To even be silly

The Ideal Firestarter, a Black woman, mother of two adolescent girls writes me a few times a week, and on first blush would appear nothing like me (a married, bald White guy, married a second time around whose sons are long gone, moved out to realize their destinies). But an algorithm at WordPress matched us up through our blogs. The Ideal Firestarter and I are very different but do share some common themes like horror and heartache at the hands of Donald Trump. (She calls him Orange Thanos, and we both look forward to his departure).

Also like Ideal Firestarter, postings of mine which come less frequently than hers, have been more serious and foreboding than those from early on in 2017 when “off the hook” began. Over the last few months while I didn’t literally take to the streets, I did get active, unwilling to just sit back, fume, complain and watch Rachel Maddow dissect his latest remark, tweet, distraction or complain, before tuning in for the night. I participated in numerous phone banks into swing states and planning sessions and even provided research in support of GOTV efforts through faith-based congregations in Florida. I just had to do my part in spreading the truths about the threats to our country and do what I could with friends all over Massachusetts.

At the time of this writing Orange Thanos has still not accepted the election results. But one day soon HE WILL BE GONE, and I will exhale a sigh of relief. Not that we will return to the past, but that at least, the very least, America has a reprieve from the destructive, racist, deranged actions of the unAmerican Orange Thanos.

That’s why in 2021 the political action will continue, but at least he will be gone. We will need to rediscover and rebuild our Democratic values and bridge our many divides.

I believe it is within our power to build a bridge or many bridges and cross over them to overcome our many political clashes, economic clashes, racist clashes and cultural clashes too. As we voted and elected a new team, we also voted for the opportunity to allow each of us to tell each other our individual story, our story of dreams and hopes and challenges. We may learn to listen and communicate again rather than scream, insult, and demonize each other. We can put down the pitch forks and get to know one another and realize we’ve got more in common than our differences regardless of how we look, dress, talk, pray,, play, vote.

I hope to return to the little pleasure of life, to even be silly sometime. One way is to enjoy broadcasts like Car Talk, the radio talk show on NPR where brothers Tom and Ray Magliozzi known as “Click and Clack, the Tappet Brothers” answer questions related to motor vehicle maintenance and repair. It’s mad cap humor which has been on air since 1977. The two mechanics who allegedly run their own garage in Cambridge, Massachusetts give advice to callers on how to fix their vehicles (and sometimes their relationships with spouse or in-laws) whose vehicles’ symptoms they describe or make sounds of on the phone. It’s especially funny because NPR is a serious radio station with largely in-depth analysis of current news and trends from around the world..

Car Talk is a staple in our weekly entertainment repertoire. I used to listen to it with my younger son when he was a little boy (and now he’s a mechanic). We even enjoyed the opening theme music by bango picking Dave Grisman and occasional Randy Newman too.

Though I lack the ability to fix much of anything, let alone figure out the workings of any make or model car’s engine, distributor cap, valves, mechanical, electrical or pneumatic systems, it would appear they really understand how to diagnose vehicular problems and make suggestions which help the caller resolve their car problems, and they do it in a most endearing way.

Even the end of the show is remarkably entertaining as the rest of the fifty minute program. “The ending credits started with thanks to the colorfully nicknamed actual staffers: producer Doug “the subway fugitive, not a slave to fashion, bongo boy frogman” Berman, John “Buddy” Lawlor, just back from the …” (every week a different eating event”), along with sponsors such as statistician Marge Innovera (“margin of error”), customer care representative Haywood Jabuzoff (“Hey, would ya’ buzz off”) , meteorologist Claudio Vernight (“cloudy overnight”), optometric firm C.F.Eye Care (“see if I care”), Russian Chauffeur Picov Andropov (“pick up and drop off”), Leo Tolstoy biographer Warren Peace (“War and peace”), hygiene officer and chief of the Tokyo office aOteka Shawa (“oh, take a shower”), Swedish snowboard instructor Soren Derkeister (“sore in the keister”) , law firm Dewey, Cheetham and Howe (“do we cheat ‘me, and how?) , …. and many, many others ….They sometimes advised that “our chief counsel from the law firm of Dewey, Cheathem & Howe is Hugh Louis Dewey ….”

Ahhh, what a nice reprieve from the ravages of the pandemic and the fears amongst us. Hopefully we might be able to build back better, and give off a sigh of relief too.

Published by Richard Halpern

Retired (but busy) after a lengthy career in business marketing, communications and research. Worked at four start-ups and one turnaround. Now volunteer doing prospect research for a climate activity and social advocacy non profit, amongst other things.

2 thoughts on “To even be silly

  1. Oh yeah…won’t that be nice 🙂

    *The only people with whom you should try to get even, are those who have helped you. *–John E. Southard

    *online portfolio: * *cell: (617) 650-9132*


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