Alan Rhodes

Mr. Cranky’s Files

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

People ask me, “Where do you get your ideas for your columns, Mr. Cranky?” Actually, nobody has ever asked me that, but here’s the answer anyway. When I hear something interesting that might make a good column, I jot down a few notes on whatever piece of paper is handy and pitch it into a folder. When it’s time to write I rummage among the scraps for an idea. Woody Allen uses the same method for his movie ideas, so Woody and I have one thing in common. And the fact that we’re both short. And wear glasses. And are old. O.K., I guess we have many things in common, but I digress. Last night I was perusing unused items from my folder, and thought I’d share a few.

Stranger than fiction. The following four events have recently taken place 1. Attorney General Jeff Sessions quoted the Bible to justify ripping babies out of their mothers’ arms. 2. Shortly after saying he couldn’t end the separation of immigrant children from their parents by executive order, Donald Trump signed an executive order ending the separation of immigrant children from their parents. 3. When visiting a detention center for immigrant children separated from their parents, Melania Trump wore a jacket with the message, “I really don’t care, do u?” 4. I seriously considered giving up writing satire because it’s getting too hard to compete with reality.

Reefer Madness. Donald Trump has indicated he might support legalizing marijuana. This leads to some interesting possible scenarios. If the United States legalizes pot, might Canada, which has recently legalized it, try to compete with U.S. markets? Would Trump respond by putting a tariff on Canadian pot? Would this lead to a marijuana trade war between the United States and Canada? Well, if we have to get into a war I’m glad it will be with Canada. They are very courteous.

Running into trouble. Speaking of Canada, maybe you read about the young French woman who was visiting her mother in British Columbia and took an ill-fated jog along the beach. Inadvertently crossing into U.S. territory, she was apprehended by border patrol agents and packed off to a detention center in Tacoma. Her mom quickly arrived with her daughter’s passport and work permit, but it was two weeks before she was released. Only one conclusion can be drawn from this incident: We need to build a big wall on the northern border and Canada has to pay for it. They’ll pay all right, and not just because they are courteous. They know that if they don’t, Trump will say more mean things about Justin Trudeau.

Clown car. If you’re wondering who might be the most absurd candidates in Whatcom County’s August primary, I’ve picked my top three. Trying to unseat Eric Larsen in the second congressional district is Uncle Mover (aka Mike the Mover) whose big issues include the alien species living among us, FEMA concentration camps, and the possibility that there is no gold in Fort Knox. Eric Bostrom is back this election season (yes, sigh, again) running for County Council-at-large, apparently believing there’s no reason you wouldn’t want to elect an angry, gay-bashing street preacher to represent you. Doug Ericksen is, of course, running for reelection to the state senate. If you don’t already know the plethora of reasons not to vote for this self-serving corporate shill, you just haven’t been paying attention.

Space Cases. Donald Trump is proposing a new military branch, the Space Force. Although I’m a non-militaristic kind of guy, I might want to join Space Force, but only if we get really cool uniforms like they wear in Star Trek. At a recent rally in South Carolina, Trump whipped up excitement for his Space Force. The Daily Show’s Michael Kosta interviewed Trump supporters exiting the rally. They were really stoked about Space Force, but when Kosta asked them what it was, he got such answers as “Something we’ve been missing for a long time,” “Making space great again,” “A little bit of everything,” and “Cloud computers.” In other words, these folks had no idea what it was. When asked who should lead Space Force, one fellow suggested Neil Armstrong, who, you probably recall, has been dead for six years.

Winston Churchill is purported to have said, “The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter.” He did not in fact say that, but that’s only because he never had the opportunity to attend a Trump rally.

Past Columns
The Lilliputian Gazette

November 20, 2019

Election Elucidations

October 15, 2019

Buying Sedro-Woolley

September 4, 2019

Rescued by Rachmaninoff

July 17, 2019

Hurrahs and Harangues

May 8, 2019

Ranting and Raving

March 6, 2019

Bellingham 2050

February 13, 2019

Looking Backward

January 2, 2019

Joy to the World

December 19, 2018

A Second Spring

October 3, 2018

Dog Days Deliberations

September 12, 2018

Can We Talk?

