Alan Rhodes

Midnight Musings

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Being a tormented artistic type, I’m prone to insomnia. On sleepless nights I ponder philosophical issues and write in my journal. During the day I’m so sleep-deprived that I can’t focus sufficiently to produce a column, so when this happens I publish the only thing I’ve got: journal entries. Here are last night’s mental perambulations.

1:12am I shouldn’t browse the internet before bedtime. I’m fuming about a story I just read from the Economic Policy Institute. A working guy here in Bellingham making $25,000 a year pays 12 percent in state and local taxes, while someone making $250,000 pays 3.9 percent. Countries have revolutions over this sort of thing. We should be in the streets with torches and pitchforks. I’m up for it, but I don’t have a torch. I have a flashlight. And I don’t have a pitchfork. A snow shovel is the closest I can come. Well, you work with what you’ve got. Grab your flashlights and snow shovels, comrades, and let’s bring the system down!

1:27am Can’t sleep. Now I’m thinking about the big quake that’s going to hit the Northwest. If the roads are destroyed, essential supplies can’t get through. Restaurants without Sriracha sauce! Espresso bars without coffee! Trader Joe’s emptied of dark chocolate peanut butter cups! I can’t live under those circumstances.

1:39am I must have drifted off. I had a weird dream that was like that classic Luis Bunuel film The Exterminating Angel, where a strange force keeps guests from leaving the house after a dinner party. In my dream I was at Bellingham International Airport and the only airline running was Allegiant. We’d get on the plane and then have to turn back for emergency repairs. It kept happening over and over. Come to think of it, that sounds like Allegiant’s normal operations.

2:01am My grandmother always said that no matter how bad someone is, you can always find at least one nice thing to say about them. I should test that. Charles Manson? OK, he was a pretty good guitarist. Joseph Stalin? Well, he kept his mustache well-groomed. Donald Trump? Donald Trump…. Donald Trump. I guess even Granny was wrong some of the time.

2:18am I think I’m culturally illiterate. I have no idea who the Kardashians are, what they do, or how many of them there might be. I don’t even know why I know there’s something called the Kardashians. Kardashians sounds like the name of an Armenian restaurant. Man, I could really go for a big bowl of Brndzapour right now.

2:32am I’ll be darned, I dozed off again. This time I had a horrible nightmare. I dreamed that Eric Bostrom, Bellingham’s hate-spewing street preacher, was running for county council. Oh, wait, that’s actually true, he is. It’s his third try for an office. It’s like those horror movies where you think the mad slasher is dead at the end of the film but he keeps coming back in the sequels.

2:46am I read somewhere that there are people here who don’t like being referred to as Bellinghamsters or just Hamsters. They think it’s undignified. People who don’t understand how transcendently cool it is to be a Hamster shouldn’t be allowed to live here. That may sound harsh, but it’s a matter of principle.

3:02am I’m wide awake again—but excited. I’ve figured out how to get Doug Ericksen out of the state senate. Doug’s in a safe district where he gets reelected just because he has an “R” after his name. So let’s appeal to his laziness and pay him off. Doug turned down a six-figure job with the EPA when they told him he actually had to show up at the Seattle office and work. He seems content with his $46,000-a-year job in the state senate, where he doesn’t have to do very much. Let’s pay him $60,000 to stay home. Of the 231,000 people in Whatcom County there must be 1,200 of us who will chip in $50 annually to keep Doug home. I’m in for $50. Heck, I’ll go a hundred. Maybe two.

3:23am I have to get some sleep. My Parcheesi Club has a breakfast meeting this morning to discuss strategy for our upcoming tournament with the Sedro-Woolley team, and those guys are animals. I’ll try my old standby, watching recorded Planning Commission meetings on BTV 10.

Ah, yes, getting groggy already. Roll out some more charts and statistics, I’m ready to catch some zzzs.

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