Johnny Pontiac

I just can’t seem to make up my mind these days.  Since my recent unpleasantness on Groundhog Day,  I thought that by now I would have a potential NY Times Best Seller at the printer soon to be ready for Christmas release.  As visions of sugarplum fairies, autograph parties and one hour appearances on C-Span at 3 am danced through my head there was a mid-term election.

I’ve sat here at my keyboard staring at the screen watching the backspace key furiously at work reinterpreting what appears on the screen.  I’m not sure if my problem is a direct result of my recent unpleasantness, the election or the fact that I have spent way too much time on Twitter.  Honestly, I belive its the latter.  It was my intent to write about the former but cardiac hunor is just so dark while Trump humor is so much lighter and happier, right?

I’ve tried, I really have.  I started writing a few weeks ago seeking the answer to the question:  “What if Christopher Hitchens had been at the bottom of the escalator in Trump Tower that ominous day in June of 2015?” But I soon found myself entrapped in Hitchens razor which isn’t really Hitchens’ but nonetheless states that what is asserted without reason can be dismissed wihtout reason.  My only conclusion after several days of thinking about it was that there really is no reason for Donald Trump to exist, so I trashed that one.

Last week I went aligator wrestling with the phrase “Body of Work”.  Once again politics and Twitter dominated my thought process and totally wrecked my writing abilities.  I didn’t see this crash coming.  I thought I would transition from politics and “don’t look at my 50 votes to abolish healthcare” to Heather Densch and the NCAA Bowl Selection mess trying to justify including Ohio State in the College football playoffs again.  Somewhere I thought that I would put a bow on it about 1,800 words down the page. Wrong, another crash and burn.

I think the 300 lb gorilla in the room is Donald Trump.  I don’t just consider him to be a public nuisance, which he is, but the man knows no bounds.  He is even more dominant in American Society than he realizes or he could hope to be.  I curse his very existence and not because I think he is truly evil.  Nope, he knows what he’s doing, well for the most part.

I mean he went to Paris and holed up in his hotel or the Ambassador’s residence and ditched his appearance at an American cemetary commemorating the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I.  Which incidentally was about the time the phrase “the war to end all wars” originated.

This phrase was popularized by H.G.Wells and was the title of his book “The War That Will End War” released as a series of articles starting 1914.  Most know Wells as the author of “War of the Worlds” published in 1898 and popularized that Sunday night in 1938 when a young Orson Welles captured a nation via the radio airwaves.

So then Trump leaves Paris early to fly back to Washington presumably in time for Veterans Day.  Well by 10:00 AM the White House had announced there wouldbe no Presidential events for the day.  No wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.  No parade with nuclear weapons, nothing but Executive time.  The man don’t show up and dominates the headlines for doing not one damn thing.

And you wonder why I’m pissed at him.  He reminds me of this guy in the sixth grade named Johnny.  Johnny had a second shift job and drove his Pontiac to school, when he bothered to show up.  That guy did nothing.  Except pushups, he did pushups in the back of the class when he was bored.  Then he’d get up and comb his Vitalis soaked hair in the best Arthur Fonzarelli style.  I need to point out that Happy Days and the Fonz were still about 10 years from coming into our living rooms.

I think I’m going to start calling Trump President Johnny Pontiac.  Maybe then I can put up with his arrogance, constant intrusion onto my television and news feed on my phone.  I’m not going to put down my phone for anyone, not even my cardiologist and I do like him.  I probably need to stop using Twitter because the sub 300 character count is definitely killing my writing style.

But now, I have a new and refreshing perspective.  I’m no longer plagued by the ever intrusive orange headed lout from Queens.  Close your eyes and imagine a new image.  A guy with dark slicked back hair combed into a greasy ducktail wearing a tight white cotton t-shirt, tight jeans, white socks, black lace up shoes and a shiny black leather jacket.

President Johnny Pontiac

Sometimes it’s harder to write than others.

