With all due respect to The Three Stooges, the undisputed champion of physical comedy – cartoon division – has to be Wile E. Coyote and The Road Runner.
There is something charming about not begrudging the Road Runner his impish confidence while watching the coyote conspire and scheme in such a way as to insure his latest in a long line of failures. We can honestly say it’s Wile E. Coyote’s fault that he alone has the singular best vantage point from which to watch the incoming Acme safe hurtling towards him. When the safe is done landing, we can guarantee it’ll have marked him as the little flat spot in the middle of the “X”.
But it’s not over and we knew to wait for it.
Who can ever forget the ever popular “poof” of inevitable smoke coming up the desert floor? From up above, we could look down and see it. And sometimes, just after seeing the puff of smoke, we could even hear the muffled thud of his time-delayed impact.
But wait. There’s more!
The one thing you knew could count on before the show was over was the shot of Road Runner briefly glancing over his shoulder at the smoking wreckage of the Coyote’s latest scheme to destroy him and then, turn to the horizon. “Beep. Beep.”
Gone. On to the next adventure…I’m struck at how cool I think it is to conceive of the Road Runner saying, “Duh. You did it. I’m out of here. Karma is not going to be your friend.
Back then, I made sure I was there in front of the television, primed and pumped to see what new trouble the Coyote could possibly get into that would top last week’s ill fated escapades – week after week. He put so much effort into plotting new schemes based on the same decisions he made before. And every time his instincts proved themselves wrong. Knowing that makes me wonder if it wasn’t my kid version of slowing down to look at a traffic stop or fender bender. No one wants to see a massive accident. ‘But a little perverted voyeurism of our neighbors plight? Why that’s a horse of a different color.’ Can you just hear it now?
“Jerry. Jerry. Jerry.”
Now that is downright entertainment! And we watch it. Just like I did when I was a kid. I was glad to be on the side of the Road Runner while secretly admitting to be pulling for the poor coyote. Wile E.? It just hurt to see him not learning from his recurring disappointments at disrupting road runner supremacy.
A lot has happened this week. Iran; the 50th anniversary of John F. Kennedy’s death and Lincoln, 100-years before that delivering a few, simple remarks in Gettysburg. Then we have the Senate and judicial nominations. Looming budget debates and healthcare…thank god we’re beyond the government shutdown and now looking at the prospect of getting tied to a ‘new’ long-term commitment in Afghanistan (of all places). But sadly, these coyote moves are real. All of them. Sadder still is knowing Life is not a cartoon. And sometimes, Life knows better.
This week I got to listen to Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass. – more on her in ‘Read More About It’). She is so wicked smart! It is such a joy to hear someone describe modest changes to what we’re doing with Social Security now that could transform the program into what people in my generation are coming to realize may be all the retirement program we have.
She doesn’t talk about what are the least painful cuts. She says it’s time to change the conversation. Why not? Why can’t we imagine solving long-term commitments in some pretty common sensical ways that, in the so doing, result in the program becoming more relevant then ever in improving the lives of those who’ve put hard coin into it for decades now?
How about the minimum wage, or tax reform. How about all the corporate welfare checks we write to the Oil Industry in the name of subsidies while we can’t get a Farm Bill passed? Climate Change? Anyone? And where is Immigration Reform or womens reproductive rights? How’s that for dem apples? Change is coming. No matter what we players do, Time sees to it that every new century has ever and always insured Change’s arrival.
How about the fact that I am so damn excited to be getting married in June? Thank you Governor Quinn and Company.
Even closer to home, this week, I saw a boss of my bosses boss send an e-mail message to every member of the management around me, complimenting me and my efforts. No threats, no expose’…just a simple and unambiguous thumbs-up of me and the performance I bring to the table.
And as cool as that is, it should also be said how incumbent it is for me to tend my growth and continue in not taking very much of anything for granted. Not everyone is going to glory in my success. But I have earned the experience of learning what works and what doesn’t. I know when I don’t know. I know who to go to to learn more about what I don’t know. It’s my rendition of stewardship walking out in real life. My life.
It feels good to have gotten to a place where I know I’m not responsible for the bad mistakes others make. Sooner or later, ‘over and over’ gets old and you catch a chance to help someone choose differently this time.
Good deed done. Gone. Miles to go…lots to do.
California has been experiencing top-flight performance of its’ healthcare roll-out. Amazing what happens when everyone shows up at the table to work towards what works for the best of all of us. How American, right? We build stuff. We do stuff that counts. Beep. Beep.
We are at our best when we are taking care to look out for our neighbor. Didn’t any number of the somebodies in our collective histories say things about loving our neighbors? And when we do, we see really positive things begin to move towards places you didn’t even know where there to look for.
The older I get, the more I realize there’s a moment in time when Life, Mother Nature and Murphy (of his law) all get together for pancakes. They look across the table at each other and shrug. They get tired of waiting for us to get into the canoes. What’s the point of the planning if you don’t ever strike camp? The ‘going’ is key to any subsequent success. But even if its catching waves, you’ve got to go out there to get them.