June 20, 2018

Midnight Musings

May 16, 2018

April Fools

April 4, 2018

Rollo and Me

March 7, 2018

Egregious linguistic offenses

February 14, 2018

Events
Today
Holiday Pet Food Drive

10:00am|Whatcom County

Deck the Old City Hall

12:00pm|Whatcom Museum's Old City Hall

Giving Tree

9:00am|Village Books

Holiday Festival of the Arts

10:00am

The Naughty List Market and Cabaret

2:00pm|Broadway Hall

Miracle Pop-Up Holiday Cocktail Bar

4:00pm|Swim Club

Treasure Island

7:00pm|Sehome High School Theater

Shrek the Musical

7:00pm|Burlington-Edison High School

Crazy for You

7:30pm|Bellingham Theatre Guild

A Christmas Carol

7:30pm|Sylvia Center for the Arts

Number the Stars

7:30pm|Anacortes Community Theatre

Wild Things

9:30am|Connelly Creek Nature Area

Toys for Tots

10:00am

Pacific Arts Market

10:00am| Sunset Square

Holiday Tea

11:00am|Willowbrook Manor

Holiday Craft Bazaar

3:30pm|Lynden Library

Drayton Harbor Shellebration

4:00pm|G Street Plaza

Gingerbread House Making

4:30pm|Ferndale Library

Christmas on the Docks

5:00pm|Cap Sante Marina

Photos and Stories with James K. Papp

5:00pm|Gallery Pegasus

Wonderland Walk

5:00pm|Washington Park

Valley Made Holiday Market

5:00pm|Maplehurst Farm

Kids Night Out @ Western

6:00pm|Western Washington University

Lost Feast

7:00pm|Village Books

Honk! The Musical

7:00pm|Bellingham Arts Academy for Youth

Darkness and Light

7:30pm|St. James Presbyterian Church

Narnia the Musical

7:30pm|Claire vg Thomas Theatre

Christmastime is Here with Skagit Symphony

7:30pm|McIntyre Hall

Tarnation and Holiday Games

7:30pm|Upfront Theatre

Tomorrow
Holiday Pet Food Drive

10:00am|Whatcom County

Deck the Old City Hall

12:00pm|Whatcom Museum's Old City Hall

Giving Tree

9:00am|Village Books

Holiday Festival of the Arts

10:00am

Miracle Pop-Up Holiday Cocktail Bar

4:00pm|Swim Club

Shrek the Musical

7:00pm|Burlington-Edison High School

Treasure Island

7:00pm|Sehome High School Theater

Number the Stars

7:30pm|Anacortes Community Theatre

A Christmas Carol

7:30pm|Sylvia Center for the Arts

Crazy for You

7:30pm|Bellingham Theatre Guild

Pacific Arts Market

10:00am| Sunset Square

Toys for Tots

10:00am

Holiday Tea

11:00am|Willowbrook Manor

Christmas on the Docks

5:00pm|Cap Sante Marina

Wonderland Walk

5:00pm|Washington Park

Valley Made Holiday Market

5:00pm|Maplehurst Farm

Honk! The Musical

7:00pm|Bellingham Arts Academy for Youth

Tarnation and Holiday Games

7:30pm|Upfront Theatre

Darkness and Light

7:30pm|St. James Presbyterian Church

Narnia the Musical

7:30pm|Claire vg Thomas Theatre

NSEA Work Party

9:00am

Breakfast with Santa

9:00am|Sedro-Woolley Community Center

Winter Faire

10:00am|Whatcom Hills Waldorf School

Winter Arts & Crafts Festival

10:00am|Pioneer Park Pavilion

Old-Fashioned Christmas Market

10:00am|Friday Harbor Brickworks

Bellingham Farmers Market

10:00am|Depot Market Square

Fairhaven Winterfest

10:00am|Historic Fairhaven

Sumas Book Club

10:00am|Sumas Library

Mastering Wisteria

10:30am|Full Bloom Farm

Award-Winning Book Club

10:30am|Lynden Library

Snow Geese of Skagit

10:30am|Christianson's Nursery

Your Life is a Story Writers Group

10:30am| South Whatcom Library

Saltadena Celebration

11:00am|Saltadena Bakery

Winter Wonderland Gift Gala

11:00am|Carnation Building

Holiday Craft Bazaars

11:30am

Holiday Maker's Market

12:00pm|Terramar Brewing and Distilling

Holiday Joy with Fidalgo Youth Symphony

1:00pm|McIntyre Hall

Holiday Tea and Crafts

1:00pm|North Fork Library

Festive Feasting Reception

1:00pm|Good Earth Pottery

Teen Art Fair

2:00pm|Blaine Library

Big Holiday reds tasting

2:00pm|eifert & Jones Wine Merchants

Shrinking the Worry Monster

2:00pm|Village Books

Birding for Kids

2:30pm

Bowman Bay Holiday

3:00pm|Bowman Bay

Noel Ensemble

3:00pm|Jansen Art Center

A Deep Dive Into Eve Deisher's Psyche

3:00pm|Museum of Northwest Art

One Meditation

4:00pm| Boulevard Park

The Nativity

6:30pm|Mount Baker Theatre

Early Railroads of Whatcom County

7:00pm|Village Books

Contra Dance

7:00pm|Fairhaven Library

Center Into Solstice

7:00pm|Cafe Blue

Holiday History Hi-Jinks

7:00pm|Downtown Bellingham

Winter Solstice Concert with SeaMuse

7:30pm|Firehouse Arts and Events Center

Cidertails with Alexine Langdon

7:30pm|housand Acre Cider House

Heralding Christmas with Skagit Valley Chorale

7:30pm|McIntyre Hall

The Kelley World Tour

7:30pm|Lummi Island Library

Sunday
Holiday Pet Food Drive

10:00am|Whatcom County

Deck the Old City Hall

12:00pm|Whatcom Museum's Old City Hall

Giving Tree

9:00am|Village Books

Holiday Festival of the Arts

10:00am

Miracle Pop-Up Holiday Cocktail Bar

4:00pm|Swim Club

Number the Stars

7:30pm|Anacortes Community Theatre

Crazy for You

7:30pm|Bellingham Theatre Guild

Pacific Arts Market

10:00am| Sunset Square

Christmas on the Docks

5:00pm|Cap Sante Marina

Valley Made Holiday Market

5:00pm|Maplehurst Farm

Honk! The Musical

7:00pm|Bellingham Arts Academy for Youth

Narnia the Musical

7:30pm|Claire vg Thomas Theatre

Winter Wonderland Gift Gala

11:00am|Carnation Building

The Nativity

6:30pm|Mount Baker Theatre

Heralding Christmas with Skagit Valley Chorale

7:30pm|McIntyre Hall

Sedro-Woolley Community Breakfast

8:00am|American Legion Post #43

Langar in Lynden

11:00am| Guru Nanak Gursikh Gurdwara

Celtic Yuletide

3:00pm|Lincoln Theatre

Scarlett and Dicey

4:00pm|Village Books

Vaudevillingham

7:00pm|Cirque Lab

see our complete calendar »