Thursday, June 05, 2008


Unable to control class, teacher
throws chair, threatens to rip out
student’s eyeballs, then resigns.

A new Senate intelligence report indicates that Bush, Cheney, Rice, and others lied to lead us into an illegal and unconstitutional “war” with Iraq. This, of course, does not come as any surprise to many of us. However, this report makes it official. As we already know the administration held high-level meetings to discuss how they would torture people, and it is perfectly obvious they have committed innumerable other war crimes, are we to be left with just another “so?” For a long time now I have not been able to understand the apparent lack of interest and/or action with respect to these known facts. These are known war criminals. Does no one even care? Are they to go totally unpunished for their savage orgy of torture and death? Will perhaps something now begin to be done about this? Bill Clinton was impeached for consensual sex. These people are responsible for the deaths of more than 4000 of our troops and the terrible maiming of thousands more, to say nothing of the hundreds of thousands of innocent Iraqis who have perished or made homeless. The human misery caused by these lies is not measurable by any known scale. But so far nothing has happened to bring these criminals to justice. Will an official report make any difference or will we just blissfully go on pretending nothing is wrong, the whole thing was just an “honest” mistake. It was not just an honest mistake, it was a deliberate, calculated, planned, executed, and absolutely reprehensible war crime of the first magnitude. I do not believe those responsible should be impeached. They should be arrested, turned over to the Hague, and prosecuted for war crimes. After all, there is a precedent.

But for relief let me offer another vignette of life here in our little town.


For the past thirty-five or forty years I have not had my hair cut by a professional barber. My wives have always cut it. This was not because I am a cheapskate. It had partly to do with that I was often living where getting a professional hair cut was not an option. More importantly, however, I had concluded that all barbers were (1) overly garrulous, and (2) right-wing extremists, who (3) were determined to impose their ridiculous opinions on me whether I wanted to hear them or not. For years I was unable to find a barber who did not talk virtually non-stop during the entire experience. But now that my wife, the Frau Professor, Doktor, Arabella, Cookie, is working so hard, I decided to give her a break and surprise her by getting a haircut. Of course I had little idea as to how to go about this, how much it would cost, did I need to leave a tip, where should I go, and etc. I went to my friend, Tom, for paternal advice. Tom is much younger than I am, but at my age I virtually have to go to someone younger for advice, and Tom, like me, is partially bald so I felt he would know about such things. I explained about my fears of right-wing extremists verbally torturing me. He said simply, “when they ask you how you want it cut, say in silence.” He directed me to a barber shop that, had I not been given the directions, I would never have found, nor, I believe, would anyone else ever have found it. This barber shop, which has obviously been in existence for quite some time, is located at the extreme end of a huge unpaved parking lot, sort of tucked in under some trees. This parking lot is so huge that their end of it would only be used in case of a natural calamity or perhaps a performance by the Beatles. It is not on the way anywhere. It is near nothing. There is no sidewalk anywhere near it. It is not a place where anyone would be walking for any reason other than to find this barber shop. Strangely, they advertise they only do “walk-ins.” I can assure you in all confidence that if they depended truly upon walk-ins they would certainly have starved within the first few days of opening. Clearly this is an “in” barber shop, known only to locals. But I did find it. It is made of logs, pretty large logs. When you enter you have the feeling you are entering a large log house. It is actually small. There is room only for two barber chairs, a small bathroom, a small place to sit if you need to wait, and that’s it. Except for the loft. There is a half loft that has to be entered only by getting a ladder. The edge of the loft stops between the two barber chairs. If you look up you see an enormous Grizzly bear head with a gaping mouth and huge vicious teeth hanging over the edge, along with one paw with enormous claws. This is immediately above your head. I was not frightened. Bear skin rugs do not frighten me. I merely thought it was an interesting, if unusual, decorating touch. One of the chairs was vacant. The idle barber asked, “you want a haircut?” I stifled my desire to say, “no, I just came in for the racketball,” and sat down in the chair. He then asked, “how do you want it cut?” I did not say, “silently,” as I thought that might offend him, and I at least try not to be offensive. So I said, “just cut it the way you cut it for all little old balding men with white hair.” That seemed to be enough in the way of directions, he proceeded to cut it, without saying a further word! I couldn’t believe it. I was delighted. I said, “how much,” fully expecting a bill of at least fifteen simoleons. He said, “nine bucks.” I was further delighted. As I gave him a generous tip, I said, “my wife will be really pleased as I think she thought I would never get it cut.” He said nothing. I left. For two full days my wife didn’t even notice. I finally broke the suspence by confessing. Such is life for invisible little old men with false expectations and very busy wives.

“I am a lone lorn creetur…and everythink goes contrairy with me.”
Charles Dickens

No comments: