President Nelson Muntz.

The Meijer family holds titanic status in west Michigan. Fred Meijer grew his grocery store (where Sammy, the wife of J.C. Burns, once toiled as a teenager) into a state, then a regional chain. They’re stores on the Walmart model, only nicer, IMO. That’s to say, about 100,000 square feet, with an enormous grocery and an Everything Store in the rest of the space. Like most west Michigan Dutch tycoons, they’re philanthropic — I mean, even the DeVos family is philanthropic — and Grand Rapids owes a lot to them.

Peter Meijer, newly elected (2020) U.S. representative, has the usual rich-son-headed-for-public-office bona fides. He’s a vet, Ivy League educated (Columbia) with an MBA (NYU), relief-agency experience, the whole nine. He’s told the story many times, about how horrifying it was to show up for his second day of work and be faced with an insurrection in his workplace, and he was one of two Michigan Republicans to vote to impeach President Trump afterward.

Of course, both are now in Trump’s crosshairs, and Trump came to Michigan Saturday to shit all over them. But get this:

West Michigan — all of Michigan — is full of people with Dutch heritage and unusually spelled names. Pete Hoekstra (HOOK-stra) and Bill Huizenga (High-ZEN-guh), both politicians. Dykstra, Visser, Vandenberg, all the Van Somethings. Betsy DeVos, Trump’s own education secretary. Of all the things he could have said about Peter Meijer, he makes fun of the way he spells his name.

And when this asshole finally croaks, he’ll lie in state in the U.S. Capitol. He should have his corpse cut into pieces and strewn as food for vultures.

Meanwhile, I’m burying the lede. Say hi to Kevin:

He’s a victim of rapacious capitalism. He was happy with a family in Macomb County, until their landlord informed them “Zillow says I can get $500 more a month for this place” and raised the rent accordingly. They had to move to an apartment with a no-pets policy, so now Kevin is with us. My intent was to adopt him, not foster him, but so far he’s on probation, as he’s started hiking his leg on our furniture and is having a bit of a time settling. He needs to be neutered, like, yesterday. And will be, at our expense, but if he doesn’t chill out and stop peeing on the furniture, he may have to find another home. The good news is, he and Wendy are getting along fine, so no worries there. I’m trying to see the world through his eyes and empathize with the upheaval he’s face in the last 48 hours or so.

Just a question for the room: Spriggy was neutered on his six-month birthday. Kevin turned one on March 27, and the surrendering owners said their vet told them to wait until he was one. I’ve never, ever heard that, but it’s been a while since Spriggy lived with us, so maybe that’s the new standard practice? You tell me.

And with that, I’m back to keeping an eagle eye on the Kevster. Good week ahead, all.

Posted at 1:09 pm in Current events |

56 responses to “President Nelson Muntz.”

  1. LAMary said on April 3, 2022 at 1:47 pm

    Those big earthen things that keep the North Sea from flooding the Netherlands? We spell them as dykes. In Dutch they are dijks. Those nice sweet baked treats? Cookies? Those are Koekjes. OE is oo so Hoekstra would be pronounced Hookstra. If Hoekstra was spelled with double oos it would be pronounced Hoke-stra.

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  2. Jeff Gill said on April 3, 2022 at 4:39 pm

    What was wrong with Drumpft, again?

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  3. Suzanne said on April 3, 2022 at 5:06 pm

    In case any of you wondered what happened to me, or if you didn’t, I spent 5 weeks in the hospital first being treated for blood clots in my lung which, after the usual hospital blood work, led to a diagnosis of leukemia. So, I was pretty much out of commission from mid-Feb until last week. First round of chemo seemed to do what it was supposed to and now, there is a few more rounds of less intense chemo and hopefully, that will be it. It came as a complete shock. I hadn’t been feeling bad or anything. The blood clots apparently came via my bad varicose veins and led me to the ER because I was having trouble breathing and then it turns out, my blood is a mess.

