Normally in this space I really try to humorously point out the foibles and follies of our elected officials and others in the public eye who may tend to arise every morning, look in the mirror, and sing the refrain from that old Mac Davis tune, “Oh, Lord, it’s hard to be humble . . . when you’re perfect in every way.” There’s rarely a dearth of fodder, and hopefully my words sometimes bring a smile to your face.
But recently, well, jeesh. Where the heck is the fun in something such as a resurgence of Covid cases? Or yet another catastrophe in Haiti? Or watching the Taliban take back total control of Afghanistan within a few days of America’s military departure from that country? There just aren’t a whole lot of chuckles mixed in with those kind of news stories. Nor with soon-to-be former Governor Andrew Cuomo. (As a side note, he is no doubt as chagrined as the rest of us at what’s going on in the rest of the world, but at least those other events knocked his name off the front pages.)
In an effort to change the subject of gloom and doom, however briefly, I’ve found at least a couple pieces of news that will hopefully brighten up the day.
Number one on the hit list has got to be that Official Washington is taking most of August off. That’s always a good thing. Thankfully, Congress has yet to figure out a way to add even one more dollar to our substantial debt without our representatives raising their collective hands in person. (You don’t suppose we could persuade them to just stay home for the rest of the year, do you?) It’s rumored there are still a whole bunch of shenanigans, machinations, and quid-pro-quos going on in absentia, but at least we don’t have to hear a whole lot about those for a couple more weeks.
Major League Baseball tried its best recently to perk up our spirits. And it did a pretty darn good job. The Field of Dreams game pitting the Chicago White Sox against the New York Yankees at a specially-built baseball field in the middle of Iowa just kind of made you feel good. I’d wager even the popcorn and peanuts munched on by the lucky fans in attendance tasted better than ever. And surely there were corn dogs on the menu in that locale. Reports are even many of the players who usually ride team buses from airports to metropolitan stadiums put down their phones and quit playing their music just to take in the majesty of the middle of America and all its bounty.
Then there’s Polish Olympian Maria Andrejczyk. You probably aren’t acquainted with her unless you’re really into javelin throwing. She won a silver medal in her event in Tokyo and decided to auction it off to the highest bidder. Not to benefit her, mind you. No, she wanted to raise funds for 8-month-old Miloszek Malysa who’s in need of life-saving heart surgery. Zabka, a supermarket chain in Poland, ponied up $125,000 to win the prize. And then told Andrejczyk she could go ahead and keep her medal.
On the historical front, this week would have marked Davy Crockett’s 235th birthday. The “King of the Wild Frontier,” immortalized in a smash hit recording by Bill Hayes in 1955, was a pretty cool dude. Frontiersman, folk hero, soldier (Texas Revolution), and a Congressman from Tennessee, Crockett apparently didn’t even wear a raccoon skin cap until some political rivals gave him one in the hopes of making him appear to be nothing but a country bumpkin. It didn’t work.
Stargazers are probably already keenly aware of it, but the Perseid meteor shower is back. Pretty much every July and August you can count on a heavenly display of fireworks featuring the most active meteor shower of the year. Obviously, the darker the sky near you, the more you’ll be able to catch all those “shooting stars.” Grab some refreshment and a lounge chair and head for the hills. Chocolate too. You always want to have some chocolate along when you’re having fun.
Oh, and finally, a certain member of our family started walking recently. She previously had perfected a one-handed, lightning-fast kind of scoot that probably should be considered for a new Olympic sport. But now she is definitely a toddler and chasing after her big sister with abandon, if not alacrity.
With some intentional looking, good news is out there to help us through. Shoot, one small step alone made everything else going on at least tolerable to me.
©MMXXI. William J. Lewis, III – Freelance Writer