Temporary normalcy

…so we’re back to this kinda semi-regular situation because all these folks are now back in town and they want to enjoy being back in town and they want to go to their regular places (who can blame them?) but, fact of the matter, we might be all doing the same drill this time a week from now. This time I’d bet a lot more people are gonna stay put. I don’t know if that’s a good idea, but who can blame them for not wanting to go through Exodus again? I mean hell — what did our forebears do? They stayed because they didn’t know all about what was coming and no one was there to give them uberwarnings about it and so they just stayed. A lot of them died, sure. But how many wanted to just put a gun to their heads (or to the heads of someone else) while stuck in traffic last weekend?

Not me, that’s for sure. I’m not advocating staying for anyone but me. I know what I have to deal with and, being a business owner and stuff, it works for me. ‘Nuff said by this irresponsible and incessant questioner of the Status Quo.

Anyway, I apologize for some of my words in the previous post. I don’t mean to characterize those who evacuated as being me-firsters. We have plenty of friends who felt they had to go and they’ve come back and they’re wonderful and they’ve faced their own hardships and, believe me, I know how much it sucks to be on the road and watching everything from hundreds of miles away. I was overgeneralizing and was talking about those who are me-firsters anyway. The last few days have been very, very good for us and, despite the fatigue, Life Itsowndeamnself is excellent. Thank you — especially to Jack, Rae, Dangerblond and an entire long list of others.

I got through with work this evening and decided to take time to walk down to the Garden District Pub and have a sazerac. I’d have honestly like to fire up a cigar, but I figured that (though legal) it would have been a smelly and selfish act. So I’ll save the cigar for another time. But there were some folks a few barstools down who were talking about things they want to do and things they haven’t done and why they “can’t” do them (including staying here during a hurricane. Might get hurt. Might have to go without power for an extended period. Might have to learn to survive without the Day Job, etc.).

I think most of us know what a Whiffle Ball is. It’s a plastic ball with holes in it that’s the size of a baseball and it comes with a yellow plastic bat and the idea is to take this ball and bat out into the yard and play “baseball,” but the holes in the ball give it all kinds of crazy action when you throw it and, if you hit the ball with the plastic bat, it’s hard to catch and, basically, it boils down to lots of activity and potentially lots of fun for something that’s not going to hurt anyone because the ball never has any speed or weight. I mean, it’s a freaking WHIFFLE BALL, fergodsakes.

I got to thinking about these folks down the bar and how sad it must be to live a Whiffle Life. Author P.J. O’Rourke mentions it in one of his books. It’s a life with no hard floors and no sharp corners and no real baseball that can bounce up unexpectedly to hit you between the eyes — or even if it does it doesn’t hurt. There’s no risk, no failure and no chance of, well, Real Success.

I know “success” is a highly subjective term. But, at least to me, it has to do with pushing one’s limits and raising the sail and putting yourself in unfamiliar waters where you’re not comfortable and you can’t predict what’s next. The success comes not in conquering (though that’s great) but in the Being There. You’re on the floor of the arena and not just a spectator. It’s easy to boo the participants when you pay your money and sit in your seat and expect to be entertained or provided for or otherwise satiated in some capacity.

I think we’re a city, a state and a nation with too many spectators.

1 Comment so far

  1. laurie2 on September 9th, 2008 @ 10:01 pm

    Of those who stayed for Katrina, 100,000 only 1,500 died-those are good odds.


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