I hate being grumpy, but its been that kind of day, that sort of a week. My sense of humor left in self-defense long ago, and I want it back.
The whole world is going bonkers!
I know each of us stars in his or her own life movie, but right now, mines more Dysfunction Junction than Singin in the Rain.
How to cope? I could lock the doors, close the shades, pull the covers over my head, stick my thumb in my mouth and assume the fetal position.
Or I could throw a first-class, scream-and-yell, kick-my-heels temper tantrum.
At least Id have my tantrum in the privacy of my own home. Many politicians are throwing theirs in public these days, for heavens sake, some of them in front of a gazillion TV watchers. Whats with that?
Lots of our elected representatives are acting like cranky toddlers who desperately need a spanking, a time out and a nap except nasty little brats who arent getting their way cant put out of work many thousands of people, meanwhile endangering our democracy and life as we know it.
Crucial services are halted, services for which weve already paid! Our national parks, museums and forests are closed. Closed!
Compromise? Whats that? Bah, humbug.
The madness is everywhere. Humans are out of control. People out there can be cranky, angry, unpleasant or all three, at a meeting, on the phone, on the streets, in a store, in emails.
Wars and arguments so often have at their core bitter differences of religion or ethnicity. Its politics gone mad.
And since when is it OK to kill somebody just because they disagree with you?
Innocent lives end suddenly, violently. People are being shot, killed in bunches or one at a time, for revenge, religion or no reason at all.
Kids are going hungry, crying on mean streets.
And theres more: Boat crashes, airplane accidents, car pileups, trains colliding. There are fires, floods, blizzards, tornados, an almost-hurricane. All at the same time, on the same continent.
At home, our gardens are dying from lack of water, and if it doesnt rain soon, well all be in real trouble.
We have too much work and too little time to do it.
Its not a good day. You can tell.
This little girl is stamping her foot, putting her hands on her hips and refusing to budge. I will not let the insanity turn me into one of them, the down-at-the-mouth, down-in-the-dumps, down-on-everybody-that-isnt-me people.
Im tired of being a modern-day, female version of Joe Btfsplk, the character in the old Li'l Abner cartoon, the guy who always had his own dark cloud overhead.
And the news? Its my job. But for every idiot, politician or thief for every wacko person I have to cover, I promise Ill also write about whats good, whats right, whats wonderful about our town, our lives, our country.
Yeah! When, in a town of about 6,000 people, 775 of them buy a $10 dinner to help a sick young man and his family, somethings right in our world.
Heartwarming things happen here every day. Some get a lot of attention. Some sneak in under the radar. As we pay it forward, all those good deeds, big and little, make a huge difference.
No tantrums today, thanks. Ill turn my back on dysfunction and go watch the elephant seals, the pelicans, the waves, the sunset. Ill smell the roses and jasmine, the pine trees, eucalyptus and sea breeze.
Ill call a friend. Reread a book that made me laugh. Watch an old musical. Make a date for tea. Go to a yard sale. Sing along with my iPod. Donate time to a good cause. Walk a mile. Make some jewelry, or sew. Dance on the deck, snooze in the hammock.
Ill take a trip, even if its just downtown to look at scarecrows (theres a grin for you).
Or maybe, just maybe, I can help to find a way to help put our Humpty Dumpty country back together again. There has to be a way. And if there is, we have to do it.
Got any ideas? If so, please share. Anything good is better than being grumpy.
Kathe Tanner is a reporter for The Cambrian and The Tribune. Her Slice of Life column appears biweekly. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.