I was having lunch with a friend yesterday, and we were discussing the general mood of the city, the state, the country these days. (Stop the presses: Not good.) It isn’t just the punishing winter, we agreed, which has been tough but well within normal parameters. It’s not just the income loss and belt-tightening, which has most people fretting, scrimping, cutting back and otherwise hunkering down. It’s not just the relentless parade of bad news from every corner, which is always accompanied by such phrases as “worst ever,” “in the 80 years since records have been kept,” and “defying even the grimmest expectations.”
It’s the combination of all of it, which leads to moments like the other day: My friend was picking up his Cadillac after some routine maintenance. He knew there was a timing-chain problem, but it was covered under warranty, and he was expecting a bill of around $50. So he gets to the cashier’s window, and she says, “That’ll be twelve ninety-five.” He goes nuts — what the hell, more than a thousand dollars?!?! And so on. The cashier quailed.
No. That’s $12.95, for the oil filter. But you get the idea — you just expect that when warm weather returns, it’ll be followed by a plague of locusts. The first in the 80 years since records have been kept.
I don’t have much today, or rather, I have too much. I have to get in the shower in seven minutes to make a busy morning schedule, after which I plan to indulge in a little me time — the library, lunch at a place other than my own kitchen, what the hell, maybe even an exploration trip to Hamtramck or the DIA or something. Let’s go crazy.
So this is just an open thread for a cold Friday in February, with an invitation to discuss whatever you like in comments. I may be back, but I probably won’t. Have a good weekend to all, and I’ll see you when I see you.