    But now that I am out of the hospital, I am regaining strength and feeling human again. Good thoughts, prayers, whatever you wish to offer are appreciated. I have missed reading everybody’s thoughts here but chemo is brutal and I simply didn’t have the energy to even read for a while.

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  4. Julie Robinson said on April 3, 2022 at 5:22 pm

    Suzanne, you have been missed and I’m so sorry for the reason you’ve been away. I didn’t realize varicose veins could throw clots, but it sounds like your diagnosis may have been delayed if they hadn’t. You have my prayers for steady improvement.

    Back in 1974 I visited my sister at Michigan State and encountered a Meijer for the first time. It was also the first superstore I’d been in. You could buy groceries, pick up a pair of jeans, and get a haircut, among other wonders. Now I know I was seeing the beginning of the end for small, locally owned businesses, and with them, most downtowns. It was also the first time I was in a Pier One and that store also seemed a wonder. I came from a small town.

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  5. Deborah said on April 3, 2022 at 5:29 pm

    Suzanne, I wondered if you had gone on a surprise vacation or something. Wow, quite shocking. Hoping things continue to get better for you soon.

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  6. nancy said on April 3, 2022 at 6:24 pm

    Ditto on the good wishes, Suzanne. You’re one of the good ones.

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  7. basset said on April 3, 2022 at 7:09 pm

    And the same from me, Suzanne.

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  8. Heather said on April 3, 2022 at 7:22 pm

    Suzanne, sending you healing vibes.

    Kevin is adorable! I am sure he will find a happy home, if not with you, then some other kind dog lover.

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  9. ROGirl said on April 3, 2022 at 7:35 pm

    Suzanne, I hope your recovery is going well and you are regaining your strength.

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  10. Vince said on April 3, 2022 at 7:54 pm

    The Humane Society here neuters all puppies before adoption. Tango did fine when he was neutered at six months old. I vote for taking Kevin in immediately. Hope it helps solve the peeing issue.

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  11. alex said on April 3, 2022 at 8:29 pm

    Wishing you a speedy recovery, Suzanne.

    I seem to recall that it used to be fairly standard to neuter male dogs after one year; also to not let it go too long or they’ll get large in the neck, stubborn in temperament and will never give up the habit of roaming.

    Trump may still be able to draw a rally of nutters but his fragile ego’s gonna take a big beating if the polling is accurate regarding his midterm endorsements. He’s looking like the kiss of death.

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  12. Mark P said on April 3, 2022 at 10:04 pm

    Suzanne, I hope you continue to improve.

    Dogs that pee inside are a real trial. Fortunately we have not had to deal with that except for my mother’s little dog that we inherited. We crated her, and I had to change her bedding just about every night around 2 or 3 am.

    Georgia is going to be interesting. Trump hates Gov Brian Kemp, who was a dyed in the coconut fuzz Trumpster, because he didn’t overturn the election results. Trump endorsed Perdue, who bragged about moving jobs to China. But Kemp is popular among Republicans and Perdue is a loser with zero appeal to anyone. I can’t see him defeating Kemp in the primary, but who knows. I almost hope Perdue wins, because he comes across as smarmy on his best day. “Shit-eating grin” was coined for him.

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  13. Sherri said on April 4, 2022 at 12:23 am

    Definitely good thoughts headed your way, Suzanne.

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  14. Dexter Friend said on April 4, 2022 at 2:55 am

    Best wishes, Suzanne.
    My kids know the score, but always say “MY-ger” and “tar-GHAY”. And “Walmartz”.
    I am right in the middle of “King Richard”. I wish I would have watched it before The Oscars. Anyway, halfway through I had to pause it, as I am not any kind of tennis fan, never watch it, and have not followed beyond the headlines the adventures of Venus and Serena. Golf and tennis are probably fun to play, but as a TV watch, not for me. Will Smith is in almost every minute of the film and well, you know…I can’t stop seeing him slap Rock.
    Baseball is back for real at the end of the week. Happy days.

