I’m going to give you advance warning. My thoughts are pretty scattered today. Hence, the photo. Case in point, the title. It’s the second title that popped into my head. I’ve rewritten this installment more after I posted it than anything I’ve written in the last year. My new title vaguely hints at what I’m about to write. And, it’s also the title of a musical arrangement…
I’m going to guess I have a specific something in mind that I want to say. I have at least one sentence I know I’m going to work into the story.
I’m just not sure how I’m going to get there yet.
* * * *
It’s a cloudy day here in the Lakeside Area. The weather app on my lovely supermodel wife’s phone says it’s supposed to rain on and off all day. But this is Mexico. Forget what I said in my last post about the weather being predictable. La clima no siempre sigue las reglas. The weather is about as predictable as a Mexican driver, unless you assume you have no idea what the other guy might do.
Then you’ll be correct every time.
It’s not just the rainy season in Mexico. It’s also the election season, for a few more weeks, I think. I know it’s a big election for a lots of high profile positions. President, governorships, stuff like that. There’s been a lots of campaigning in the Lakeside Area; rallies, informative lunches and brunches, billboards, TV and radio ads, and the megaphone mobiles.
The specially equipped, audio-enhanced vehicles drive around the village blasting political messages like unto the megaphone cop on TV telling the suspect to drop the gun, and come out of the house with your hands up. There’s no escape, you’re surrounded.
All of these messages are directed at the locals who will be voting in the elections. The candidates here all claim that they’re the only hope for a better Mexico, much like any other election in any other part of the world. Unlike other parts of the world, the politicians that actually are the only hope for a better Mexico have as good a chance of getting killed to death as they do of getting elected.
Quite a few candidates want to make Mexico a better place, and the drug cartels are getting nervous. The best way to make Mexico a better place is to get rid of those sons of bitches.
So far, none of the presidential candidates have been killed to death, nor have any of them proposed rounding up all of the American ex-pats and locking us up in internment camps.
See? I told you most of the people here are very polite.
* * * *
We are still supporting half of Mexico’s hummingbird population with the three feeders in our backyard. Lea calls them her babies. It’s so cute! It’s kind of fun to watch one hundred million hummingbirds in action. They buzz all around our patio from early dawn to dusk.
I have a memory. It happened at least twenty years ago. Lea and I were driving to Ettrick, WI to see our in-laws, Bill and Leslie Pfaff. I can’t remember if Andy, their troubled teenage mutant miniature horse was still alive or not. I’ve written about him before. You can look him up in my archives if you’re interested.
I remember it was winter. It might have even been Christmas. At any rate, the road we were driving on tended to follow the Mississippi River. The river was mostly frozen over, but somewhere around Winona, MN there were several vast open spaces dotting the ice. And around these open water spaces, hundreds of bald eagles had congregated.
Some of the eagles were flying lazily/gracefully in the gray sky, circling the open water. Others were sitting on the ice, starkly outlined near the open water. More were perched in the leafless oak and maple trees lining either side of the road.
It was breathtakingly beautiful and cool.
Seeing one eagle, in my opinion, is an event. Seeing hundreds of eagles at once is like unto seeing a dragon. It’s one of my favorite best all time memories.
* * * *
My praying mantis, Ferngully, has gone missing. I knew I should have taken a picture of her! Now I won’t be able to make one of those Missing/Reward Offered posters… I guess that’s one of the hazards of having an insect for a pet.
I’m pretty sure my mantis decided to leave our patio because of Victor. He’s our exterminator guy, and he sprayed the patio the other day. Actually, he sprayed the entire house and the front and backyard, too.
Victor uses a combination of garlic, cayenne pepper and vinegar solution to get rid of insects, and it certainly seems to have worked on them.
Oddly enough, it also worked on squirrels. There have been zero squirrels eating the plants on our patio since Victor was here. They would scamper across the stone wall in our backyard, but they wouldn’t come into the yard. It seems that squirrels hate cayenne pepper even more than I hate squirrels. You can buy cayenne pepper by the ton down here for next to nothing. I sprinkled that stuff on all of my plants, and on the top of the stone wall.
I have seen zero squirrels since.
However, if this interdict ever stops working, El Walmart merely moved their display case of air rifles. I found it the other day when we were shopping there. That made me smile.
Mischief managed, for now. And, Plan B is still an option, you know, just in cases.
* * * *
It’s only through hindsight that we’re able to see where most of the paths we’ve chosen in life have taken us. Maybe some of you are able to visualize this without hindsight. I never have. I’m not that intuitive. I’ve always needed time and perspective to understand these things.
I need to do that even with simple things, like movies. Therefore, it’s a good thing I didn’t become a film critic. It would take me thirty years to write a decent review. Who needs to read a movie review three decades after the fact?
Take, for instance, Star Wars®. I’ve written about at least one of the movies before, but I have a plot twist that you probably haven’t considered this time.
I’m a big fan of the franchise. There are a lots of us. Some of the superfans know all about the Star Wars® universe, and are able to see plot holes and continuity lapses as they occur. It has taken me forty years to figure out that The Force isn’t anywhere near as cool as it was originally portrayed.
See? I told you I wasn’t very intuitive.
Obi-Wan Kenobi introduced all of us to The Force this way: “It’s an energy field created by all living things. It surrounds us and penetrates us; it binds the galaxy together.”
Not only that, it was the source of power for the Jedi Knights, and all of the spooky stuff they could do. Move objects, influence thoughts and behavior… You know, things that here in the real world only women can do when they use a certain tone of voice.
Yet for all of the vaunted power of The Force, the Jedi appeared to be unable to figure out who their real enemy was until they openly revealed themselves. Count Dooku. Emperor Palpatine/Darth Sidious. They remained hidden from the sight of the Jedi until they chose not to be.
If The Force binds everything together, you’d think an adept Master trained in its use would have been able to discern another someone trying to, you know, un-bind everything with it.
Nor was it true when Obi-Wan said this, “You can’t win, Vader. If you strike me down, I shall become more powerful than you can possibly imagine.”
Yeah, that didn’t happen. Obi-Wan got dead and essentially became a bodiless entity that occasionally reminded Luke to “…use The Force!” And that appears to be the extent of his lame-ass unimaginable power.
Finally, there was this: “These aren’t the droids you’re looking for.”
Obi-Wan uses that Jedi mind trick on a couple of Imperial Stormtroopers to make them go away and then gives this explanation: “The Force can have a strong influence on the weak-minded.”
Big deal. You know what else can have a strong influence on the weak-minded?
Seriously. Why else do we call stupid people stupid? Because they’ll believe fucking anything! Go ahead, try it. You’d be surprised how easy it works.
And that revelation led me to believe that Donald Trump must somehow be a twisted Jedi.
Darth Ignoramus. As kooky as it sounds, it’s the best explanation for his Presidency I’ve been able to come up with.