In the Slow Lane

They don't call it the slow lane for nothing.  Change is slow, but, hey, we've been buying spirits in the bottle a year now.  Wine as you dine?  Sure thing.  Nobody gawks at the beer truck.  (The thrill is gone.)  The preachers, I'm guessing, rant about a new set of evils.  LIfe in the slow lane remains pretty much the same. 


When it comes to techno-savvy, slow laners are second to none.  Cyberspace, clouds, apps, they know this stuff.  Ring, ring!  Smart phones go off at regular intervals.  (Aren't we the lucky ones overhearing what Mama is having for supper?)   Yep, and there's PBS and NPR besides 1001 channels of crappy TV, just like the rest of the world.


Wouldn't you think something would sink in?  I mean Mitch McConnell, the champion of cancer victims poisoned by working at the Gaseous Diffusion* plant, appears in an ad with a whispering man.  "Senator McConnell got me the health care I need."  What!  Who kept the damn place open?  What a hellish campaign ad!  *Processes uranium for medical and/or nefarious causes.


Speaking of campaigns, I'm here to report  Mitt Romney will run in 2016.  Remember you read it here first!  Why else would this deluded man think anyone would care one flip about The Other Side of Mitt, a TV documentary? 


What other side?  We all know Mitt's a good businessman, a good father, a good mormon.  Yes, he tithes to his church, and gives generously to charities.  (Outside his church?  I doubt it.)  But he's never yanked the silver spoon from his mouth long enough to partake in the the other side of the world.  (A missionary stint in France?  Doesn't count.  Selling off bonds from a trust to get through college?  Doesn't count either.)  Mormons tend to be insular.  (Yeah, yeah, they're not the only ones.)


Still, sitting here in the slow lane, I tell you it might be sinking in.  Lots of folks don't give two hoots for Mitch, Mitt, or Duck Dynasty.  Let's drink to that!  



January 31 is fast approaching.  Better get ready.  And this is what you do:  Clean your house.  Sweep dirt, dust, or snow, away from your door.   Get this done before the stroke of midnight, January 30, at which time you fling open your doors and windows to welcome the New Year.  Chinese New Year, that is.  Henceforth, no sweeping for five days, no foul language, evil thoughts or reference to the past year.  Bad luck!  Light demon-chasing firecrackers, eat, drink, dance with the dragon.  You're on a two-week roll.  (Would that be spring or egg?  Auuuuuugh!)  Expect little bits of money in little red envelopes (no, they are not valentines).  Woo- whoo!  It's the Year of the Horse!


Dined at a Chinese restaurant?  Then you probably know about the Chinese zodiak and its twelve animals.  If I had my druthers, my animal would be the Horse.  I love horses.  Unfortunately, it is the Pig.


Besides the fact that my mom hated them, pigs are just not that appealing. A brief discription of Pig says:  Not as smart as Dog, lazy, likes eating and sleeping, grows fat, kind to loved ones.  Do not tell lies unless they have to.   See what I mean? 


Still the old wallow holds some pretty interesting folks.  For instance, Henry VIII,  Arnold Schwartznegger, Woody Allen.  (These guys rate an Ugh!)  But we also find Stephen King and Ernest Hemingway.  Lucille Ball was a Pig, funny and smarter that most Dogs.  Carrie Underwood sings better than the Dogs I know. 


But the name that makes me proudest to be a Pig is Hilary Rodham Clinton.  We all know she's smarter than the dog she married.  Think of it, our next President might be a Pig!  Oh, oh, if Pox Network gets hold of this..........


How would Slow Lane Today would play.  I could scare up two hosts, one rather grumpy, neither photogenic.  But,  look closely.  The remains of beauty peek from the rubble.  As Rodin said, a beautiful building is still beautiful even in ruins.  He was talking about his sculpture, The Fishmonger's Wife, a skinny, ancient woman, saggy and bedragled.  Hey, this might be a spot.  You know, something for those who have given up on faking youth.  Fishmonger's Wife Club?