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  15. lisa said on April 4, 2022 at 4:50 am

    Here in my city in Ohio, everyone calls it “Meijers”, no matter how many times you try to correct them.

    I’m sending positive thoughts that you continue to feel better, Suzanne.

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  16. Connie said on April 4, 2022 at 6:43 am

    I grew up in west michigan and have one of those weird dutch name. And when I was a kid the store was Meijer Thrifty Acres.

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  17. ROGirl said on April 4, 2022 at 7:41 am

    Or Meijer Shifty Takers. The schoolyard bullies used to make fun of my name, too. And one workplace bully just couldn’t stop himself, either.

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  18. Dave said on April 4, 2022 at 8:18 am

    My late grandfather called it Mee-jurs, when they first came to Central Ohio, and he never called it anything else.

    Only someone despicable makes fun of someone else’s name, that is the long and short of it.

    Suzanne, so sorry to learn of your health troubles, may you continue to heal.

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  19. basset said on April 4, 2022 at 8:55 am

    A few years ago Mrs. B and I were in Bowling Green, Kentucky, and ran up on a Meijer’s we didn’t know was there. She is from west Michigan, so we had to go in and wander around for awhile. Cultural reinforcement, I suppose.

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  20. Jeff Borden said on April 4, 2022 at 9:43 am

    Is it at all surprising that an ignorant, unread, unsophisticated boor like tRump would make fun of how someone’s name is pronounced?

    Best wishes to Suzanne.

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  21. Suzanne said on April 4, 2022 at 10:29 am

    Thanks for all the good wishes, prayers, etc. It helps, I know it does.

    So disappointed that Orban was re-elected in Hungary and more disappointed that NPR keeps referring to him as a “populist”. No, he isn’t. He is an authoritarian buddy of Putin who runs his government as a funding source for himself and his oligarch friends.

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  22. LAMary said on April 4, 2022 at 11:19 am

    Frisian solidarity, Connie.
    Kevin, shape up. Georgia the rescue dog needs you to uphold the standards of rescue dogs everywhere.

    Suzanne, Casa LAMary is sending all good thoughts and vibes in your direction.

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  23. alex said on April 4, 2022 at 11:43 am

    I have cousins in Hungary. They were born here but never became acculturated owing to parents who were disdainful of Americans and American culture (“a total absence of culture” is what they called it). One became a Fullbright scholar and the other got a medical degree from Northwestern and they decided to go live in Hungary with their professional credentials and have been successful there.

    We were never close, but we’ve been in touch recently, and they insist that American media portray Orban unfairly. I queried them about the fact that Hungarian media are now all state-controlled, but they say they have access to Western media and manage to find the truth somewhere in the middle where they believe it to be. The doctor cousin said she looked forward to April 3 because the Mayor of Budapest from Orban’s party got trounced in the last election and she figured that Orban was in for a stiff challenge. Of course we now see how that turned out.

    My dad married an American woman and integrated himself fully into American society, for which those relatives never forgave him. My dad always thought they just had ridiculous insecurities. As a child I took a lot of ribbing from those cousins about being a lesser human being which is why we’re not close. And they were right-wing jerks when they lived here.

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  24. Deborah said on April 4, 2022 at 11:51 am

    The description of former Russian held cities and towns in Ukraine are horrendous, photos and videos are unbelievably horrible. I was shocked that humans would do those things to other humans. Unfortunately I read this morning on Twitter a thread about the hazing that happens in Russia to new conscripts. It’s called Dedovshchina and it’s basically the torture of new conscripts by their barely superior fellow conscripts. It’s absolutely brutal and unimaginable that these young men go through that. About 25% of Russia’s militarty is made up of conscripts and many have experienced this inhuman torture. It’s no wonder these horrendous things happen where these men end up in war zones. War is absolute hell. Be careful when you google Dedovshchina, you will see and read beyond horrendous descriptions of what happens during these hazings to 17-18 year old boys in Russia. Usually the conscripts are from the lowest dregs of Russian society in the poorest most rural towns and villages, those that can’t afford the $5,000 it costs to buy their way out of conscription. Such corruption, it is mind boggling.

