Grasshopper Soup: Coexist, you mean all of us?
November 16, 2010
TRUCKEE/TAHOE, Calif. and#8212; No matter how bad life gets, there is always someone, somewhere, who is much worse off than we are. There is no comfort in that, but it makes me think twice before I complain about anything. But that doesnand#8217;t always stop me from complaining. Chocolate chip cookies usually do the trick, served with milk or beer, depending on the problem.
Complaining about others often just makes us sound as bad as we assume they are. I have stuck my foot in my mouth enough to know it is better to hold my tongue and sleep on it. Iand#8217;ve tried sleeping on my foot, and my tongue, while holding it. I got cramps, and insomnia. Thatand#8217;s because my tongue is too short, and my fingers and legs are too long.
My critics, who are my best teachers, and my greatest inspiration, say I am also intellectually challenged. Who isnand#8217;t? I am proud to coexist in their good company.
Politicians canand#8217;t always coexist. They say the other party is intellectually challenged; they donand#8217;t have any ideas; their ideas are all bad. Such lies trick them into rejecting the majority of those they have sworn to serve and protect. Of course the other party has ideas. If we vote a bunch of airheads into office, our minds are as empty as theirs. Frankly, Iand#8217;d rather have an empty mind than one that is full of complaining. A politician with an empty mind is preferable to one with a mind so full of it he or she canand#8217;t see straight, like ex-congressman Alan Grayson. He was a loser before Floridians booted him out.
He demonized good people like the worst schoolyard bully. He prevented coexistence. He mocked entire groups of people, and convinced himself they were the bad guys, and he was the only good guy. He was wrong. The people decided not to coexist with his despicable politics anymore. Let Graysonand#8217;s defeat be a lesson to everyone like him. Hopefully he was the last one.
In my column on March 25, 2009, I made what sounded like a very rude complaint about people who stick the COEXIST bumper sticker on their car.
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Hey, if I wasnand#8217;t controversial, Grasshopper Soup wouldnand#8217;t be so popular!
But I do apologize to all you coexist bumper sticker priests and priestesses. I made your message sound irrelevant when it is, in fact, the loftiest goal of all. My nerdy approach to English grammar is the only reason I ever mentioned you and the sticker.
I abhorred spelling, punctuation and grammar when I was a kid. I could only remember simple, obvious stuff about English, like the one word command. I was so relieved when I found out I could make a complete sentence with only one word!
and#8220;Move!and#8221; and#8220;Stop!and#8221; Those are commands. Some of us love telling everybody else what to do. The word coexist, by itself, is a command. Some people obey it, some wonand#8217;t.
The letters on the bumper sticker include the symbols of Christianity, Judaism and Islam, plus the peace symbol. Predator drone attacks in Pakistan, and church bombings in Iraq, prove not everybody wants to coexist. Or, maybe we humans already coexist, even when we donand#8217;t.
My other nerdy quirk about this particular one-word command is that the major religions it includes have more than one interpretation of what the religion really says about humans coexisting now and in the future. What is certain is that all of them believe in a life after death. The major religions, and most others, see both a heaven on earth and special goodies for everyone who makes it to the right place after death.
I sound like President Obama giving a lecture on the meaning of jihad to the Hindu and Christian children of India and Iraq who are being slaughtered by Islamic fanatics.
All I wanted to do is tell the coexist bumper sticker people Iand#8217;m sorry if I bullied you, and I can understand if you donand#8217;t want to live with me anymore.
Bob Sweigert is a Sierra Sun columnist, published poet, former college instructor and ski instructor. He has a B.A. and an M.A.T. from Gonzaga University. He has lived at Lake Tahoe for 28 years.