Monday, April 27, 2009

Crying Indians and Smoking Babies

I remember when the giant stores started closing. The Good Guys, an electronics chain, closed first. Like ants at a picnic, we rushed in and bought a giant TV at a pretty decent price. As the days and weeks dragged on, their inventory was reduced to 80's movies, cords to obsolete equipment, and display racks. The security guard checked receipts at the front door with the enthusiasm of a toll booth operator on qualudes. It was depressing.

The Good Guys had paid for a mega sign to hang over their moribund [thank you Merriam-Webster Thesaurus] doors that read "We're Closing" but after time the left side of the sign lost it's will to hang on and flapped down over the "C" thereby leaving an ominous warning of the months to come "We're losing."

Deadly food allergies are on the rise, global warming, crime, oh it's just ghastly. A real downer. So I want to remind you of the advances we've made and how, in some areas, life is a little better than it was.

* When I was a little girl, people used to throw their napkins, wrappers, cups, etc., right out the car window on the freeway. Then some TV commercial with a crying Indian changed the world ... with only THREE CHANNELS! We the People felt guilty and realized we couldn't just keep treating the roads like a dump. In many countries it's still completely acceptable to litter. Here in California, if someone throws a wrapper out the window they'll surely be chased down by a 1963 Volvo with an angry tree hugger inside and scolded for their shit-headism.

* When I gave birth to my son in 1986, they gave me a "smoking room" in the hospital. I'm not kidding you. I shared the room with another young mommy who smoked and, like me, had a cesarean so we were stuck in there for a week. I remember the nurse calling out from the hallway "Put out your cigarettes ladies! I'm bringing in the babies!"

* Here's what I ate for dinner every night when I was little: Fried hamburger patty, white rice with butter, canned spinach. I was allergic to milk so my mom gave me Hi-C.

You have to admit that in some areas life and the planet are better off than they were. Don't buy into the idea that everything is awful all the time. Eat a hot dog and get over it.


  1. we have a hot dog place here called 'papoo's hot dog show' that turns aethists into worshippers. i have defiled myself with the bacon, avocado and cheddar dog on more than one occasion.

  2. Those are great advances to point out.

    I can remember riding in the car with three of my smoker aunts. I'd sneak the window down just a tad to allow a little fresh air. My aunt would scream, "Roll up the window. It's cold!" Never you mind, my 8 year old lungs are about to explode. Geez.

  3. I used to smoke in, not just at, my pregnant school.
    I loved to sit in the back seat when I was little and smell the cigarette smoke - I actually still like the smell of a fresh cigarette - is that weird? Although I think canned spinach is more disgusting than cigarette smoke!
    I do wonder what we are doing these days that is killing us that we are happily unaware of?


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