Am I on vacation or am I working? |

Am I on vacation or am I working?

Hurray! The last big fling of the summer flew by in a blur of incoherency for some, pure luck and Tahoe bliss for others and, for the less fortunate, a hectic weekend of misread maps, screaming kids, lost credit cards and no vacancy signs. That can be fun too.

We need to stick to the literal meaning of Labor Day. Notice the word is not plural. One day of work is plenty for everybody. Of course, we would still have to plant tomatoes and gather nuts like squirrels, but that’s not work, it’s fun, or should be.

Vacations are work. That’s the last thing I want to do right now. I’m going to buckle down and do absolutely nothing. If I really apply myself it will be the most enjoyable and productive vacation ever. I figure if you don’t enjoy your job, your vacation is going to be even worse. Toss your neck ties in the trash and give those cuff links to the nearest museum of unnatural history.

Doing nothing is a lost art. We need to find it again.

I was looking in to getting a job driving a truck or a bus in Iraq. I thought it would be a great way to get a nice, year-long vacation and make $120,000 while I was at it. I knew they were chopping heads off of infidels in that exotic destination. I’d like to think I could handle it if something like that suddenly became a part of my itinerary.

Wouldn’t be easy to get a refund from the travel agency after that.

I can just see myself driving a truck around Baghdad with my blonde hair, cowboy hat and my totally cool Ray Ban aviator sunglasses. Al Qaeda would take one look at me and know right away I was one bad mother trucker who was not going to be converting to Islam anytime soon. I’d convert them all into Southern Baptists.

Speaking of converting to Islam, have you heard of that American Al-Qaeda dude from San Diego who is now making videos for Osama Bin Laden? His message is that all Americans must convert to Islam or suffer the consequences.

And people here are afraid of George Bush. Yeah, his evil Patriot Act is taking away all our freedoms. I can’t even go fishing without paying $34.

And suppose I wanted to camp out in the middle of one of the roundabouts in Truckee. Am I free to do that? Well, OK. I am and I could, but you can bet your star spangled bannered patootie it would cost me.

What is this country coming too anyway? Where’s all this freedom we’re fighting for?

I may have to stop writing Grasshopper Soup. People are starting to talk about it as far away as El Dorado Hills. Fame brings nothing but access to the rich and powerful and the seductive advances of beautiful women.

I’m going to have to think about this.

El Dorado Hills is west of Placerville, Calif, which was once known as Hangtown. Rumor has it they have recently abandoned the practice of hanging people there. Thank God. For all I know, that’s why they were talking about me and Grasshopper Soup.

Pat and John Kessler of El Dorado Hills were celebrating their 50th anniversary with their daughter Ellie Vierra. Lorrie Moore of Prosser was there, and my dad and his wife Trudi from Auburn. Somehow (I’m afraid to ask) Grasshopper Soup came up and Lorrie said she reads it all the time and wants to know what it is.

Well, this is Grasshopper Soup.

Doesn’t help much, does it?

Mark Twain said that Tahoe is the Indian word for grasshopper soup. He probably learned that while on vacation with the Paiutes.

I’ll send you some soup while I’m on vacation. Maybe I can figure out what Grasshopper Soup is. It’s going to be a long story so I have to take a long vacation. I don’t mind. I love work.

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