Big Daddy

Big Daddy

Dear Big Daddy,
So, it’s been five years, big guy. What, if anything, have you learned in half a decade of making fun of your paper’s own readers?
Snarky in Sonora

Dear Snark Week,
As anyone who has read every week of this claptrap knows (anyone?), it’s been a pretty schizophrenic time for me. Both in the sense that I feel like I’ve been hearing voices, deprived of my rights, thrown into an institution and sedated out of my senses – and in that other common misperception of the term.

That is, I feel like I’ve been a bunch of different people over the years. I’ve been both male and female. It may be hard to guess my age. I travel around in disguises, and I’ve done things you probably wouldn’t want to talk about at a Republican fundraiser. It used to be that the next logical question that would follow an admission like that is, “Are you Michael Jackson?” Alas, he’s dead and I’m still just pretending.

But I digress even more than usual. So if there’s anything the last five years have resembled most, it’s the five stages of grief. You know, like when the doctor tells you you’re going to die unless they stick sharp objects up your wazoo and rip out your mojo in tiny pieces. We all know what choice I made there – my mojo outlived me long enough to get its own byline. In the case of our state, it’s about a budget situation that makes my prostate experience look like sunshine and cotton candy.

Anyhoo, when I first started penning this anonymous atrocity, circa 2005, it seemed like there was a whole lotta denial going on. Of course, even in the best of times, denial is the grease that keeps the engine of democracy from seizing up like the president eating a pretzel. But we were flush with the stuff back then, thinking that things would just keep getting better. Whether your personal vice was tax cuts or shiny new programs, we all sidled up to the bar and ordered a triple shot of stupid.

Next came anger. It’s never far away from my-success-equals-your-failure world of politics. But it’s jumped up a notch in recent years, to the point where lots of folks have stopped noticing the smoke coming out of their ears every day. Heck, we’d probably miss it.

The anger never really did leave, but we moved right on into bargaining. Not with each other, of course. These days you’d think bipartisanship is a word describing something you did in college you’d rather not tell your wife about. More like that internal kind of bargaining we engage in with ourselves because a pint of Ben & Jerry’s or another shot of scotch just won’t hold up their side of a conversation. Where you or I might see budget gimmicks and one-time revenues as logical responses to budget negotiations that broke down the moment that each side took a high school economics class thirty-odd years ago, a good shrink might see the governmental equivalent of a stage four cancer patient who suddenly decides it’s a great idea to go vegan.

Then there was depression. I’m not sure when that set in. Awhile ago…yeah…I’ve mostly been sleeping and watching “Fantasy Island” reruns since then…

But lately, it’s all started to seem kind of, well, normal. Hence, stage five: acceptance. You know that old army acronym, SNAFU—as in, “situation normal, all-****ed-up”? Lately I’m finding myself wondering what that would look like translated into Latin and printed on the state seal.  

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