If life is a circus, who are the clowns? | SierraSun.com

If life is a circus, who are the clowns?

Bob Sweigert
Grasshopper Soup

Life in America, and in our North Tahoe paradise, is riddled with strange ironies.

Modern technology has certainly come a long way in making our lives more simple and convenient. It wasn’t easy enough in the old days. Today a clerk has to punch in 16 commands for a muffin and a cup of coffee. I bought a cocktail and the bartender and waitress couldn’t tell me how much it cost. They had to ask the computer.

. . .

Pre-season football has started. Now we can all take our minds off of terrorism, Islamic fascism and the nuclear weapons black market until 2007, and, instead, enjoy the pigskin commentaries of the ever affable, still just a big kid, John Madden every Monday night. God bless his big Hall of Fame heart. Congratulations John.

. . .

The big power boat, Gone Again, which is in Carnelian Bay most weekends, was also here during the Concours d’ Elegance. What an interesting name for a boat that keeps coming back. A blundering boomerang. I know our big toys are golden cows for high-rollers, but for the sake of Lake Tahoe I would prefer they named the boat Really Gone, and it really was, along with all boats like it.

Recommended Stories For You

. . .

Wall Street is “confident” about war in the Middle East because it is good for the stock market. Of course, not everyone agrees, and we are all ironically divided on everything under the sun anyway, which is just another every day irony.

One hundred (that’s how many Senators there are) clowns and 435 (that’s how many representatives there are) dogs in dresses jumping out of a four passenger toy car can’t even agree on what’s funny, what’s serious or who is in the real circus ” themselves or the audience.

Instead of using common sense and making one law at a time, our lawmakers faithfully continue to mix sauerkraut and ice cream together into one self-canceling bill that nobody can swallow. Skillfully avoiding the appearance of actually standing for something, they can say they didn’t vote for it and still retain the support of their constituency because it was a pork barrel pot of hogwash, and besides, it’s time for recess and they would like to go out and play before the circus leaves town.

. . .

The artistic significance of the new agricultural inspection facility is obvious now. It is a brilliant symbol of man’s colossal but futile attempts to conquer Mother Nature. How incredibly dramatic ” a snow plow buried with only the blade sticking up, like a missile you can’t aim, valiantly ready in its final death throe to fend off a few hundred feet of Sierra cement plummeting down over the mountains as it sinks feebly, unused, deeper into oblivion.

Quite a statement for a bug station.

. . .

We sing the praises of free enterprise and the ideal of friendly competition, but as soon as somebody else tries to make money doing what we are doing what do we do? We sue them. And we sue them again. We try to ruin them financially. Then we turn around and, without batting an eye, graciously accept honors and recognition for pioneering great achievements in our noble profession, which is, of course, the circus.

On top of all this, I got someone’s name wrong in Grasshopper Soup two weeks ago. I most humbly apologize to Kevin Fenley for calling him Kevin Finley. I wanted to make up for it by expounding on the great name of Fenley, but after some research I don’t know if Fenley is Scottish, Irish, partly German, a lawyer, a truck mechanic or an American dancer and choreographer named Molissa.

We’re all related anyway. No getting around it. Sorry Kevin.

Perhaps the greatest irony of all is that nobody knows what is going to happen next. As long as I get to see the circus, I don’t care. I love the circus.

Bob Sweigert is a Sierra Sun columnist, published poet, experienced ski instructor and commercial driver. He’s lived on the North Shore of Tahoe for 25 years.