thought.
Roger Marolt is thankful that "In God We Trust," and not just for a slogan to print on money. Email at email@example.com.
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