Yankee doodling

Sam hasn’t been keeping the place up. Why, I remember when they used to call it “The White House.”

Uncle Sam has become that neighbor nobody likes.

Mind you, Sam has always been prickly. All over the map politically, and a stickler for the letter of the law as defined by the neighborhood association, though truth be told he’d been known to cut a few corners himself.

But he subscribed to the newspaper, walked the dog morning and evening, and kept up his property. From time to time he might have some pointed advice as to how you might improve your place, too. But Sammy meant well. Plus he was always good for a box or two of Girl Scout cookies.

Now he’s old and querulous, and if there’s a loon campaigning for something, you’ll see his sign in Sam’s yard, which is not nearly so well kept these days. Fox News is on what appears to be an endless loop, with the volume cranked to the max so he can hear it out in the garage, where he’s perpetually working on … something. The dog has likewise gone gray and mean, and stays chained up out back in what’s become more salvage yard than back yard.

And when the Girl Scouts come calling he runs them off, threatening to call the cops, or worse, especially if the kids are Brownies.

His old pals from the war don’t come around anymore. But there’s this new crowd nobody’s too keen on. Loudmouths with attitude, the sort you don’t dare turn your back on, guys who break things because it’s fun, and because nobody cares to stop them.

The neighbors all hope the family takes charge, because property values are dropping like a stone and it’s just plain bad for business. But they have their own problems and don’t seem to much care what goes on in that old white house any more. They’ve got the time to put on this big barbecue, though. It’s a national holiday or something.


26 Responses to “Yankee doodling”

  1. Esteban O’ Says:

    Sister-in-law just drove down from Alaska, said Canadian customs are being total assholes to Americans.

    You know you’re doing something wrong, policy wise, when you have pissed off the Canadians

    • khal spencer Says:

      I’m headed to Buffalo, NY next week for family business. I’m tempted to stop by the Peace Bridge just to apologize to the Canadians.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Give my former friends and neighbors my warm regards. Our neighbors here, the ones with the two cute kids, are in BC visiting family as we speak. I’m pining for the Great White North myself, eh.

  2. khal spencer Says:

    Wow. Nicely done. Needs to be published in the Grey Lady.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Thanks, K. I actually started on this a few days ago and then left it lay for a spell. This morning when I was contemplating a post of some sort, there it sat, half-baked. All I had to do was crank up the heat.

      I had been thinking about riffing on a pair of E.B. White essays about fascism, “Freedom” and “The Wave of the Future,” both from Harper’s magazine circa 1940. But attaching my miserable prose to his is like using electrical tape to wrap the bars on a Moots Routt RSL.

  3. Pat O'Brien Says:

    I agee with Khal. Maybe needs to go in the New York Times. Patrick, you da writing man.

    As far as country goes these days…..

  4. Ira Says:

    That’s a great piece O’G. I’m Canadian, and although I know there are a lot of Americans who are great people, the total disrespect we are getting from your man-child president is starting to wear a little thin. I know not every American is to blame for the current administration, but everyone who voted for the Orange arsehole, and especially the people who didn’t vote at all, have to take ownership of the fact that USA is the least liked country in the G20 right now. The mid terms can fix this. Please, people of sane and moral conscious, get out and vote. Put some sanity back in your government.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Ira, please extend my deepest sympathies to your countrypersons. The midterms are notorious for shite turnouts, but the Old Wise Heads have great hopes for this time around.

      Of course, all the OWHs thought The Hilldebeast was gonna win in a walk, too. So keep a bugout bag packed. Il Douche may be sending SEAL Team 666 your way.

    • Herb from Michigan Says:

      On a clear day I can almost see the Cannucks across the Detroit River and have always admired them for their demeanor. Not to mention their superior driving skills. But along comes Republicans and here we are- a minority now running the USA. If you can, go back and listen to NPR’s 1A last week on civil discourse. I am sure you will agree with Christine Fair that we are no longer a democracy since we let Republicans gerrymander, strip voting rights, cozy with Russains and other assorted dick moves which led to Adolph Trump. It is truly righteous for Mexicans and Canadians to be pissed at We The People of the United States of America. Until we pull our heads out of our asses and prove otherwise; we are complicit in living up to the Ugly American image we foster as we blunder and bully our way around the globe.