Today is my day off and like most of my days off, I go into work just to be sure there isn’t something that needs a minute or two of attention.  I usually go in late and leave early and that is, or rather was my plan for today.  At precisely 9:30 the power went off followed 15 minutes later by a confirmation text from Duke Energy, that, yes, they are experiencing power outages.

For confirmation, I walk outside and survey the surroundings.  I live next to a busy highway and there is a traffic signal on the corner.  It’s down and for the last 25 minutes, north-south traffic has continued without incident, although the people leaving Lowe’s across the street are experiencing long wait times to gain access to the world.

Duke Energy actually sent two texts, the second one tells me power should be restored in three hours.  I’m not thrilled about that, but hey, people in Puerto Rico have been without power for almost three weeks.  Hopefully in three hours, I can get rolling and more to the point, the hot water will still be a least luke warm then.

The people of Puerto Rico are in for a treat today.  Donald Trump is coming to visit, lucky them.   As I type, Air Force One is making its way southward from Washington, DC bearing the 45th President of the United States.  This is the same man that just days ago was feuding with the Mayor of San Juan.  Class Act, he is.

Last night I exhausted myself sitting here venting my anger about what happened in Las Vegas.  When I got up this morning, I re-read what I wrote and was sort of disappointed.  I wanted to write about anger, but I let it get out of hand.  Upon reflection, I think I’ll just let those words stand.  But I was worn out and didn’t think I could write again for a few days.

Now, three hours later I’m celebrating unity with my fellow citizens in Puerto Rico.  I’m not without food or  water, my home is still standing, I just don’t have electricity or internet for that matter.  Well I do have a fully charged iPhone next to me, but I’m not going to check the news or Twitter until the power comes back on.

Like most of my brothers and sisters in Puerto Rico, I have no idea where Donald Trump is right now and I don’t care.  At The White House this morning, Donald Trump made some impromptu remarks before heading to Marine One.  You know those god awful things he says every time he tries to get on a helicopter.  Today was no different.  He talked about the “Miracle in Las Vegas”.

He was referring to the first responders, the police, the fire and the paramedics and how efficiently and bravely they responded.  Unfortunately 574 people were shot by a sniper and 59 of them are dead and President Tone Deaf used the word Miracle several times.  He does this quite often when talking off the cuff.  As in Puerto Rico…big ocean, lots of water, big ocean.

I was watching Morning Joe during the departure.  Mike Barnicle commandeered the conversation and looked straight into the camera and said “I’m just tired of seeing this man and hearing him talk.  I’ve had enough.”  Now, I may have paraphrased some of that, but that is pretty close to his words, but exactly his intent.  Frankly, I feel the same way and I know a lot of you do as well.

Just stop talking Mr. President.  If you can’t mention the folks who were shot Monday morning while you’re on your way to visit the people you said just wanted everything done for them two days before that, then please just shut up.  If you will, I’ll feel better.  One of my non-political co-workers told me yesterday, “I’m fed up with this crap and want everything to calm down, NOW!”

I started this blog a few weeks ago to find out if I really wanted to be a writer or if it was just a fantasy.  I have a list of topics sitting here to the left of my keyboard, but current events are making it hard for me to write what I want.  I think of myself as Southern and would like to write like that.  But, I am afraid my South is gone.

Not the South of the Civil War, not the racist South of the 20th century, but the South of my youth.  Riding bicycles with baseball cards clipped to the spokes, Sunday dinners of fried chicken and macaroni pie, the 14 year old guy in my sixth grade class that drove his Pontiac to school.  Those are the kinds things that influenced me growing up in the South.

I don’t know for sure that I’ll write about all of those or any of those.  But like Mike Barnicle, I do know what I am tired of seeing and hearing.  Mr. President, please listen once in a while and please stop talking so much.  You’re making it harder and harder to write.

FOOTNOTE:  The power just came back on and I rinsed out my coffee cup, and YES, I still have hot water!  My Dad had a saying: “You can do anything for 30 minutes, including standing on your head.”  To my brothers and sisters in Puerto Rico I say this:  “La agonía es larga pero la muerte es segura”