This has been the most painful, the most difficult Lenten season I can remember. You’re asking yourself, “Did you give up chocolate? Pizza? Pop?” It always seems to revolve around food, doesn’t it? One year, I gave up speeding. I had to make extensive use of my cruise control. I changed my behavior and haven’t gotten a speeding ticket in years! After working in fast food for 5 years (boy did that seem like ages!), I gave up cursing for Lent. I had called it Hardee-speak. There were lots of blanks and long pauses in my speaking pattern from self-censoring. I sounded like a cd with skips. But as hard as both of those actions were at the time, they’re nothing compared to this year.
Got you curious now, huh! I gave up…
ranting at people. I can only rant at inanimate objects. My brain is fizzling out. I had no idea what a rampant behavior this was in my character! I live in Lake Nebraska on a little island called Omaha. I can rant at the rain, the flood, the winds, and the blizzards. Plenty to rant at right? But I cannot rant at all the people that look at these pictures and have no other adjectives other than, “It’s so sad.” Get a freakin’ thesaurus. (Notice the self-censorship? It’s getting harder!) “You cannot make light of these tragedies you cruel, insensitive jerk!” I say to myself. “People do not understand gallows humor,” I explain to myself. Should we all tear our clothes, put ashes on our heads, and wail for the next 2 years while they fix our infrastructure? In my humble (or not so humble) opinion, Heck No! We’re Nebraskans. We take this in stride. We knew the job was dangerous when we took it. I understand; some are still in shock. The whole country should be in shock. Heck! (self-censoring again) We should be getting aid from Africa, India, Japan, China, Europe, Malaysia, Kuwait, Middle East…all those disasters we went in to help clean up.
*Warning! Gallows humor follows. Move to a safe part of your brain and suspend your disbelief at the incredibly inappropriate humor.*
We should expect Russia, who has such a vested interest in this country, to be at the front of the line when it comes to aid. We’re not talking loans here, we’re talking
- people with shovels,
- volunteers with buckets and mops,
- bridge building engineers and equipment,
- road construction crews and materials
–real help. Yeah, I thought so. Just going to get pity parties from the rest of the people outside the MidWest. (Yay South Dakota, Texas, Kansas!) We’ll get viral views of the floods and blizzards all over Facebook with 216,042 comments all saying, “How Sad.”
We got it. We’ll handle it without fanfare, without the national news. We’re a fly-over state, and now a fly-over lake.
I cannot rant against idiot drivers, who honk at me when I’m avoiding a pothole that would swallow a bus. I cannot rant at people who park on both sides of the street so the snowplow cannot get to our road. I cannot rant at the guy who had to go out of his way to ding my car with his pick-up truck door and hit it so hard it dented and left lovely red and white paint on my navy colored Buick. I cannot rail at the people who see pictures of our president in jeans and a t-shirt and a MAGA cap rescuing cats from a flood and not wonder how he lost 30 pounds and 40 years, gained muscular forearms and was in Iowa during the 2008 flood. (Which would have been before the MAGA hat) Then they suggest that that picture is from the current flood and think this is a believable situation. Where are his Secret Service guards? The President as the office holder cannot spend time getting into the water with the victims. That’s not his job. The President as a person, Mr. Trump, may own a pair of jeans, but he wears a $1000 jacket and a shirt with cufflinks with them. He may feel for the victims, but though he might send someone to help rescue cats; he wouldn’t do it himself. That’s not in his character.
I cannot rant against the President, the Congress, or the local politicians. I cannot rant against the referees and the umpires and the Little League parents. I cannot rant against the unethical salespeople, the telemarketers, the frauds that take advantage of people in the midst of a natural disaster. I cannot rant against the people that robbed the flooded houses instead of cleaning them up (though that’s a rare case in Nebraska.)
I can only rant at inanimate objects. I may not make it to Easter.