I’ll give the Affordable Care Act time to get settled in. There are now 40-million of our fellow citizens who are going to be able to get healthcare and its insurance for the first time in a very long time (if ever). There are also 5-million or so others who are ashamed at functionally being moved into the same column as the uninsured when their insurance companies sent them letters coming clean with them by finally admitting they couldn’t continue to offer the old garbage policies at rock-bottom-lemon prices anymore. “I can’t keep my policy?” Not, if the policies were actually expected to perform as advertised. Excuse me? What were they paying for?
Coyotes come in when a small pack of them think they can profit at the expense of the larger whole. But when the larger world starts waking up, the pack starts to smell it’s own fear at maybe not being the only finger on the scale of their success. They might be held accountable for their actions.
The other truth in all of this is whether society or nature, injured animals bite when they’re cornered. They’re scared.
So while I sadly watch some Members of Congress (who’ve been the ones doing the mugging) bemoan the fate of their beloved filibuster as a ‘power grab’ it seems to me it’s the crook trying to play the victim card. And all because they got banged up when the victim turned tables on them and got the gun away from them.
That’s not a power grab. That’s the wheels of governance slowly creaking awake as the Citizens start to imagine a better life when we each do what we know to do best. At the store; eating dinner at home or out in the workplace, I take real fuel from seeing ordinary people making really good choices all around me. It’s good to be in there with them, taking part in it – with them.
Coyote’s are not stupid. The cartoon-versions just have a really tough time leaning how to do different next time. They can’t help it. They were born and bred the way they are. But that doesn’t mean they aren’t worth our effort. Sometimes inclusion has an unintentional turn in its emotional algebra of condemning those who condemn us? And we need to forgive ourselves for that and move on. But it is no less important to move on in a way that is newly informed and equipped to incorporate new information as we find it.
Ask any coyote. 9-out of 10 coyotes recently polled were ‘very’ or ‘extremely’ confident making the same decisions will bring the same losing outcome. Over and over. But there was 1 out of the 10. That ‘1’ being willing (or confronted) with acknowledging there might be a better way of getting stuff done.
That leaves 9. And in that ‘9’? Sooner or later, there will be ‘1’ out of ‘9’. And then they were 8. Beep. Beep.
So let’s be patient with our politicians…many of them are starting to realize they are there to do stuff beyond getting re-elected. Term Limits anyone? But let’s not be harsh. It’s good to see people in government service who really are all about doing what they can to make stuff better. It is good to see some of the old serious money touching the elbow of their companies and saying, “You know what? Get on-board. Go make stuff work. Let’s make money that way instead.”
My prayer for each of us this week is we’ll recognize the opportunities to do things that better the immediate life we find around each of us every day. And then, someone else does the same thing. And then, they tell two friends….
It’s always scary whenever a society of any size moves the power into the individuals hands.
But it’s only fatal when we forget the coyotes aren’t really the ones who get to define what works and what doesn’t. We are.
Have fun this week. Do something good.
Wile E. Coyote and The Road Runner:
A most excellent source read that’s fun has to be on . CLICK ON OVER and enjoy the fun.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren: Expand Social Security!
Smart. Coyotes are right to be nervous. So sad.
SOURCES, PHOTO CREDITS and ATTRIBUTIONS:
Banner Coastal Redwood Forest by Eric E Photography is used with permission.
Wile E. Coyote and the Road Runner: http://cdn.hitfix.com/photos/463336/Wile-E.-Coyote-is-still-trying-to-get-his-hands-on-Road-Runner_gallery_primary.jpg; wile-e-coyote-off-cliff-large from Semichorus (A WordPress Blogger): http://semichorus.wordpress.com/2011/03/30/no-wonder-warner-bros-has-been-getting-involved-in-our-local-politics/; From uncomelyandbroken (A WordPress Blogger) wile-e-coyote in mid air: http://uncomelyandbroken.wordpress.com/2012/03/10/the-coyote-and-the-cliff/; Elizabeth Warren (la-fi-mh-warren-20131121-002): http://www.latimes.com/business/hiltzik/la-fi-mh-warren-20131121,0,3678117.story#axzz2lb7r7rmO
; Good Job: http://www.burnetts.com/what-to-do-if-you-don%e2%80%99t-feel-appreciated-at-work; Beep. Beep. From The Good Good Life (A WordPress Blogger): http://thegoodgoodlife.wordpress.com/2012/03/; Wile E Coyote The Cunning (wile_e_coyote_hot_by_bjnix248-d4so6rr) by http://bjnix248.deviantart.com/: http://bjnix248.deviantart.com/art/Wile-E-Coyote-hot-290022471; WileECoyote_Genius: http://designyoutrust.com/inspirations/wile-e-coyote-business-card/; Fair isn’t everyone quote: http://www.thequotefactory.com/quote-by/unknown/fair-isnt-everyone-getting-the/486868; roadrunner-300×232: http://thoseguys.tv/desert-demolition-dabbling-in-dynamite/
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