Perhaps it’s just the time of year, those gray, cold, days that stretch to a timeless horizon, but there’s much that sickens me of late. For a start, all those people who flock to political rallies.
Who are they? Why do they do it? Are they so moribund it’s necessary to seek the rantings of an egotistical politician greedy for power, before they feel remotely alive?
Politicians sicken me today. In fact, politicians sicken me most days. No, that’s an understatement.
How dare Barack Obama advertise during the Superbowl, when the cost of thirty seconds is sufficient to provide a meal for all the homeless in America. The cash both he and Clinton have had showered upon them is obscene.
Do Americans never ask themselves where it comes from?
Like their Republican brothers, the Obamas and Clintons rant out their promises, sally forth with their lies, knowing them falsehoods even as they ejaculate the words.
How will Obama or Clinton provide the clueless and witless with universal healthcare, when their passage to power is financed by the pharmaceutical, insurance, and medical industries?
Does no-one in this country of three hundred million people have the guts to ask them that?
They call it a “Presidential Race”, but it’s just another half-baked talent contest.
The next American Idol – will it be McCain, Obama, or Clinton?
The White House sickened me today.
Iran launched its first space rocket designed to carry satellites into orbit. They called it “Hope”.
The White House called it a “ballistic missile”.
Closer to home, today was a rare foggy day in central Illinois. So rare, many Illinois drivers, who seem happy to burn their headlights on the brightest of summer days, became confused, so switched them off. I was especially sickened by the man in the light gray, un-illuminated, Ford who barrowed down on me out of the murk, avoiding a collision due only to my excellent brakes.
If there was ever a company spawned for the sole purpose of sickening R J Adams, it’s United Airlines. Today, this most noxious of corporate creations announced its intention to charge its customers an additional $25 to check in a second bag on domestic flights. Unsurprisingly, United has discovered a quarter of its domestic passengers check in second bags. This will raise a tidy $100,000,000 additional annual income straight out of America’s pockets and into the corporate coffers.
In a statement, UA’s Chief Revenue Officer John Tague said that the new policy will allow customers with many bags to continue bringing them for a fee and “enables us to offer competitive fares to everyone”.
This is just the sort of “marketing speak” that sickens me. What Mister Tague meant was not that “the new policy will allow customers with many bags to continue bringing them for a fee”, but that ‘the new policy restricts customers to one piece of baggage – anything more will be classed as excess and charged for.”
Now, it seems we have to pay extra for providing United Airlines with the privilege of losing all our luggage, while we stand in long queues for hours waiting to be told our flight’s canceled and the next available is not until the weekend, and then only if “…there’s no weather in Santa Monica”.
Most of all, today, I sickened myself.
While I was preparing lunch a lone ladybug, awoken from its hibernation by warm temperatures, walked erratically across the kitchen work surface. In a fit of pique that it dared to soil my fresh-cleansed top, I resisted the urge to swill it down the disposal, shuffled it onto a napkin, opened the glass yard door and flung it out. Its half-baked attempt to fly was in vain, and it nose-dived unceremoniously into six inches of wet, cold, snow where it lay lifeless and inert.
Barely assuaging the underlying guilt by assuring myself it would have died anyway, and at least I hadn’t actually murdered it, I repaired to the living room to eat lunch.
On my return to the kitchen fifteen minutes later, a casual squint revealed the creature still prone in the snow. The guilt had surfaced good fashion over lunch, and muttering on the absurdity of caring for such a mite, I squelched in slippers through wet slush, retrieved the apparent corpse, and sloshed back into the house leaving dirty wet marks all over the kitchen floor.
I deposited the inert ladybug on a convenient shelf, determined to confine it to the trashcan if it failed to stir in ten minutes, and repaired to the bedroom and a pair of dry socks.
Needless to say, the ladybug was alive and well when I returned to the kitchen. Having harmed it enough for one day, I left it to its own devices and went off to work.
There was no sign of it when I came home tonight, but in the interim I’d mused on my thoughtless actions and realized that, if we can’t be caring of something so small and helpless as a ladybug, what chance do we have of caring about each other?
After all, ladybugs do us no harm whatever, but we constantly suffer from the self-centered vagaries of our own species. Perhaps my later actions had redeemed some karma, but I still sickened myself for not caring in the first place.
Mind you, if the ladybug had had “United Airlines” stamped on its back, it would definitely have been left for dead in the snowdrift.
Filed under: Sickly truths