The Absurdities of Modern American Life
-Fred Stock

            Yes, I know with a title like that you probably expect a dissertation on the election of George W. Bush or the military or foreign “policies” of the same, or some such, but this is more benign. I have just returned from a walk through the mall, observing along the way the passers-by. Our country is filled with people who live here, but do not live here! They live in some fuzzy place far away and only their bodies and dubious choices are observable on this planet! (Ummm, perhaps I am one of them! Good Grief!) Really, where do those folks really exist?

          To wit, several decades ago I realized it was better to be a male than a female in our society because those poor misled creatures often wore stiletto heels that placed the back of their foot about five inches off the ground. I get

cramps in my feet just thinking about it! Maybe they feel more powerful or skilled or something when they have mastered the act of stilt-walking

in those awful things whilst wearing a tight fitting skirt which ends at the ankle! How the dickens could they actually walk? Isn’t that how they chain up a prisoner

when they are afraid he will run? And the really strange revelation is that you see those outfits on sales ladies required to bend over or stretch upward to get to the items they are selling you! Maybe that’s like boot camp – basic training for the frustrations of marriage and the restricted contortions required to raise kids!

              Now, I recently have realized our modern boys have not yet learned. They have adopted the same kind of lunacy; have you ever noticed the trousers the children are wearing these days– the top

of the inseam measurement is located about knee level! That’s absolutely absurd!

Of course, the compensating adjustment is that the pants are roomy enough inside to house two or more people and an AK-47 without detection! It always amazes me that these are the clothes the gang members choose to wear when they plan something that will require running from the scene of the crime! Isn’t there something wrong with that logic?


But you have to wear your non-conformist uniform, I suppose. Oh, I know you are saying we had non-conformist uniforms as kids too… yes, but remember, ours were different, therefore they must have been better, right? And more reasonable! Well, of course! Come on now!         

            Speaking of the scene of the crime, who told the security company people they have to mount the cameras at the ceiling, at the highest possible point they can get them. See, that way they can be sure the baseball hats will properly hide the robber’s faces! Why not put one at face level AND one at the ceiling? How about a really good image on a really usable tape recording? And cameras, maybe a

pair of them at the counter level so you could not reach both of them to disable them simultaneously, and you’d usually end up with two views, like mug shots? And perhaps you can provide cameras that allow enough detail for identification beyond, “I think there is a moving object of some sort, in the image where the gunman was probably standing.” It seems to me that if I spend the money to get one of these systems, I’d like it to help nab the bad guy!


          It has also occurred to me that there ought to be a clearly labeled iron bar across the front of the counter at 7-11 or Circle K. It ought to be spring loaded with such a powerful mechanism that when the clerk stepped on the pedal, it would

instantly knock the wind out of any clown standing there threatening her… maybe take a few ribs out in the process, as well as auto-dialing 911. I know there are numerous dangers and legal complications to that kind of approach, (Ain’t lawyers fun?) but maybe the kid that works there at

three thirty in the morning will make it home in the daylight. Big signs and bright orange paint and window markings and caution warnings! If the robbery slug knows it’s there, he may be less likely to pull a knife or a Saturday night special. (Who cares what the ACLU has to say?) I think the signs and a couple of good news stories on the six o’clock just might do it. –fhs