YES! JOIN FOR FREE!
Enter your address below to receive free email alerts when a new comic or a blog post is published:
You may unsubscribe easily at any time & your email will never be shared with anyone!
SHARE
FOLLOW
SEARCH
EAGANBLOG ARCHIVE
Explore the current collection.

Category: Humans

Living in an Evacuum
Full disclosure: I am an evacuee. That’s my official excuse for failing to update timeagan.com for the last few weeks. Yes, the wildfires that have ravaged large areas of California have driven me from my country home.

I’m spite of that, I will confess that it is not much of an excuse. My house is still standing, after all, and so am I. Furthermore, I was not among the heroes who stayed behind to fight the fire and save their neighbors’ homes. I hightailed it off the mountain as soon as I got the call.

My only real excuse is that I have been unable to return to my computer which is the normal transmission point for these updates. The fact that you are now reading this puts the lie to that rationalization.

Even so, I am in no mood to apologize. On the other hand, I can’t complain, either. My dislocation has been a colossal pain in the ass, but a mere flea bite compared to what some of my fellow Bonny Dooners are going through.

I could keep my mouth shut, I suppose, but then there would be no Eaganblog at all. We can’t have that. I will keep it short, though, and just mention a small news tidbit that gave me some joy this week.

Perhaps you saw it, too. The pro-Trump boat parade down at Lake Travis just north of Austin, Texas? Five of the motorized pleasure craft sank, two of them all the way to the bottom. The lake is a reservoir, so there were no tricky tides to contend with. It was a sunny, windless day — great for power boating and summer fun. The happy event, however, began to generate panicked distress calls almost as soon as it began, and the Travis County Sheriff’s Office and local firefighters were forced to spend much of the afternoon hauling waterlogged MAGAheads out of the drink.

None were killed, which makes the story even better. I can enjoy my schadenfreude absolutely guilt-free. What’s more, I am allowed to ponder the metaphorical beauty of this tale without a hint of mean-spiritedness. The swampings suffered by these Trump enthusiasts came as a result of the amalgamated backwash from their own propellers. There was no evidence of foul play by the Deep State, or George Soros, or any other shadowy, antifa-loving forces. They were done in solely by their conjoined (let’s just say it, shall we?) stupidity.

Many of the boats that took on water featured large flags with pro-Trump slogans. One called to “Make liberals cry again.” I can’t say that this story made me cry, but I did mist up a little at the sight of these boneheads stepping in, and slipping on, their own do-do.

See you next week.
Freenosers
I’ve been getting some strong urges recently. I try to ignore them, but it’s hard. Judging from the citizen-on-citizen confrontations I’ve been reading about, I’m not the only one who wants to be a vigilante.

I‘ve mostly resisted the temptation so far. I did mention to one woman not wearing her mask in the store that it was my hope not to die in the plague. She was right behind me in line, so to illustrate my point, I left my goods on the counter and left the store empty-handed. Judging from the glassy look on her face, I doubt that my message got through.

Even more irritating to me than such refusals to wear a mask, however, is the propensity of some to wear it wrong. And by wrong, I don’t mean wearing a white mask after Labor Day (although I do strongly advise against such a fashion blunder). No, I am talking about masks that are intentionally worn to cover the mouth but not the nose. It seems that the people who wear their masks this way are thinking that they are in compliance with the rule. They are not.

I guess these people have chosen to let their beaks hang out like that because it’s easier for them to breathe. That is no doubt true. It’s so easy, in fact, that they are doing all their breathing through their noses — and so spewing just as many globules into the air as if they weren’t wearing masks at all. Worse, since these freenosers believe they are being good citizens, they feel free to ignore social distancing guidelines. Not only are they spewing, then, but they’re doing it right next to you.

I am not sure what to do about freenosers. I get that strong vigilante impulse every time I see one. They are, I think, an even bigger menace than their maskless cousins. But then I stop. For one thing, I don’t like control freaks and I want to avoid becoming one if I can. For another, the vigilante path is not without its dangers. Although publicly calling someone on their inappropriate behavior is not exactly a citizen’s arrest, it carries with it the possibility that the perpetrator may not take kindly to being told what to do.

Just a couple of days ago, I saw a story about some old guy in Spokane, Washington who scolded a women about her failure to wear a mask. She did not argue, but she did advise her misanthrope boyfriend of the incident. Gramps ended up in the hospital with a broken jaw. When I had my moment with the woman in the store, her husband was present. Apparently, he did not suffer from the same stupid-with-a-mean-streak affliction as the Spokane guy. Lucky for me.

