Tag Archives: Expressions

A Decade Later

by Richard

My first thought when I heard about a plane hitting the World Trade Center was, “Man, that was one bad pilot. How do you accidentally hit one of the largest buildings in the world?”

Turns out, you don’t. Accidentally, that is.

Just like every other blogger or person with any sort of soap box, no matter how small or large, today there’s really only one subject about which we can talk. The fall of the twin towers. The terrorist attack on Sept. 11, 2001. The day things got real.

That day still stands out for me as clear as a bell. My wife, known to me as She Who Must Be Obeyed, was off from work, having been on call the night before and was going to take the young Hyper Lad to his kindermusic class. Normally, that was my job, but she wanted to do it since she actually had the time.

I was driving back from a shopping trip when I first heard people on the local sports radio show talking about what had happened. That was when I realized this was something more than just an accident. When I got home, I found SWMBO glued to the television. I didn’t say a word. Just stepped beside her, sat down and started silently watching as the drama unfolded. Watching as terror blossomed on our shores.

Watching as more than 3,000 people lost their lives.

Eventually, I reached down, picked up the sleeping Hyper Lad, and cuddled him in my arms. I needed a little reassurance that life would go on. Hugging a baby is the best way I know to get that.

For years after, there were two thoughts that were intertwined with Ground Zero and just about everything else. They were: 9/11 changed everything and If we don’t (fill in activity here), then the terrorists have won.

These were repeated as gospel, believed by just about everybody who said them and just about everybody was saying them. You couldn’t go more than a day without hearing at least one of those expressions.

And, as it turns out, they were both wrong. Here it is, 10 years later and we’re still just about the same. Not all that much has changed. We finally got Osama bin Laden, the architect behind the 9/11 massacre, but we’re still at war in various countries and our economy is still in the dumper. And, seriously, could the terrorists win if we didn’t go shopping? And, if so, that doesnt’ say much for our strength in the first place.

Ten years later and we’re more divided than ever. Even in the face of an external enemy, we can’t pull together for more than five minutes before somebody pulls out a knife and starts looking for a back in which to park it.

That, dudes, is what we have to change. It’s like all those shrinks on the radio programs say, you can’t change other people. You can only change yourself. And that’s what we have to do, to really give meaning to those who lost their lives a decade ago. Learn to work together, to get along even when we disagree, to learn that holding a different opinion doesn’t make someone a demon. To learn that, maybe, winning at any cost isn’t really worth the price you pay.

Ten years, dudes. Ten years. It’s time we started earning the time we’ve been given.

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Dog-Day Afternoon

by Richard

Dogs have some astounding expressions, provided you use a little anthropomorphism (the attribution of human thoughts and feelings to non-human objects or organisms). All of which goes a long way toward explaining why Buzz, the garbage disposal that walks like a dog.

We were out for a walk when Buzz suddenly stopped in the middle of the street. He faced forward with an intent look on his face that could only mean one thing: Squirrel. The perfect combination of twitch, furry and small size. Buzz loves to chase squirrels.

We were about 20 feet away from the squirrel, which was out in the open and in perfect position to be caught.

I, however, didn’t feel like getting dragged along.

With that in mind, I decided to do something about it. I cleared my throat and then barked loudly. Several times.

The squirrel looked up and then scampered off away up a tree.

Buzz turned to look at me, an expression of hurt confusion on his furry face.

I could clearly read that expression and it was as if he was speaking out loud: Dude, you suck as a wingman.

What could I say? He was right.

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Hey, You Kids. . .

by Richard

So Sarcasmo’s graduation was a success. We asked him if he knew the salutatorian. Nope. We asked him if he knew the valedictorian. Nope. But he sure knew the kid who dropped trou and ran across the stage.

Cudos to the school and the auditorium for getting their seventh graduation in and finished in less than 1.5 hours. Very nicely done.

The speaker, however, now that was a different story. It was the graduation-y equivalent of an old guy standing on his porch and yelling, “Hey, you kids, get offa my lawn!”

Seriously, I’m surprised this dude knew what year it was. Most of his talk consisted on encouraging the graduating seniors to abandon their twitters and their facebooks and phones and such and start learning how to handwrite a letter. “Because nothing beats a handwritten letter.”

Basically, what he wanted was for the kids to abandon the wonders of modern technology and go back to the way things were when he graduated all those eons ago. It was a loud, long call to forego the future and embrace what happened to work in the past.

It was, to put it bluntly, the exact opposite of what a high-school graduation speech should be.

In my opinion, high-school graduates and college graduates should be encouraged to embrace the future, to find not what works now or what worked in the past, but what will work in the future. Their lives stretch out before them and they will see changes undreamed of by people of our generation or the previous generation. That is fact.

Trying to cling to the past, encouraging those who will come after you to cling to outmoded expressions of courtesy or personal interaction is just, well, horrible. Lives change. Times change. People should change as well.

Embrace the future. Fight to claim it for your own. Grab on to what’s coming, make it your own and then pass it back to the people who come after you.

And always know the kid who drops trou and runs across the stage.

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