    Sorry to bring up such a dark subject, but it is appalling that this stuff happens. We can’t look away as much as we would like to do just that.

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  25. Jeff Borden said on April 4, 2022 at 1:00 pm

    The history of mankind is filled with horrors like those being seen in Ukraine. I doubt there’s a nation in existence that doesn’t have a few atrocities in its background and certainly ‘Murica has done its fair share. Perhaps we are appalled because we think our species should have evolved beyond this type of behavior by now. If only.

    Regarding the recent visit by the Mango Tumor to Michigan, the worst things I’ve heard were not from that braying jackass, but those mopes who are absolutely in thrall to him and the whole QAnon religion. Tapes of a woman named Julie aired earlier today on a station I tune in and she was so insane I wondered if her family lets her use a knife and fork. She claimed Space Force was observing all the shenanigans perpetrated by the Demon Rats in November 2020 and have all the details and expressed faith that, yes, any day now the entire kit and kaboodle of Demon Rats and their satanic, child molesting ranks will soon be in prison while the Orange King is returned to his throne. What is a nation to do when tens of millions of its citizens have willingly jumped into a rabbit hole of anger, lies and despair?

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  26. Bruce Fields said on April 4, 2022 at 1:40 pm

    “So disappointed that Orban was re-elected in Hungary and more disappointed that NPR keeps referring to him as a “populist”. No, he isn’t. He is an authoritarian buddy of Putin who runs his government as a funding source for himself and his oligarch friends.”

    Sure, but it’s not like populist authoritians are unusual. “Populist: a person, especially a politician, who strives to appeal to ordinary people who feel that their concerns are disregarded by established elite groups.”

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  27. Sherri said on April 4, 2022 at 2:06 pm

    It seems to be coincidence that there is Meijer, an everything chain in the Midwest founded by Frederik Meijer, and Fred Meyer, an everything chain in the PNW founded by Fred Meyer. I’ve never lived in a place that had a Meijer, but I was aware of them, and then I moved up here and saw Fred Meyer and was confused.

    Fred Meyer is now owned by Kroger. We don’t have any Kroger supermarkets per se, but we have Fred Meyer and QFC, which are both owned by Kroger and carry some Kroger store brand items.

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  28. Deborah said on April 4, 2022 at 2:46 pm

    There is a Meijer in Rockford, IL. I went there once with one of Uncle J’s care givers to buy groceries. It was pretty nice, and enormous. I don’t know if there are any in Chicago.

    My niece married a Meier also pronounced Meyer. I think his heritage is German, from Minnesota.

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  29. Suzanne said on April 4, 2022 at 3:16 pm

    True, Bruce Fields, but Orban has been in office long enough one would think people would realize that he’s only pretending to listen to their concerns. One would think the same about people with Trump, too, or many of the GOP, but no, they don’t, do they?

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  30. Julie Robinson said on April 4, 2022 at 3:45 pm

    Orban has manipulated the media and election rules in a way Republicans can only admire.

    95% of the Kroger branded products were as good or better than name brands. I couldn’t say the same about Meijer, though many were good. I haven’t tried enough Publix stuff yet to form a strong opinion, though their tea bags are fine with D, and he’s quite picky about his tea.

    Our second boosters were scheduled for Wednesday but they called and said they would probably be out by then, and could we come in today instead? We’re retired, why not, our schedules are adjustable.