  5. mooremediaone Says:

    Definitely not as optimistic as I used be. Pre-Trump, l had hope for Uh Merica, and the fragile ecosystem we call Mother Earth.

    Now, I’m just downright depressed. Thanks Donald, you orange butthead.

    But keep these posts coming, since I feel better when I can commiserate with those looking the same direction as me.

    • Pat O'Brien Says:

      Depressed pretty much says it. As far as climate change goes, I think we have already passed the tipping point. And, I thought all Americans would be wise by now to the pompous, arrogant, ignorant, and incompetent boy (spelled small b, small o, small y) sitting in the white house. I think I will wear my Canadian world cup team cycling jersey on the ride tomorrow.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Can I slip in the occasional food post between political diatribes? That chicken-tacos recipe from the Santa Fe School of Cooking turned out pretty damn fine. It’s from their “Salsas and Tacos” book, which I have been neglecting. The pico de gallo is from “The Santa Fe School of Cooking Cookbook,” which is my workhorse.

      • khal spencer Says:

        Well, food looks good.

      • Patrick O'Grady Says:

        I wish I’d started learning how to cook when I was a sprout instead of a geezer. I might be better at it than I am.

        Then again, I might have given it up by now the way I have drugs, booze and swimming laps.

        K, you and Meena might like some of the vegetarian recipes in this book. One calls for roasted ’shrooms (no, not that kind) while another uses potatoes, poblanos and spinach.

      • larryatcycleitalia Says:

        The wife was pining for some guacamole the other day so I popped the big euros for some almost-ripe Haas avocados and a couple bags of what passes for tortilla chips over here. She whipped up some reasonable copy of guac while we downed a few beers and watched a World Cup game on TV.
        For July 4th I found some babyback ribs and BBQ sauce, so there’s really not much to come back to the land of Orange Hitler for these days, even if he turns off my social security checks! F–k You Don the Con!

      • Patrick O'Grady Says:

        The avocados have been sketchy at the WholeAmaFoodsZone lately. We’ll get a couple winners and then one that’s as smoky as a dive bar.

        I keep the guac’ really simple: avocado, salt, just a bit of finely chopped onion, a little bit of diced tomato, and a squirt of fresh lime juice. I don’t whip it into a paste, either; leaving a few smallish lumps gives it some character. I leave some chunks in my mashed taters, too.

        Some chef whose name I disremember recommended lemon instead of lime, saying lime tended to “scorch” the guac’, but I haven’t tried that variation yet.

      • Pat O'Brien Says:

        I cooked 100 hot dogs, 40 bratwurst, and 100 hamburgers yesterday for the independence day gig here in Wrinklehaven. No one complained, so I assume nothing was burnt or raw. There were over 120 people in the rec center. And, no, I did not eat and hot dogs or burgers. Like a good cyclist, I loaded up on penne with homemade basil pesto and sautéed red bell pepper and Vidalia onions before I went there.

  6. Jon Paulos Says:

    Don’t know how many of you buy your spices from Penzey’s, but the owner just posted an essay on their Facebook page that’s worth reading.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      I used to buy from Savory Spice in Bibleburg, but I’ve done a bit of business with Penzey’s since moving here. What’s the owner have to say? I see he’s been critical of Il Douche in the past. Makes me want to rent a Ryder van and haul away a few thou’ of his product by way of a thank-you.

      • Jon Paulos Says:

        Well, its kinda long, but the gist of it was: (1) The perception of Trump being even slightly popular with a significant part of the US population is false, being driven by corporate media, (2) standing up to Trump has been very profitable for his company, check out the graphs, and (3) Americans have a lot more in common than they realize, with divisions being driven by Trump and his allies.

    • Carl Duellman Says:

      i just ordered some spices from pezney’s. i had some bhindi masala last night at the local indian restaurant and since it is almost okra season i thought i might give it a go. i’ve never heard of pezney’s so thanks for the hook-up.

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