Bottom line, I do not want to go to the hospital either with a broken jaw or a case of COVID-19. I guess I’ll have to stay home all the time. Either that, or I can start hanging out with a mob of my fellow vigilantes — just for protection. At a proper social distance, of course.
COVID Kitty
I want to make clear that I never promised that I wouldn’t blog about my cat. Even after this essay is released into the wild, I will not vow that I’ll never do another. That said, I know that cat-blogging is sometimes seen as a sad reflection on one’s seriousness as a social commentator.

I have decided to risk the judgment of the ages. We have a new kitten, and he is adorable. There was no temptation to name him Covid, though that might have been appropriate. We have since learned that COVID kitties are a thing, along with corona pups and other pandemic pets. If you were very near to a decision about getting a pet, this shutdown, shelter-in-place, socially distant world we now live in has probably nudged you (as it did us) to finally make the commitment.

We are currently in the prime pet enjoyment phase of our relationship. As with most animals, the earliest stage of life is the cutest. Besides the appeal of big-eyed, vulnerable smallness, there are also the wild scamperings, the goofy acrobatics, and the sudden bursts of exuberance. Just the thing for bored, slightly morose humans who aren’t going anyplace anytime soon.

Perhaps most important, though, is the addition of another spirit to the household. Even though he doesn’t enjoy quite the same standing as the other beings around here, he does offer a separate presence and a distinct point of view. He is, moreover, a life form we can touch and interact with in what used to be the most ordinary ways. Such opportunities are rare enough these days of separation from friends and family,

I will say, then, that I endorse the concept of the Covid Kitty and his ilk. He knows nothing of the virus, or of the convulsions of our economy, or of the damage inflicted on our society by an awful leader. He is just a normal cat whose life is not touched by any of that. Perhaps that is his greatest asset as a housemate. In this time of turmoil and uncertainty, he is the normal one. It is good to know that such a state still exists in this world. It is good to witness it every day and to watch it grow and thrive. Someday, we hope to join him there.
A Place for Everything
And everything in its place. That’s the idea, anyway. It’s a handy little rule if you can manage the discipline and presence of mind to follow it. Sure, it can be a nuisance to return the thing to its proper place, especially when you’re right in the middle of a project and making good headway. But we know that the rule will save time in the long run — time that we might have to spend looking for the thing the next time we need it.

In a perfect world, that’s how it works. But there are no such worlds. Mistakes will be made. So, sometimes, despite our solemn vow to never do it again, we neglect to put the thing in its place when we’re done with it.

There are no good excuses for such a failure, only lame ones. For instance, I have used “I’ll just put it down for a second. I’ll remember where it is, and then I’ll put it back.” While this excuse may amount to a statement of fact, it’s no better than “I spaced out on it, man,” or plain old “I forgot.” Even if accompanied by an apology, such explanations are not worth the hot air they are spoken with. Moreover, the only person who really deserves an apology here is excuse-maker himself. I, for one, am not interested in an apology from myself.

I try to avoid such gambits as “You distracted me,” or “It’s your fault.” That brand of blame shifting is an unseemly tack under any circumstances, but when it’s your motto that’s been violated, it’s your responsibility. All yours. Any failure (even if others collaborated in your dereliction) is your failure. That is because this rule is more than a mere catchphrase — or even an aphorism. A place for everything, and everything in its place is a full-on maxim. The thing is either in its place, or it isn’t. Do or do not, as Yoda says, there is no try.

If it were simply a saying, perhaps the consequences of failure would be less onerous. It is the sad truth, however, that besides not being able to find the thing that you (perhaps desperately) need, you also have to endure the self-recriminations for not adequately securing the thing.

So it is with my daypack. I am tempted to say that I have never misplaced it before, but now I cannot say that because it is no longer true. Nor am I permitted to say that I have looked everywhere. Clearly, I have not.

My almost perfect record is useless to me now. If it were still perfect, I’d have my daypack and be busy putting it to good use. Instead. I must begin the laborious investigation into its whereabouts. As the hunt unfolds, I am confronted at every turn by the fact that I have no one to blame but myself. Every pathetic mental re-enactment, every wild hypothetical scenario, every fruitless follow-up is a confirmation of my failure. That is the price, moreover, of having any maxims at all. So be it.

“It’s got to be around here someplace,” I try telling myself. “It’ll turn up.” These, I know, are an attempt to establish a false narrative: that everything is okay, or will be soon enough. In fact, nothing could be further from the truth. Somehow, I have violated my maxim. The world will not be right again until the thing is once again in its place.

I must find it or I am lost. Until then, there is no try, only do or do not.
first  previous  1  2  3  4  5  6  next  last
image
Trump supporters are people who know what they believe.
~ JC, Bonny Doon