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  31. Deborah said on April 4, 2022 at 5:22 pm

    I’m having the situation today where I’m asking myself “Is it allergies or is it Covid?”. I have a scratchy throat and runny nose, no other symptoms that I know of, can smell and taste, no fever, etc. It’s not springlike in Chicago at all though so allergies don’t seem possible. If it keeps up tomorrow I will give myself one of the free Covid tests we got in the mail. Meanwhile I’m not going anywhere. I still wear masks and social distance when I go to public places inside like grocery stores and mostly everywhere inside actually. We did go to the Rick Bayless restaurant, Xoco on Friday, no masks while we were eating and drinking though. I guess it could be the beginning of a cold which I haven’t had in years now. I was about to make appointments for me and my husband to get our second boosters on April 11th which will be 6 months after the first booster. It will be very upsetting if I do have Covid, of course.

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  32. basset said on April 4, 2022 at 6:12 pm

    Got our second boosters yesterday. After going through a grocery-store pharmacy, another grocery-store pharmacy, a walkin clinic and a chain pharmacy we finally found another chain pharmacy which let us book our shots in hardly more than twenty minutes on the phone.

    41 years ago to the day at right about this time, our wedding reception was just getting up to speed in a UAW hall in Kalamazoo, followed by an escape to the Holiday Inn in the new Mrs. B’s Pinto. Very different times, those.

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  33. Sherri said on April 4, 2022 at 7:10 pm

    Happy anniversary, basset!

    My second booster is scheduled for Saturday.

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  34. jcburns said on April 4, 2022 at 7:19 pm

    Going into a Fred Meyer in Seattle these days is a little surreal for this midwestern guy: it’s like a really big Kroger. Even the aisle number thingies are the same.

    But that also means that they accept my Kroger gas discount barcode doohickey.

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  35. Julie Robinson said on April 4, 2022 at 7:21 pm

    If you’re on Medicare you’ll be able to get eight free tests per month at most pharmacies. At least that’s the email I got from Medicare said.

    The whole Publix thing was funny. They would only let you make appointments online, and their site said they didn’t have any available today. We’re otherwise busy tomorrow so I scheduled Wednesday. Then they called us, and we were happy to come in today. There wasn’t anyone else there the whole time. So I’m thinking their website doesn’t reflect reality.

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  36. Suzanne said on April 4, 2022 at 7:29 pm

    So apparently my sometimes co-worker who buys into QAnon conspiracy crap completely believes I have leukemia because I got the COVID vaccine.

    Ok, sure.

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  37. LAMary said on April 4, 2022 at 8:28 pm

    Deborah, not to bum you out but when everyone in my household had the Ommicron varient we all described it as scratchy throat, stuffy nose, beginnings of a cold.

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  38. Gretchen said on April 5, 2022 at 12:17 am

    La Mary: I’ve got the scratchy throat, runny nose, achy muscles but the covid test is negative so far. I’ll try again tomorrow.

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  39. Dexter Friend said on April 5, 2022 at 2:14 am

    I thought Fred Meyer sold pianos on North Clinton in Fort Wayne. Must have been a different guy.
    I played baseball as a kid against a kid from Garrett, Indiana named Meier, and he pronounced it “meer”.
    I have a Meijer store just 25 minutes away in Defiance, Ohio; I went past it a few hours ago. I have never been in that store and it’s been there for years.

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  40. David C said on April 5, 2022 at 6:16 am

    I got my second booster last at Walgreen’s. While I was there, a couple of probably 80-somethings came up the the counter and asked for shots. On the phone, they were told the store was taking walk-ins. When they got there they were told they take walk-ins when there aren’t any scheduled appointments and that they could schedule on line. They said they didn’t do on line. So they were told they could do it by phone. They guy said “you ever tried to get through to the pharmacy on the phone?”. The person at the counter just looked down at his feet and said “I know”. What kind of system do they have that they couldn’t at least set them up with an appointment?

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  41. alex said on April 5, 2022 at 8:04 am

    Meijer just built a new store on Dupont and Diebold in Fort Wayne and it opens in a couple of weeks. I have a feeling that’ll be my new go-to for groceries and whatever. It has enormous clerestories over the entire building and looks quite dramatic and upscale compared to the existing locations.

