The Outstater

May 8, 2023

A Journal of Not-So-Precious Moments

WITHOUT GETTING maudlin, we all know there are moments when . . . well, moments when things change and will never be the same.

As boys fishing on a favorite stream, a moment would come when a soft breeze would pick up, the Cottonwoods would rustle and we knew that summer was over. Soon we were going to be marched off to school.

We continue to experience those moments, only they come more often and more rudely. I keep a journal of them.

• The moment you understand that the paper you signed making you a “homeowner” requires you to show up for work every day for the next 30 years to prove it.

• The moment that a majority of your neighbors nominate a “conservative”candidate who has voted for every tax increase for the last eight years.

• The moment you realize that Roman coliseums operated with more compunction than your favorite college football team.

• The moment you realize that if you shoot an intruder at 3 a.m. you will have to spend a great amount of time, money and legal energy defending yourself against criminal charges of one kind or another.

• The moment you realize that if an intruder shoots you at 3 a.m. a great amount of time, money and legal energy will be spent trying to figure out what drove him to do it.

• The moment you realize that your son’s college tuition estimate is for one year, not four.

• The moment — the second, really — you realize that your email mocking the boss’s earlier email was sent “reply all.”

• The moment you realize that your legislator already has his primary race funded by the party campaign committee and doesn’t really care what you think.

• The moment the catechismal warnings you have been dimly hearing since you were 14 begin to make a lot of sense.

• The moment you realize that the Constitution may be “living” but the Declaration of Independence is not.

• The moment you read that the Legislature has decided to raise taxes for yet another new program even though there is a revenue surplus to pay for it.

• The moment you realize that the talking head with earbuds being prompted by a producer is considered a “journalist.”

• The moment you realize what “deductible” means on your insurance policy.

• The moment you realize that the congressman forced to resign in disgrace not only will receive his full pension but any subsequent cost-of-living increases.

• The moment you realize that your metabolism is now such that there aren’t enough exercise hours left in a day to shed that extra 10 pounds.

• The moment you realize that the county chairman of your political party is in office for life because of a couple of sentences slipped into the bylaws when nobody was looking.

• The moment you understand that the fine new buildings downtown are financed without regard to market tests and will either go bankrupt in 20 years or have to be propped up with even more public subsidies.

• The moment your car dealer tells you that he doesn’t care what the Federal Reserve Bank says, there is no longer a discount for a cash.

• The moment you go to pay at the corner gas station and look up to find a woman with a beard behind the cash register.

Can you hear the Cottonwoods? — tcl


Leave a Reply