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
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

Boating Center Open

10:00am|Community Boating Center

Skagit Tours

10:00am|Highway 20

Bard on the Beach

12:00pm|Vanier Park

Northwest Raspberry Festival


Skagit Tours

10:00am|Highway 20

Sin & Gin Tours

7:00pm|Downtown Bellingham, historic Fairhaven

Summer of Blood

7:00pm|Rexville Grange Amphitheater


9:00pm|Upfront Theatre

Raspberry Pancake Breakfast

7:00am|Lynden Community Center

Tour de Whatcom

7:30am|Boundary Bay Brewery

Ferndale Breakfast

8:00am|Ferndale Senior Center

Anacortes Farmers Market

9:00am|Depot Arts Center

Mount Vernon Farmers Market

9:00am|Riverwalk Park

Christmas in July Bazaar

9:00am|Bellingham Masonic Center

Twin Sisters Market

9:00am|Nugent's Corner, North Fork Library

Four Democrats seek election in the Skagit


Primary Election Forum

9:30am|Bellingham High School

NW Art Beat Studio Tour

10:00am|Skagit County

Blaine Gardeners Market

10:00am|H Street Plaza

Skagit Tours

10:00am|Highway 20

Summer Seersucker Bicycle Ride

10:00am|Gilkey Square

Lynden Farmers Market

10:00am|Centennial Park

Lummi Island Saturday Market

10:00am|Islander Grocery Store

Bellingham Farmers Market

10:00am| Depot Market Square

Correspondence Club

10:30am|Mindport Exhibits

Downtown Market Walk

11:00am|Downtown Bellingham

Street Food Saturdays

11:00am|Zuanich Point Park

Show & Shine

11:00am|BelleWood Acres

Hot Ticket

11:00am|North Fork Library

Public Sail

12:00pm|Cap Sante Marina

The Nandia Trilogy

1:00pm|Barnes & Noble


1:00pm|Point Roberts Library

Concrete Saturday Market

1:00pm|Concrete Community Center

Field Games

1:00pm|VanderYacht Park

Wren and Della

1:00pm|Blaine Library

Lynden Cemetery Tour

1:00pm|Lynden Cemetery

State Street History Tour

1:30pm|Depot Market Square

The Secret Garden

3:00pm|Mount Baker Theatre

Ferndale Uncorked and Uncapped

3:00pm|Centennial Riverwalk Park

Nooksack River Walk

3:00pm|Horseshoe Bend Trailhead

Whatcom Democrats Country Picnic

4:00pm|Hovander Homestead Park

Seafood Boil

5:30pm|Semiahmoo Resort

Seafood Boil

5:30pm|Semiahmoo Resort

Feast and Frolic

5:30pm|Viva Farms

Saturday Seafood Boil

5:30pm|Semiahmoo Resort

Music at Maritime

6:00pm|Maritime Heritage Park

Austin Jenckes

7:00pm|Eagle Haven Winery

Bellingham Youth Jazz Band

7:00pm|Bellingham Senior Activity Center

Sin & Gin Tours

7:00pm|Downtown Bellingham, historic Fairhaven

Nelson Mandela Tribute Concert

7:30pm|Bellingham Unitarian Fellowship

Bebel Gilberto

7:30pm| Lincoln Theatre

Gerrymandering Update

7:30pm|Island Library

Cascadia Weekly Subscribe Ad 1
Boating Center Open

10:00am|Community Boating Center

Skagit Tours

10:00am|Highway 20

Bard on the Beach

12:00pm|Vanier Park

Skagit Tours

10:00am|Highway 20

Summer of Blood

7:00pm|Rexville Grange Amphitheater

Skagit Tours

10:00am|Highway 20

NW Art Beat Studio Tour

10:00am|Skagit County

Sin & Gin Tours

7:00pm|Downtown Bellingham, historic Fairhaven

Rabbit Ride

8:00am|Fairhaven Bicycle

Vietnam Veterans Car Show

10:00am|Barkley Village

Edison Farmers Market

10:00am|Edison Granary

Skagit Tours

10:00am|Highway 20

Langar in Lynden

11:00am|Guru Nanak Gursikh Gurdwara

La Conner Live!

1:00pm|Gilkey Square

Skulls and Skins

1:00pm|Tennant Lake

Mosaic Stepping Stone Workshop

1:00pm|Chuckanut Center

Audubon at the Museum

1:30pm|Whatcom Museum's Old City Hall

Fiddlin' Fox Summer Concerts

2:00pm|Fairhaven Village Green

Trivia Time

3:30pm|Boundary Bay Brewery

Trivia Time

3:30pm|Boundary Bay Brewery

Trove Web Village Books
Skagit Tours

10:00am|Highway 20

Boating Center Open

10:00am|Community Boating Center

Bard on the Beach

12:00pm|Vanier Park

Skagit Tours

10:00am|Highway 20

Skagit Tours

10:00am|Highway 20

Skagit Tours

10:00am|Highway 20

Skagit Tours

10:00am|Highway 20

Rainbow Reads

12:00pm|Ferndale Library

Plant Diagnostic Clinics

5:00pm|Bellingham Public Library

Paddling Whatcom County


Cuban Salsa

6:00pm|Bell Tower Studios

Books on Tap Two

6:30pm|Tino's Pizza & Pasta Co.


9:00pm|Firefly Lounge

see our complete calendar »

Trove Web 2018 Cascadia Kids Village Books Cascadia Weekly Subscribe Ad 1