Strangers in the Night

I have two big events coming up this Saturday night, my 50th anniversary Reunion at Christ the King H.S., and Marianne’s Birthday/St. Patty’s Party.  They’re both on the same night and I’ve been trying to figure out what I’m going to do.  My most recent plan is to get to the Reunion early, talk to a few people and then split.  I hate to leave a party early, but I will make an exception when I’m going to a better party.  Besides, if there was anyone I really wanted to see at the reunion, I wouldn’t have waited 50 years to see them.  I think I spent more time in the hallway than I did in the class, anyway.

Catholic School was not a good place to practice for a career in stand-up comedy.  You cracked one joke and they hit you with a pointer and threw you out in the hall.  You never even got time for a follow-up joke.  You didn’t even know if the class liked the joke.  Were they laughing at what I said or were they laughing at the beating I was taking as Brother Bruno escorted me to the hallway?  No wonder that most of the great stand-up comedians are Jewish.  If George Carlin hadn’t been expelled from Cardinal Hayes H.S. he probably never would have made it as a comedian.

So, the reunion has been on my mind, lately.  I’ve also been thinking about the ongoing Presidential campaign.  I’m a Democrat, but most of my friends are Republicans.  The most Republican one of all is Marianne’s brother-in-law, Hilary.  (He must hate the fact that when he says his name, people automatically think of the other Hillary, the one who’s running for President as a Democrat.)  His father was the mayor of Lynbrook for years.  His brothers run for Congress all the time.  If you live on Long Island, I’m sure you’ve seen a “Becker for Congress” bumper sticker or two.  I figure we’ll spend some time at the party talking about the Hair apparent to the Republican nomination, Donald Trump.

Another thing on my mind is that I no longer have TV service.  I cancelled my contract with Comcast last week and tried using rabbit ears to pick up a signal.  Either I’m doing something wrong, or there aren’t any broadcast signals in Lancaster.  I guess the Amish market wouldn’t be a demographic that any of the networks were trying to court, even if the Amish had televisions.

So, I’ve been doing a lot of writing and reading, and walking around the neighborhood.  Reading a book of short stories late at night is just not as stimulating as, say, a Rocky marathon on TV, though.  So, I’ve been going to bed earlier and waking up earlier.  For the past year or so, I’ve been going to bed at around 3 or 4 a.m. and sleeping until noon.  Now, I’m going to bed around midnight and waking up around 8:30.  It’s amazing how quickly my cable-free body is getting back into circadian rhythms inspired by the sun instead of my favorite TV shows.

All these factors contributed to my “attending” a gala Republican function and watching the returns come in.  I knew almost immediately that I was dreaming, but I didn’t even try to wake myself.  I wanted to see where it would go.  Since, I don’t have any TV, I take my entertainment where I can get it.  Besides, it was a pretty decent party.  It was in a beautifully furnished multiplex apartment of some rich couple.  They appeared once on the spiral staircase, but I didn’t recognize them.  Hilary Becker was there, and there were lots of other people there.  They had all sorts of food, free booze, and they even had pot.  This was another clue that it was just a dream, but I just took a few tokes and kept right on snoozing.

I was introduced to George W. Bush, who was a lot older in the dream than he really is, but then again I haven’t seen much of him in the last eight years, so maybe he wasn’t too much older.  We walked into a different room and he had to hold my arm for balance.  He spoke to me, but his voice was so weak, I couldn’t hear what he was saying.  Just as well, it probably would have set me off, and my cover would have been blown if I started arguing with him.  I think we were wandering around looking for Laura Bush, but we never found her.

I went off by myself, and I wound up walking into my High School Biology Lab.  There were some people from my graduating class there, but I didn’t remember any of their names.  They were hunched over the tables like they might be dissecting frogs, but they weren’t.  They were performing vasectomies on little plastic babies.  I decided to try.  I hooked up some kind of rig that looked like a guillotine and WHOOOMP, the little plastic baby had a vasectomy, a circumcision, and could now pee 10 times faster than any of the other plastic babies.  I got beaten with a pointer and thrown out of the class.  That was the first normal thing that happened in my dream, and it woke me up.

Nature abhors a vacuum.  If you don’t feed it television, it will produce its own mini-series while you are sleeping.  I’m cool with that, though.  I actually enjoyed the show last night, and, best of all, there weren’t any commercials.

Peace & Love, and all of the above,

Earl

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