All childhood horrors

By David Grima | Jan 10, 2019

If Charles Dickens' story “A Christmas Carol” has taught us anything, it is that in the end the poor will win if they know a Grinchy old guy who is susceptible to ghosts. The rest of us will have to work for our happiness.

Speaking of which, I found the following nonsense the other day, and idly wondered what you would make of it.

Perpetrated in cyberspace by something called GOBankingRates, which sounds a bit weird to me, it purports to be an assessment of how much money we need at a minimum in order to be happy, all depending on what state we live in.

Alabama $93,240

Alaska $137,445

Arizona $99,330

Arkansas $93,240

California $148,050

Colorado $109,095

Connecticut $133,455

Delaware $110,670

Florida $103,845

Georgia $95,340

Hawaii $195,615

Idaho $97,335

Illinois $101,535

Indiana $96,075

Iowa $96,495

Kansas $93,975

Kentucky $97,230

Louisiana $98,070

Maine $122,115

Maryland $136,920

Massachusetts $133,980

Michigan $93,135

Minnesota $105,210

Mississippi $88,200

Missouri $93,345

Montana $109,095

Nebraska $98,070

Nevada $115,815

New Hampshire $117,600

New Jersey $124,320

New Mexico $97,545

New York $140,595

North Carolina $98,595

North Dakota $103,950

Ohio $97,335

Oklahoma $92,715

Oregon $136,500

Pennsylvania $106,260

Rhode Island $128,310

South Carolina $103,215

South Dakota $106,260

Tennessee $93,870

Texas $95,865

Utah $101,430

Vermont $123,270

Virginia $107,205

Washington $113,715

West Virginia $101,640

Wisconsin $101,115

Wyoming $95,970

So, as far as I can tell, if these numbers mean anything (which I sincerely, doubt), then vast quantities of our fellow citizens are deeply unhappy. For example, it appears that I will be miserable no matter what state I live in. You too, I shouldn’t wonder.

* * * * *

Certain friends and other people who know me have asked me to intercede with our beloved Lord Prez Trumpleton, to see if there is anything I can do to end this dreadful government shutdown.

My first idea was to talk to Lord Trumpleton’s dear wife, the Lady Malaria, to see if she had any ideas how we could talk the old boy down from the tower where he is reported to be hiding out.

She said no deal, that as long as he has somebody else to annoy, she is fine with it not being her.

I thought this was a bit rude, and told her so. She asked me why she should care what I think, and in the end I did see her point.

* * * * *

Speaking of Christmas, I found a little book in the city library’s free-books box this week, called “Scared of Santa: Scenes of Terror in Toyland.”

Possibly you are familiar with this type of book by now? It consists of hundreds of genuine family snapshots taken over the decades, which all demonstrate some dismal aspect of what passes for ordinary life.

For example, I have seen books like this of terrible family groups wearing dreadful sweaters, or even more embarrassing snapshots of desperately unhappy families pretending to be having a good time.

This one apparently contains more than 250 family photos of children who have been compelled to sit on Santa’s lap in department stores and other miscellaneous places. It is an experience which looks likely to be the root cause of all childhood horrors.

Some of the Santas don’t look too happy, either.

* * * * *

I see the ‘Keag Store down in SoTo is all ready for the latest wave of holidays. It has its red tablecloths with white hearts printed on them all set out on the tables in readiness for St. Valentine’s Day next month.

It seems to have skipped Martin Luther King Day, which I suppose would call for another kind of tablecloth, and it is probably best not to try to mark the day in this way.

* * * * *

I don’t know how you feel about the news last year, but possibly the weirdest news item I heard was that somebody drilled a hole completely through the wall of the International Space Station, from the inside.

Odd as this information is, nobody seemed to think of the most likely explanation. I suspect that somebody aboard had briefly gone Space Crazy, and tried to hang a picture on the wall.

Personally, I wouldn’t last 10 minutes “floating in a tin can, far above the world.” It would send me into absolute fits, and in my delirium I might do more than just try to hang a picture next to the fish tank.

There is good reason I enjoy being up here on the concrete towers at the foot of Mechanic Street, where I am forced to live. Plenty of room to stretch, and very little to do while I watch the stars at night.

* * * * *

There were plenty of people ice fishing on the smaller ponds along Route 17 in Rockport, back on Dec. 30. But nobody was taking any chances on Chickawaukie, it seemed.

* * * * *

There was one other odd item in that news report last week about the 19th-century Rockland schooner whose wreckage was just found off the Jersey shore. Not only is it rather unlikely to have been carrying limes, as reported in the New York Post, but the vessel was also described as being just 25 feet long.

Even assuming that is the length on deck, it barely makes sense to me that such a tiny vessel would be involved in commercial freight. Oh well, I suppose I have squeezed all the juice out of that story.

* * * * *

A final tale from Rockland last year involves the clock on the wall at Hello Hello Books, on Oak Street.

The other day I glanced up at it to get my bearings in the space-time continuum, only to see its face had been plastered over with a sign saying philosophically “What is time anyway?”

Naturally I enquired as to what that was all about, and was informed that it was the bookstore owner’s reaction to discovering she owns a broken clock

Comments (2)
Posted by: Wayne Keiderling | Jan 16, 2019 10:47


Posted by: Mary A McKeever | Jan 11, 2019 12:33

Thanks David. I enjoyed smiling throughout this dissertation. Happy New Year!

Mary "Mickey" McKeever +:)

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