We just returned from a week’s vacation and tried to stay away from television, radio and newspapers. Failure.
Our whirlwind trip to New York City was primarily for my parent’s 39th anniversary and my sister’s birthday (age unspoken). There were also a lot of touristy things — Central Park Zoo, two aquariums, two museums, Jones Beach, Coney Island, and walking for miles and miles and miles in Manhattan. And shopping. We need a vacation to recover from our vacation.
Back in Columbia last Sunday morning, I sat down to read the Missourian and catch up for a week lost. Karl Miller’s column on gun control was as expected. George Kennedy’s piece on the slow and agonizing death of the Missouri Press is one of his best. I strongly agree with Rose Nolen’s piece on money and elections. Yet, other than a few robberies and accidents, and taking time to remind us all that Missouri’s "tax holiday" starts this Friday, there is a pleasant feeling that the Missourian’s hyper-local formatting remains.
My own column received its share of feedback, but nothing so serious that a full shaker of salt could not handle.
Staying away from the news is nearly impossible in the Big Apple. New "conspiracy" theories touting how President Barack Obama is purposely undermining Gov. Romney’s overseas trip and the governor’s and his staff’s recurring illness, Foot-in-Mouth disease, were Newsday’s mainstay for five days and most likely continuing.
Political entertainment is in the form of the intra-GOP battle between Sen. John McCain and former Vice President Dick Cheney concerning the pick of Sarah Palin as the vice presidential candidate in 2008. Oh yes, there is also a serious revival of the "Obama is not an American Citizen and is a Muslim" conspiracy rising like a phoenix from the ashes.
Without trying, Kathy and I were corralled into discussing climate change and the rising food prices because of the drought. At least a dozen people asked for our personal assessment of Missouri’s corn crop. I think it was the loss of my Brooklyn accent that caused people to forget that I am a New Yorker, and the only thing that I know about corn is you eat it and make gas with it. We did our best describing the death fields filled with carcasses of corn stalks between Kingdom City and Warrenton.
We were also asked our opinions concerning the Aurora, Colo., shootings. Living in Denver for 25 years about 5 miles from Columbine High School in 1999 and knowing that Aurora movie theater quite well, I guess I am as close to an expert as many had.
The other story we were unable to escape is the ongoing struggle for power. No, not in Syria. Between the Jackson family and Michael’s kids, Prince, Paris and Blanket. This story seemed to garner more space in the New York Daily News than the crisis in the Middle East.
For those who know my father, vicariously or personally, his news consisted of airplanes, the American Airpower Museum at Republic Airport in Farmingdale, N.Y., and the names of professional tennis players who seem to use every letter in the alphabet at least twice. Then there was the family news from my stepmom: who’s dying, who’s sick and who’s been laid off or cannot find a job. Oy vey iz mir.
Our personal news? We had real pizza, the type you fold and eat with you hands, and real deli sandwiches featuring one pound of meat, real round knish not square, and Dr. Brown’s "Red Soda" (black cherry).
The best news is that we returned with one thing money could not buy — a good Brooklyn/"Lon Giland" brogue. Being in da city tends to do that, ya know. Kathy even picked-up the Fran Drescher (“The Nanny”)/Rosie Perez whine with a bit of Yiddish, very much part of New York’s upper middle class.
"Oy, ta hear them twaking about shoppin’ at Bloomie’s and Saks, and doctor appointments in the same breath. Gey vays. Go figga. And didja hear about Bernie…"
Maybe our next vacation will be to a deserted isle with no phones, Internet, television, radio, newspapers or any other means of communication. Maybe then we can get the rest we really deserve.
Now back to deleting 12,491,256,103 useless emails.