Throughout history deadlines have always played havoc with people. I'm sure Grog was having the zero hour sweats before the wheel was created with a eureka. So it usually goes with column writers. If they'd like it Friday but they'll take it Tuesday it doesn't take much to see Wednesday looks good.
So it was last Friday when I was scrambling to find my drinking poncho with little writing on my mind. Sunday I decided to spend a delightful sunny afternoon catching up with friends in Bloom County. Monday, however, was a different story as I hit the phones trying to find the missing pieces to several stories I've been working on. Then came the restless sleep one can only attribute to a caffeinated deadline.
Next came morning and with it a new sense of urgency. OK, I figured, I'll phone them, and it'll be done. So, strolling into work I couldn't help notice just a wee bit of chaos. I had only to hear the words, "...like the space shuttle disaster..."to realize the history books have once again added a new chapter.
The tired expression on my face was immediately confused with concern as my senses were flooded with a chorus of "You haven't heard? Four planes... Pentagon... thousands dead... Trade Center... Howard Stern counter attack...Camp David...
Tick, tick, tick *ping* Hahahaha.
That's right, I laughed. As I sat there watching insanely surreal images on the telly while a blur of people continued to rattle off details - I laughed. Well, that didn't go over too well, let me tell you. You'd think I was the one who hijacked the planes from the looks I received. "How could you! Don't you know people are dead!" I suppose it didn't help when I asked if it was too early for Trade Center jokes.
Ok, I'll finally admit it. I realize this may shock some of you but I must finally come clean: I laugh a lot. It's true - my first reaction to almost any disaster is to laugh. Please make no mistake, in cases such as these, I certainly don't laugh because it's funny. Rather, laughter is just my way of dealing with an event that is almost beyond comprehension. To me laughter is medicine and I take heaping spoonfuls every day.
But back to the disaster. What shocked me even more than the fact people yelled at me for laughing, was the fact people were shocked that this happened. Am I the only one that's been paying attention to the Yee-haw cowboy running the show down there? Oh sure, America has been pushing people around for decades now. But since getting power Dubya has - on a daily basis - pissed someone off and it looks to have ended in classic schoolyard politics. If a bully alienates the entire playground it's only a matter of time before the bully gets what's coming to him.
Sure, innocent lives were lost and that sucks. Now I suppose we just sit back and wait for Dubya to launch an attack anywhere he wants. Remember Oklahoma? Yanks were all set to kick some third world ass until they realized it wasn't the fault of greasy non-white foreigners. It was actually the act of Americans. So they ended up blaming it all on an American boy named Timmy.
But now that they've killed him everything's been so much better.
In the days to come we're going to go on one hell of a ride. I hope you weren't getting sick of reality TV because this is reality TV at it's finest. Sure inhumane disasters happen on earth every day, with hundreds of thousands dying every month. But this time it's different. This time American's died, and that makes for good TV. I just hope that during the upcoming events, cooler heads prevail.
Now, if you'll excuse me, after all this brou-ha-ha I invite you all to turn off your TV and radio to join me, Bill the cat, and Opus for a well deserved dandelion break.
Bryan lives, loves and laughs in Squamish B.C.