The other day I was walking down the street, texting on my cell. Somewhere between Avenues I noticed there was an old woman following me. She did not appear to be a homeless person or for that matter a nut, but I was wrong. She was clearly a little whacky. You may remember the song “Me and My Shadow”. Well when it’s performed, one of the actors trails the other step for step so you get the idea that they are the shadow. This woman was doing a pretty good job of reenacting that performance but without the music. Although it might have been playing in her head – which is something none of us will ever know.
At some point I turned around to see if she was actually following me or if she was simply walking very close to me. And, in fact, she was following me step for step. Turning around was apparently the signal she was waiting for in order to make conversation. “Is that an adding machine?”, she asked. I told her it was not. She continued to follow me. “Well then, what are you doing?” I told her I was sending a text message. “How does it work?” I told her that I didn’t know, and I quickened my steps hoping I could out run her.
Have you ever tried to run and text at the same time? It can’t be done—at least not achieve any success doing either. Then I realized I was running from some batty old lady and that it didn’t make any sense. I turned quickly and almost knocked her down. “What do you want?” I shouted at her. “Nothing,” she answered and walked away. Of course then I felt guilty. She was probably someone’s lonely mother who simply wanted a human connection. Then I thought, I’m taking care of my mother, let her kids take care of her.
Later in the day, when I got home, I opened an e-mail from the GOP. Why I am on a GOP e-mail list is beyond me, but their correspondence is often amusing. This one was as amusing as the old woman playing shadow. (You knew I would make a transition to something even if it began as unlikely). The message was from Michael Steele the new Chair of the GOP who for a few brief moments took on Rush Limbaugh about his speech to the Conservatives in the Republican Party. Steele called Limbaugh an entertainer. Can you imagine? He said Limbaugh’s show was incendiary and ugly. Whoa, then the big guns like Ann Coulter and Sean Hannity got mad and called Steele names like doody ball and poo poo head. It frightened him to the point where he felt it necessary to explain what he had said. “My intent was not to go after Rush,” Steele told Politico’s Mike Allen. “I have enormous respect for Rush Limbaugh. I was maybe a little bit inarticulate. There was no attempt on my part to diminish his voice or his leadership.”
His voice and his leadership? Are these people kidding? I love Steven Colbert but I would never call him a leader in any political party – although he is both smarter and more entertaining than Rush Limbaugh. But back to my message from Mr. Steele this morning. It was a letter about preventing Al Franken (a comedian who could become a leader in the Democratic Party though if it happens it will have been through the electoral process), from taking his seat in the Senate. That part wasn’t a surprise but the note started with this: “I am using new technology to spread our conservative message and remind voters that our party is the one and only true party of the people.”
The ‘one and only true party of the people,’ whose leader (Steele acknowledged this in his apology) Rush Limbaugh, wants the President’s plan to get the economy on track and help to make things better for ‘the people,’ fail. For whatever reason I flashed back to the old lady and thought, she should be going step for step with a few of these whacky people in the Republican Party, And she should be asking them the same question. “What are you doing?” My bet is that the answer will be pretty much the same --- “Nothing.” We’re just sayin’....Iris