I'm with old Omar Khayyam. The election is over. Let us leave the wise to talk. I almost envy Garrison Keillor, eager for the oblivion of his Minnesota winter.
And we have come round again to that little 3-day working-week before the Thanksgiving holidays. Sunday was the Feast of Christ the King. This is the last week of Ordinary Time, skewed as it is by that Puritan memorial, before Advent.
"Hard times in the land of plenty", howled another Omar twenty years ago in Austin, as Savings & Loans vanished like smoke and newly-built ziggurats stood empty. "See-throughs", people called the vacant office towers downtown on Congress Avenue. Ronda and I came out of Retail Egypt, returned to the land of our fathers, and got government jobs. I had read that in the Great Depression, government employment had shrunk by a mere 2%. It is easy to think that government services are expendable in times of prosperity. In hard times they are all that stand between a desperate citizenry and riots in the streets.
In elementary school, we had once to enact edifying fables in front of the class. I had a part in The Ant & the Grasshopper. The ant toiled to lay up stores of food, while the grasshopper relaxed and enjoyed himself. When lean times came, the ant was prepared, but the grasshopper perished.
A male librarian finds himself minding the store, more or less, from Thanksgiving through New Year's Day. My colleagues are mothers and grandmothers, and their other lives claim them now. By Wednesday afternoon, it will be me, our blessed, "homeless" men, and our "mouse potatoes", Internet users who are poor, and who are not going anywhere, regardless of Thanksgiving. What will they do, while the library is closed for two days?
The Madding Crowd
3 days ago