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Thursday, August 13, 2020

 The Census found me today.

I heard a knock on my door late morning and had to scramble to answer. Not only is it unusual for a knock to occur at the Hermitage but (ugly secret here) when you're an old, divorced, unemployed man living by himself -- there are no pants. Pants are for society. Pants are for proper people.

In three months, I've had three knocks on the door. One from a dude who had to access a path to work on the damn that forms Lake Lemon. The second from my landlord handing out free, fresh tomatoes from his dad's garden. The third today from the long arm of the U.S. government.

The census employee seemed pleased by his diligence. Until he realized from my answers that I'm a nobody.

I'm in-between addresses, I told him.

I'm unemployed.

There are no family members in the state.

Despite my girth, I am not eating for two.

I am not a member of any protected class.

I am not a registered voter. (It's an objectivity thing -- you have to live your life, I have to live mine.)

Yes, I'm a Libra but I don't know what that means.

No, I don't get my news from TV.

I prefer strawberry to chocolate ice cream -- but free is best.

My two favorite pies are hot pie and cold pie.

I do not attend a church as I would be wary of any church that would have me.

I do have a child, a member of the Coastal Elite, but she's working on a memoir, "Damn You Daddy, Sir." (SCTV fans get that joke.)

Have I ever had an original thought? Um, what's my time limit on that question?

He seemed disappointed that finding a residence, hidden from a private road, down a series of precarious steps he found  -- me.

But hey, at least I count now.


  1. You don't vote? I can't hear anything else!

  2. Voting has nothing to do with the false construct of objectivity. Like I said decades ago when a younger person said press is ideally objective: ok. Your job is to caption a photo. Olive skinned male kneeling in doorway cradling rifle. Pick your noun: insurgent, terrorist, freedom fighter, paramilitary, goon, patriot, terrified father of three, common criminal, CIA tool, is participating in the critical affairs of your town, stare, country. Dude, no respect for you now or ever again.

  3. Rich, I hope you are hanging in there. Don't get discouraged, but don't be afraid to pivot either. To quote "You've Got Mail": Dare to dream a different life for yourself." Your friend, Ann Ditscheit Gryphan.

  4. Wow... P.J. and zan... I guess it's sayonara to the two of you then. No shades of gray with the two of you!... but it's kind of a shame that you'll no longer be availing yourself of Rich's blog. I admit, choosing not to vote is kind of extreme... and part of me has long had at least some appreciation for those out there who would have you believe that not voting is profoundly un-patriotic. Yeah... I sort of get that... I 'sort of' agree. But at the same time, neutrality [or perhaps maybe mental/emotional ambivalence] just might not be an unforgivable sin. Sometimes people just don't like any of their choices, and the idea of choosing the one that we find the least offensive as opposed to just walking away and seeking out totally different ways to pursue a dignified and nurturing life...well... sometimes that's a real okay way to go.
    So P.J. farewell to you... you've stopped listening... which no doubt means we'll no longer hear from you in this particular 'forum'???
    Zans... to be honest, I'm not exactly sure where you were going with your comment, but... your last remark seemed pretty clear... Farewell to you as well... 'never again' is a REALLY long time. What a shame.
    To the both of you, to your credit... you didn't use any really derogatory designations for Rich. So now... on behalf of myself and the rest of those out there who have contributed to the ninety-five thousand plus views here... "adieu"

  5. Ron, you read more into my comment than was there. I will not stop following Rich’s blog. All I was saying that on this particular post the non-voting spoke so loudly to me that it was all I could hear. I have a couple of friends who take the same position: no one good enough for me to choose. I understand the position intellectually but believe there are times when the country — the world — cannot afford such holier-than-though nonparticipation on the part of intelligent, educated, informed citizens, and I believe 2020 is such a time. It’s WAY bigger than “patriotism,” whatever people may think that is. Also, local elections, millages, etc. How not participate in guiding your community? Lastly, the whole point of a free press, like the point of public education, is to have an informed electorate, so if people are not going to participate in elections, why do we even need newspapers and schools?

    Rich, I have tried to leave comments in the past and also tried to e-mail you, unsuccessfully in the case of comments and who-knows? with the e-mail. You mentioned once suffering from gout, and I wanted to tell you that pineapple is very good for gout. Try it. Cheaper and safer than a lot of drugs, so what have you got to lose?

    Have a good day, you all --

    1. My apologies PJ... my genuinely sincere apologies...I appreciate your clarification and that you did it in a more gracious manner than I probably deserved. I think more than anything, I was probably having a "bad" night and was perhaps feeling a little bit of mis-directed vindictiveness... fact is I was upset with a couple of other people altogether. I didn't really belong in a public forum at that moment
      Again... my apologies PJ... very glad you are in fact sticking around [insert cheesy smiley face emoticon here].

  6. Ron, that's so sweet of you! We all have those days and nights, friend. :)