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Date archive for: August 2018

The Day the Journalists Vanished

No One Fretted Much Over the War on the Press. Big Mistake.

It began that morning with an eerie silence: the sound of information-laden newspapers not landing on driveways across America. In the scattered towns where a daily paper still regularly plunked onto sidewalks and porches just after dawn, enlightened if not-yet-caffeinated citizens stumbled around their lawns scratching their heads, checking the time and wondering what happened to their goddamned news.

As the rest of America awoke, yawning and pawing at their cell phones to see what the day had in store, they found no alerts from news apps. Social media was flush with the usual mishmash of outrageous opinions, zany GIFs, and photos of Friends’ lunches at that new place downtown. Looks amazing.

But ​— ​no shared articles. No clips of last night’s sport events. No links to the latest in the Mueller investigation, Supreme Court dustups, or separation of immigrant families. There was just … no news at all. From Breitbart to Mother Jones, the normally traffic-jammed media highway was utterly, uncannily empty. Not a soul. Not a sound.

What the hell??

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Camping Sucks; There, I Said It

Done Apologizing for Detesting the Great Outdoors

I’m sitting 5,400 feet high in the Sierra Nevada mountains at the edge of a glassy lake that’s rimmed with fluffy pines pointing emphatically at the sky. I’m keenly aware that I’m supposed to feel blissish and perspectivey. But my legs brandish 13 bug bites of various dimensions and shades, there is dirt in my nostrils, and I’m dreading another torturous night on a foam pad punctuated by the random swish-swish of my son flopping around in his nylon sleeping bag.

I loathe camping, and I’m sorry about that. I really am. I’m comfy admitting that I hate other things I’m supposed to like: Green drinks. Michael Moore. Black Mirror. When you say you detest camping, though, people look at you like you’re broken, like you’re missing a crucial piece (the way your tent always is).

But I’m tired of being ashamed of my repugnance for roughing it. For the soggy whole-world-wetness of mornings in a tent. For the swarm of spastic mosquitoes around a fluorescent light in a camp shower at night. For the inevitable stench of raw sewage seeping from a septic tank when you were promised lungs full of alpine oxygen.

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Rage Is My Super Power

Hormonal Surges Fuel Temper That’s Uncontrollable — but Could Power Gotham

At my son’s summer camp, the kids get to know each other by answering the age-old question: If you could have any super power, what would it be? Flight and invisibility are popular answers. Some kids say teleportation or time travel.

I’ve never liked that question. While I have unwavering responses to the Desert Island Album question (Beatles, white) and the Celebrity Sex Freebie question (Harrison Ford, any age), I’ve never had a solid super power at the ready. Are you supposed to choose from powers that already exist in the comic-book oeuvre? Or be creative and say, “Parthenogenesis. You know, so I could make babies without male involvement”?

The question actually irritates me. But to be fair, everything irritates me just now. I have begun spasming in and out of what The Google tells me are fits of perimenopausal rage — defined as “outbursts beyond your typical anger level” brought on by “fluctuations in hormones that typically begin in the mid-forties” and which “can be unsettling.”

I mean, sure. You could describe it like that. Personally, I’d say it feels like Audrey II from Little Shop of Horrors and D’Artagnan, the Stranger Things Demogorgon, have mated and their bloodthirsty hell-spawn offspring is clawing its way out of my soul in order to tear the face off whichever human being had the misfortune of interacting with me last.

On the upside, though … I think I’ve found my super power.

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My columns are collected in three lovely books, which make a SPLENDID gift for wives, friends, book clubs, hostesses, and anyone who likes to laugh!
Keep Your Skirt On
Wife on the Edge
Broad Assumptions
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