February 24, 2019

Hubris and I departed from Howie’s coffee shop more determined than ever to try to find new direction in our lives. I couldn’t go on drinking over-priced coffee and Hubris agreed that I shouldn’t have to buy expensive alfalfa and sun-dried oats cookies any time he wanted one. Howie had a good business going but I couldn’t find any real substance in what he offered. We needed a strong dose of reality in our lives—not just wishful thinking. Sort of like a great big ole fashioned pot roast dinner or a partial bale of real, sun-dried alfalfa hay. Even more important—we both realized that drinking from the big troughs at Lefty’s saloon or Wright’s blacksmith’s shop was loaded with long term health problems—and we had enough of those already! We were looking for something different—but honest and reality-based.

     We had traveled a long way when we came to a big road-side sign that read,

                                          Bernie’s Place,

                                    Open for Business, Again!

                                       (just 27 miles ahead)

Hubris and I both shook our heads in dis-belief and I said, “Hubris, what the hell is that old guy doing? Didn‘t he learn anything from the last time around?” Hubris just whinnied.  Then I said, “OK Hubris, let’s go see what that old goat is up to now.”  A few hours later we reined up along-side an old ‘Vermont Camper’ RV that had been recently been repainted a brilliant solid blue. The really funny thing was that attached to back of the camper was the biggest watering trough trailer Hubris and I had ever seen! The reason it was funny was that the last time Bernie went into business he had a little blue and white striped Volkswagen with a much smaller water trough attached to its left side.

     Bernie was sitting Buddha-like in an old-fashioned folding canvas chair straight out of the ‘Distressed Products’ sale area of Ikea. About a dozen young people, looking at their I-phones or pecking at their tablet/computers, surrounded him. They looked just like the disciples of old—awaiting a word of wisdom from the master—with one exception—I guessed the ‘word’ would come from a Twitter tweet or a Facebook blog because none of his disciples were looking at Bernie, they were all looking at their phones or tablets! I noticed that both sides of the camper were painted with the same products names as he had offered in his last business venture. But now, the type size listing them was twice as big as they were on the sign attached to the back of the little Volkswagen! Bernie was ‘going for it’ in a much bigger way than before. Hubris didn’t mind when I hung the reins over a Vermont Maple tree branch and waited for my turn to talk to Bernie.

    When my turn came, the first thing I asked Bernie was, “Why are you running for the Democrat Party nomination? Don’t you remember how the DNC cheated you out of the nomination the last time?” Bernie looked at me and he had the same little grin and shrug I had seen so many times before. Hubris and I called it ‘the Schlemiel’ look. He could have been a stand-up comedian if he hadn’t had such a strong social conscious. Then Bernie’s face turned serious. He seemed to take a deep breath and with a glimmer of vengeance in his eyes said, “I had only one female competitor in my last business venture.  This time I expect to have a least half-a-dozen of them—or more.  By the time those cats get through clawing each other up, I’ll be the only man standing!”  I took a long look at an old but tired familiar face, and with all the kindness in my voice I could muster, replied, “Bernie, don’t count on it!”

    Then, taking the reins off the tree branch I remounted and with a shout of “Hi Ho Hubris, Aaawaaay!” Hubris and I were off to continue our search for reality—and, maybe even— Responsibility (?) in the political business.

                                                       Copyright, Louis J. Christen 2/24/2019

The Lone Curmudgeon Writes Again!