    Fred Meyer is a jewelry store inside Kroger, at least in these parts. I’m not sure who buys fine jewelry in a grocery store. No doubt Walmart remains the bigger draw for its hair salon, eyewear and payday loan vendors.

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  42. Heather said on April 5, 2022 at 10:04 am

    Got my second booster yesterday in preparation for going to Lisbon later this month. I was exposed not once but twice two weekends ago (never had symptoms and tested negative on a PCR five days later), so taking no chances.

    Got good news on my tax return. As a self-employed writer, I always save 30% from my checks and pay estimated taxes quarterly, but I still had a good chunk left over in my reserves at the end of the year. I only owe about $600, and even with the accountant’s fee, I get to keep most of it. Gonna stop feeling guilty about all those clothes I bought last week after two years of very little shopping.

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  43. Dorothy said on April 5, 2022 at 10:56 am

    Suzanne I’m sorry to hear about your leukemia but I’m hopeful treatment will work for you. I’ll be sending many positive thoughts your way.

    My introduction to Meijer stores happened 20 years ago when we moved to Cincinnati from Pittsburgh. I like their stores very much. It’s my preferred place for groceries. The one 3 miles from my new house south of Columbus has a marvelous meat department. They have more gluten free products than Kroger (I keep a good GF pantry for a family member) and Kroger also does not sell Keebler Buttercrisp crackers which I love.

    I’m a huge dog lover, but one that lifts its leg on my furniture more than once would be returned promptly to whence he came. Here’s hoping the snipping procedure will help in that department!

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  44. Julie Robinson said on April 5, 2022 at 11:14 am

    The new Meijer in the Fort will be very popular, I predict. There’s a shortage of stores in that area, and maybe the cluster Kroger will be less of a cluster.

    I remember Fred Meyer pianos, long gone of course. I can’t remember if it’s a bridal store or a dentist office now. The Fred Meyer jewelry within the cluster Kroger closed after a minute. Who goes to pick up milk and decides to buy a 3K ring while they’re there? They also had a short-lived furniture area, with junky but overpriced stuff.

    Excellent news, Heather, both about your refund and your trip. I always want to buy new clothes for trips, so I get it. There’s discussion in this house of a European trip this summer. I’m not ready.

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  45. alex said on April 5, 2022 at 11:39 am

    My renters have some oversized Kroger furniture in the backyard that had to be removed once it started shedding pleather flakes indoors. Truly monstrous stuff.

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  46. Jeff Borden said on April 5, 2022 at 12:23 pm

    Floriduh and Texass are always locked in a battle to see who can pass the most absurd, cruel and mean-spirited laws, but it looks like Tennessee wants to get in on the fun. They’re looking to remove any age barriers from marriage, but only for one man (boy) and one woman (girl). For a party obsessed with gay and trans kids, it’s an interesting maneuver.

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  47. alex said on April 5, 2022 at 12:31 pm

    Tennessee’s just going back to its hallowed traditions. You know, before cancel culture made people “woke” to pederasty and incest.

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  48. Jeff Borden said on April 5, 2022 at 1:37 pm

    Alex, it’s especially weird considering how much rhetoric the QOP has directed at the “sexualizing” of children. Consistency isn’t a strong suit, apparently.

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  49. Icarus said on April 5, 2022 at 2:26 pm

    Tennessee. too small for a republic. too big for an insane asylum. true in 1860 and true now.

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  50. alex said on April 5, 2022 at 2:47 pm

    In Appalachia it’s OK as long as it’s an adult male and a child bride, and the parents of the child give their consent (probably in exchange for a nice stash of methamphetamine).

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  51. Bitter Scribe said on April 5, 2022 at 2:50 pm

    That landlord sounds like a real sweetheart.

