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
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

Sharing Beauty

December 13, 2017

Subdued City Shakespeare

October 25, 2017

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A Chorus Line

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