Well, for Heaven’s sake.
No wonder I can’t sleep!
Every time I turn on the radio, or watch TV, or pick up the newspaper, or read the Huffington Post, I am reminded of one grim, inevitable, indisputable fact.
I am about to become Ma Joad!
You remember her, right? From the movie “The Grapes of Wrath”?She was the long suffering, noble Mother in Steinbeck’s classic story of life during the Great Depression and the terrible Dust Bowl years. She was the strong, enduring symbol of love that kept her family together through economic disaster.
I can picture her right now, sweeping her empty, broken down house as the family packs its belongings onto the back of a truck, abandoning everything familiar to move west in search of jobs.
That is so me. Sweeping the floor of a deserted house…..
Why am I harboring the fantasy that I will turn into Ma Joad, you ask? Well, I’ll just tell you why!
Because we’re about to go careening off the damn fiscal cliff, that’s why! Every radio voice, editorial writer and TV pundit says we are, so it must be true!
Boehner and Obama are locked in a deadly battle of “No, you’re a doody head!” and “Oh, yeah? Well, make me!” They’re both independently wealthy, so they don’t actually care about the fiscal cliff or the monetary meltdown or the fact that the Dust Bowl years are going to look like a party compared to what’s coming. They just wanna win the chicken fight.
But I care! I do!
I’m just your average overweight, middle aged mother who is trying to hold onto her humble home, and I’m getting scared. When we go off the cliff, you know, we won’t be wearing seat belts. From what the experts tell me (endlessly….) after January 1st, all the jobs will disappear in a puff of smoke, the stock market will crash, the banks will close, the sewers will back up and Facebook will shut down. Disaster! The end of days! All is lost!!
Nice, simple people like you and me will end up scratching and biting just to get the last loaf of bread off the store shelf. We’ll be reduced to hunting squirrels with rubber band slingshots, and pulling up dandelions just to eat the greens.
And when that happens, as it surely will, America will need another chubby old woman in frumpy clothes to symbolize our enduring strength. Other than the straw hat, I totally fit the bill. I even have the handsome son to match hers! See?
So as I lie awake in the dark of night, worrying about the future, there is only one small ray of hope that flickers dimly in the gloom:
Maybe the Mayans were right, and we won’t be around long enough to even reach the fiscal cliff.