Day 274: On the ’Stick

It’s the first full day of Winter. We’ve been flattening the curve (whatever that even meant) for 274 days, after having been told that’d take 15 days, tops. Ohio’s still living under a three-week curfew that’s now in its fifth week.

Deb and I are ok. We had ourselves a long day yesterday, unexpectedly.

We share our American Life with a pair of little black dogs, age ten and age five, both rescues of indeterminate breeding and each with its own quirks, needs and personality. While the older dog, my girl Scout, is normal and pretty much maintenance-free, the younger one, Dipstick, is absolutely the most bizarre critter we’ve ever been around.

The ‘Stick has a habit of eating stuff that doesn’t meet any reasonable definition of “food,” even for a dog. He’s especially fond of insoles, in the middle of the night feasting on our footwear like they’re oysters, shucking shoes to extract the Scholl’s and making them disappear.

Chunks of indigestible rubber eventually reappear, if you get my meaning. We often find ourselves laying out the bits as if we’re investigators reconstructing a crashed airliner, hoping to piece together the whole and determine if a trip to the vet is called for.

During our Christmas celebration Saturday Dipstick got a new ball. Late Sunday afternoon we discovered the half he hadn’t eaten. By last night he clearly was having problems, lethargic and in obvious discomfort, so we scooped him up and took him to the local emergency veterinary clinic.

Long story short, a thorough exam revealed no obvious blockage, so they treated him symptomatically and sent him home with us. We returned around 2am with one very tired, very stoned little dog. This morning he appears to be getting back to normal — or as close to normal as his inherent weirdness permits — but we’ll keep an eye on him for a while.

At this point I have to say that the whole experience with the clinic was unsettling. That’s not a criticism of the staff or how our little Dipper was treated — everything they did was as professional, proper, compassionate and cordial as could be.

And it was still FUBAR, in a 2020 sort of way.

As one insurance-company says, I know a thing or two because I’ve seen a thing or two — my father was a veterinarian for 40-plus years, and I grew up watching care administered the right way. That said, Ohio’s “pandemic theater” and the hyper-cautious climate it’s created has brought changes that he couldn’t’ve imagined.

Call the clinic. Go online, fill out a form. Drive to the clinic, park in a numbered parking space, scan a QR code and wait for a phone call. Talk to the vet-tech for a while, then wait some more ’til the tech comes to our vehicle to fetch our furry cargo. Remain in our vehicle for hours and, other than a few more phone calls, sit and wonder what the hell’s happening in there. The phone rings one more time. Will we be putting that on a credit card today?

It’s disconcertingly impersonal. The essential relationship aspect of care is gone. Commercial distancing is, for the most part, bullshit, and it’s poisoning everything.

Get out there and look around. Notice the signs, the barriers, the idiotic maze of rules and procedures that didn’t exist this time last year. While you’re observing all of that, think about this — how many of those things do you truly believe will keep people from getting sick?

The ever-opportunistic State created this crisis, perpetuating it in such a way that the stain on American culture is indelible. As much as I hate to say it, this isn’t temporary — it’ll be with us forever.

New normal? Perish the thought.

Finally today, I want to offer a quote worth noting. Sen. Rand Paul spoke yesterday on the floor of the United States Senate during debate on the WuFlu “relief” bill, and he called out his spinally challenged Republican colleagues:

“If free money was the answer… if money really did grow on trees, why not give more free money? Why not give it out all the time? Why stop at $600 a person? Why not $1,000? Why not $2,000? Maybe these new Free-Money Republicans should join the Everybody-Gets-A-Guaranteed-Income Caucus? Why not $20,000 a year for everybody, why not $30,000? If we can print out money with impunity, why not do it?”

“To so-called conservatives who are quick to identify the socialism of Democrats: If you vote for this spending monstrosity, you are no better.”

That, by the way, is what political courage looks like. That’s what constitutional conservatism looks like. That’s what a commitment to small government looks like.

The bloated spending measure passed anyway, and by a whopping 91-6. Joining Sen. Paul in opposing it were senators Marsha Blackburn, Ted Cruz, Ron Johnson, Mike Lee and Rick Scott.

Pay attention, please. Clues are everywhere.

Take care of yourselves, Patriots. Stay free.

#WiseUp #LibertyOrDeath

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