From Under Sunday’s Soapbox



     Today already promises us a glorious Sunday mid-afternoon. There is neither taunt nor gale from recent rains. The hinterlands of Raleighwood are alive with those deferred rites of spring and here I sit, at my surprisingly uncluttered, albeit well-nested desk. My imagination is already ripe with swirling ponders and questions that I half-heartedly toss at the Universe. Alas, it is a game that I often pursue on such a day.
You, my friends, might refer to these notions as my weekly burning issues, not to be confused with burning “sensations” which if evidenced, mention of which would be avoided in this forum. I will likely obsess, make light, and attempt to resolve for about a week. At that point, there will be a new litany of causes that will strike my fancy. I am nothing if not consistent.
Very little can provoke me as quickly or passionately as traffic concerns, since I seem doomed to always have at least a twenty-five mile commute to work. Usually, I listen to my iPod and enter some parallel world in which there are no highway patrolmen, no nosey gawkers slowing down, and no distracted motorists. Nothing, however, disturbs my carefully groomed disposition like an errant school bus. And not just any school bus. The real culprits that ignite my dander and move me to shout colorful expletives are those school busses on the expressway, especially during rush hour. The drivers insist on cruising at 25mph, while the posted limit is 65 and the actual pace, 75mph. Now I’m as liberal as the next guy and encourage further desegregation of schools, but if the pick-up or delivery of screaming children requires a leg on an interstate then … “those children are being bussed just a little too far!” I can usually keep my resulting fury alive until I reach my destination, with a modicum of residue to later linger at the pump.
A similar sore spot is the lack of both continuity and sense of completion when a television network airs only the first part of a syndicated two-part drama. My aura is tainted for hours when I watch a “Law & Order: SVU” only to realize that I’ve been duped by careless “broadcast interruptus”. Oy ve! This phenomenon is similar to but not quite the same as losing TV satellite connection immediately before the conclusion of a movie. In such an event, Jon and I are most likely watching a murder mystery or romantic comedy. We are thus doomed to never know whether the boy indeed gets the girl or just shoots her.
A final Sunday concern involves music and my fondness of pop trivia. How the hell did Lisa Lisa And Cult Jam ever have a number one hit in the ’80’s, let alone two? I doubt that I shall ever stumble upon a satisfactory answer to my query. “Ah, sweet mystery of pop life, I think I …!” I shall avoid altogether any mention of those very pop songs that remain dark moments in modern civilization and spare you the tight wince that even just the titles usually prompt. I shall not offer any examples: neither “Feelings”, nor “Disco Duck”, neither “Endless Love”, nor even “Playground in My Mind”. Nope, I won’t even whisper a lyric of “You’re Having My Baby” which, in 1974, was spared a sentence for all the once guilty pleasures that had brought Billboard aficionados and front seat disc jockeys to shame.
In closing, I might add that today’s weather is still perfect. Its mood is still relaxed and serene. And I am still at my desk. Of course, I am now contemplating a later jaunt to anywhere and the return drive home to Marklewood. At least, I won’t encounter a school bus and my aura will remain secure … until the “manic” morn of Monday.
(By the way, today’s soapbox is upholstered in an aquamarine damask and piped with a chartreuse mohair. What? You’d prefer something more practical? Well, it’s my imagination. At least I spared you the pewter nailhead and the tufts.)     (Image: “Weren’t They Funny?”,  December 10, 1914, “Life” Cover by Otho Cushing.)

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