A woman who washed her hair not once in five years was mentioned on TodayWhat!  In the slow lane there's surely a man who hasn't bathed for five months.  And we have plenty of Duck Dynasty look-alikes in these parts.  Maybe a contest to find the best ones.  Give 'em a free trip to the junkyard and a Kentucky Wonder pin.


Today says statistics show that children who eat at the table are slimmer.  Does the opposite hold for the elderly?  We could recruit friends and other elderly volunteers to stand up at all meals for six weeks.  Could be messy, but what the heck?   


Weather wouldn't be much trouble.  Old bones are good predictors and there's always the window. 


We could feature eldery texters and nerds introducing fossils to the virtual world.  Have a course on Why-tube and Face Space.  I might be on to something!         


Always thought Chaplin cantankerous, unAmerican, borderline evil.  Swallowed J. Edgar Hoover's rot without a thought.  If he wasn't God, he was his right hand man.  When old J. Edgar's reign ended, a lot of Americans gasped at the scope his spite and revenge. 


Well, I'm still gasping lo, these many years.  The 1992 movie, Chaplin, triggered my latest involuntary sucking of the breath. 1992!  Where were you?  Apparently with my head in the sand in the mountains of NC.  Anyhow, Robert Downey, Jr.'s performance as Charlie earned an Oscar nomination for best actor (Al Pacino won for Scent of a Woman) and a BAFTA nomination which he won.


This is a movie I'd take to a desert island.  (Listen, I'm pretty sure a smart phone could do it and any day now I'm going to get one.)  Outspoken, Chaplin was no saint, but a genius of creative, zany, intelligent humor.  Alas, his words raised the hackles of J. Edgar who pretty much messed up his life for awhile.


I, myself, saw this crabby man, Charlie not J. Edgar, up close and personal.  Around 1968 in an Oahu restaurant he dined with the gorgeous Oona and several children.  (He had a passel but only a few were there.)  Never would've recognized him, Oona was the tipoff. 


Anyhow, my eyes kept wandering to their table and he would have none of it.  Marched to our table, stuck his face in mine, "Vhy iss you schtaring at us?"  (How Chaplinesque, falling into the fake accent.)  I stammered, "I thought you were a very famous man."  "Thank you," he said dropping the accent as he stomped away.      


In the movie, the old age make-up was pretty close to that angry old face irritated by my staring,  Of course, Charlie was justified in his ire.  I was rude.   Besides, by then he was old and naturally crabby, about my age now.  But I have to tell you, sitting right here in the slow lane, I'm not as ugly as he was.  Sorry Charlie.  I am, however, a huge fan.  (No pun intended.) 





BRIDGE FOR SALE!    Popular northeastern bridge in tolerable to fair  repair.  Multii-lanes.  Continual rumble of anything with wheels can be music to your ears as you sock away those tolls.  Think of the fun closing off a few lanes now and then.  But it goes beyond fun.  It may actuallly be in your power to create the most gigantic bridge clog known to mankind!  This might provide further revenue, extra fees offered by frustrated capitalists to get the wheels of industry moving again.  Think of it!  E-mail me for details.  Please, only those with a genuine interest and genuine bucks.


FLASH DRIVE FOR SALE!  The clever terrorist toy can be yours.  Not into bringing down jetliners?  How about spying or your spouse or significant other? This palm device is easily attached with duct tape in nooks and crannies.  Think ofthe hell you could raise in that parked car!  The good thing is this device scares the bejeesus out of nobody.  Don't e-mail me.  Just google the internet.


3D PRINTER FOR SALE!  For a couple of thousand bucks or so, you can make a platic-almost- anything right in your own garage or basement.  Workable plastic firearms are among the favorite apps.  It's rumored the NRA frowns on plastic firearms, so caution is advised.  Still a savvy entrepreneur might create a tidy little enterprise.  Google a pattern.  Everybody will think you're into avante guard jewelry.