    I felt a little sorry for landlords during the pandemic, since a lot of them were stuck with nonpaying tenants they couldn’t evict, and they have to live too. But stories like that one dry up that little bit of sympathy.

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  52. Deborah said on April 5, 2022 at 3:04 pm

    My scratchy throat is gone today and my nose isn’t running anymore either. I didn’t take a Covid test yet, I honestly think it has something to do with my walk in the park earlier, or maybe even a couple of new things I had ingested Sunday evening, one thing was a jarred pistachio pesto and some Nero D’Avola wine that I had purchased at Eataly on Friday. I love Nero D’Avola and this was a new one I had never had before. Both of those things were delicious so I hope I’m not allergic to either one of them.

    On the other hand LB is suffering with headaches, clogged nose and sore throat in Santa Fe. She took a Covid test which came up negative. It’s definitely turning to spring there so it’s probably allergies.

    I weighed myself this morning for the first time in months and as I suspected I have gained 12 lbs since my last trip to France 2 years ago. I’m hoping to lose it before the next trip which will be mid October (if there’s still a Europe). So that means if I drop 2 lbs a month I should be good. However, it will be hard to do that when I’m back in NM and LB is cooking. I need to keep up the walking but the weather in Chicago hasn’t been cooperating lately.

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  53. Ann said on April 5, 2022 at 5:08 pm

    Good to hear from you, Suzanne. Wishing you a full recovery.

    Another Meijer’s fan here. I really became a convert during the great shutdown. Website ordering is quick and easy, the store brands are great, they have pretty much everything I could ever need, and they bring it out to my car for free. I only go into the store now to get my shots. Due for the next covid booster, and that’s where I’ll schedule it.

    For people interested in Hungary, I strongly recommend Susan Faludi’s memoir, In the Darkroom, in which she tracks down her estranged and bitter father, now transitioned to female and living in Hungary. Chilling.

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  54. Dexter Friend said on April 5, 2022 at 7:45 pm

    I had 99.7 FM on last night in the van and they played that oldie “Tonight’s the Night (it’s gonna be alright)” from 1976 by Rod Stewart. The song always creeped me out and I always wondered how those lyrics ever got past any decency code. The words lead into this stanza “Don’t say a word my virgin child
    Just let your inhibitions run wild
    The secret is about to unfold
    Upstairs before the night’s too old…”.
    So this man who apparently is old enough to have alcohol in his house is about to deflower this virgin child. Goddam, doesn’t that creep you out too?

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  55. alex said on April 5, 2022 at 8:53 pm

    I read Susan Faludi’s In the Darkroom on loan from Nancy, and my father, Hungarian-born, read it too. He had some historical nits to pick, particularly regarding whether Horthy was a sworn anti-semite or was merely walking a tightrope in an impossible situation.

    But what she got right is that Hungary’s Jewry was a lot like that depicted by Dan Aykroyd and whatever actress in Driving Miss Daisy, very assimilated (to showy excess) and very taken by surprise when the Nazis began to execute them given that Jews were at the forefront of Hungarian academia, business and government and clung to the belief that they were exempt from Hitler’s genocide until it became obvious that they were not. They figured that the orthodox (unassimilated) Jews were the targets of the hate campaign and were willing to stand down and let Hitler have his way with them as long as they thought their own lives were spared.

    Whether the trauma of his early life has anything to do with Faludi’s father’s rather bizarre personality or whether that’s just an intrinsic part of him is anyone’s guess. But I’d guess him to have a dissociative personality disorder perhaps owing to the trauma of dog-eat-dog survival at an early age. He seems incapable of having an empathetic relationship with his daughter, and that makes it one helluva sad story.

    One complaint raised by Faludi about her father’s transition, and echoed quite a bit at the time the book came out, was that his idea of womanhood was about as superficial as the cosmetics and costuming that so obsessed him.

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  56. Brandon said on April 7, 2022 at 1:58 am

    Jessica Tandy.

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