Civil Society

Pincushion Cactus

Pincushion Cactus

I’m feeling prickly today. I was on my way to work this morning. I had just left Starbucks, latté in hand, when I turned right on to Hanley and looked to merge left in order to turn left a quarter-mile ahead. A couple of vehicles passed me on the left and then there was a decent gap. I cautiously moved left and then got in the left turn lane. I waited until the oncoming traffic had passed and then turned left and began climbing the entrance ramp onto the parkway. At this point the car behind me, the car that I had previously merged in front of, they would probably think cutoff, began honking its horn. At the time, I was sandwiched between the parkway overpass abutment and one of the high rises of downtown Clayton. These twin walls acted like an echo chamber bouncing the horn’s sound around and around. The other driver was so persistent that I began to wonder if something was wrong, so I slowed down. This must have infuriated them even more, because when the road widened to two lanes the other car sped around me and continued speeding until it was lost from sight.

Last Friday at the Whitehouse, President Obama had the Congressional Leaders over for a meeting about the fiscal cliff. This issue had become so acrimonious that outside the Oval Office Speaker Boehner F-bombed Senate Leader Harry Reid, twice. Swearing among our sworn leaders is not uncommon. What makes this incident notorious though was that last Tuesday night Boehner bragged about it during a Republican caucus. I guess that he felt it made him look macho, like he stood up to the President and the Democrats.

I don’t have any sermon that ties these two incidents together. They both seem to be no more than a lot of sound and fury, signifying nothing. I suppose that I should be grateful that the other motorist’s road rage didn’t devolve into violence. Likewise, we should all be grateful that our elected leaders haven’t resorted to caning each other again. All I can say is that if you are late for work, either get over it and deal with it, or get up earlier. If you are one of the leaders of our country, act like a grownup. If you can’t do either then stay away from me or at least be quiet about it.

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