Grasshopper Soup: The weather changes, not politics | SierraSun.com

Grasshopper Soup: The weather changes, not politics

Bob Sweigert
Special to the Sun

Thereand#8217;s no reason to write a column this week because so many people out there are more than willing and able to put words in my mouth. I say, and#8220;Let and#8216;em.and#8221;

I spent a few summers in an Alaskan Eskimo village in the and#8216;70s and that was one of their most commonly used colloquialisms. Whenever someone complained about the ill-mannered actions or words of someone else, you were sure to hear those two simple words, and#8220;Let and#8216;em.and#8221; It was either very wise or just another way of saying, and#8220;Who cares.and#8221;

It could also mean that anyone saying or doing annoying things was probably going to end up in jail or falling down drunk on a loose piece of ice and floating out to sea, never to be seen again. Let and#8216;em. Those Eskimos are very wise, some of them. I have never met anyone who laughed as much as the Eskimos laugh. Losing people on the ice is actually common place in Arctic Alaska. And yet, they laugh.

Going away for several days or weeks at a time to hunt and fish or visit friends and family in other villages was almost an everyday occurrence. Failing to return or arrive at their destination was pretty common too. Everyone would gather to bid farewell to their loved ones departing by boat, dogsled or snowgoes (the Eskimo term for snowmobile). They would all wave their goodbyes, and, without fail, they would all shout, and#8220;See you later! Maybe!and#8221; And then they would laugh their heads off.

So, what does that have to do with putting words in my mouth? I have no idea. But it does have something to do with going away. Iand#8217;m just trying to get a column written so I can get out of town to sit out the Sunday storm closer to sea level.

I hope everyone is glad the elections are behind us and, like the eventual end to a long, lingering, spectacular fall, the result was more or less to be expected. The prediction I made about this election, to a large extent, came true, but I will spare you the and#8220;I told you so.and#8221;

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It doesnand#8217;t matter much anyway because it sounds as if the Republicans and Democrats have no intention of working together to solve the problems that need solving. Those who lost in the elections, with a few exceptions, wonand#8217;t admit they lost, and they will certainly never believe the results mean they need to change course. Those who won, with a few exceptions, will decide the results mean whatever they want them to mean, and both parties will proceed with business as usual, which is the last thing intelligent, enlightened voters want, and exactly the thing so many politicians say they will not do, as they proceed to do more of it. Yes, I am very skeptical about politics, but I hate to say, and#8220;Let and#8216;em.and#8221; I would rather say, and#8220;See you later! Maybe!and#8221; and then laugh my head off.

The Republicans get the House and we get snow, although I am making the snow prediction two days before it happens. Just for this once I will break the rule of the and#8220;expert localand#8221; and predict it will snow, and be prepared to be as wise as an Eskimo so I can laugh at myself when the appropriate time comes, as it always does. I have lived here too long to believe rumors of snow. Like a typical, pipe-smoking, Ivy League westerner, I refuse to believe it until I see it. But, this time, I am going on intuition. This does look like it is going to be the first good snowfall of the season. When I return after the storm passes, I would not be surprised to see a good layer of snow on the ground, or none at all.

If only our politicians had the wisdom to laugh at themselves, especially the ones who remain in office after their party just took a good and#8220;shellacking,and#8221; as president Obama so wisely put it, instead of dismissing the election results as a misunderstanding on the part of the American people. That kind of condescension is not good for oneand#8217;s political future.

and#8212; 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.