An Old Dog's Words of Wisdom


One  of the nice things about getting long in the tooth is that little things don't ruffle your feathers any more. You've pretty much seen it all and you know what the outcome will be. It's sort of like the young dog and the old dog sleeping on the porch. It's a beautiful summer day and the two of them are taking advantage of the luxurious shade provided by the porch overhang. The old dog is sleeping peacefully, enjoying his quiet time. The young dog hops up every few minutes, ears perked up at every little murmur of wind in the willows, cough, burp, fart, crunch of feet on gravel, backfiring automobile, screaming kids, and any other sound that is snagged by his sensitive ears. He growls at some, barks at others and every once in a great while goes into an absolute frenzy over some perceived danger. He is never at rest, alternately laying, sitting, up on all four paws, occasionally pacing the porch's weathered floorboards. The old dog cocks his wrinkled head, opens a lazy eye and watches the spastic antics of the adolescent pup and wishes he would just shut the hell up, sit down and watch the world go by.

That's the way I felt yesterday, watching the young pups on TV bellowing that the stock market plunge indicated the end of the world, affixing blame to the President, the Tea Party, the liberal left, the conservative right, the Europeans, the Chinese, the Russians, solar flares, global warming and shadow organizations like the Illuminati. Hell, I was waiting for one of these clowns to blame the Klingons for S&P's downgrading of the U. S. credit rating. Now, please don't misread me here; I'm not totally blase about our current economic fiasco. I'm just not reacting like a pup to the news. I've been here before, and so have you. 1981-82 comes to mind. I was in the process of starting a new business and every week was a crap shoot. There were times I was damned terrified not only for the future of my family, but for the future of the nation as well. But as always hard work and an eye to the future prevailed, not only for my family and me, but also for the nation. So as the pups on TV and radio play Chicken Little and scare the shit out of every living creature on the planet, please remember this: there are no greater whores on the planet than media whores. They will milk this story for all its worth and when the well has run dry move on to another tale of woe. It's what sells newspapers and draws listeners and viewers to TV and radio. And after you've sifted and winnowed the information and gleaned what we hope is some nubbin of truth from it all, ask yourself a simple question: how am I doing right now? Most of you will say A-okay, and if that's the truth then what in the hell do we have to worry about?

So join an old dog; enjoy the lazy summer shade, listen to the wind in the trees, the sound of feet crunching on gravel and please do not take these innocuous noises as harbingers of doom. Let the young pups bark, and fidget and pace the floorboards. That's what they do best. We old dogs excel at the reasoned approach to tough problems, and that means keeping our cool. And keeping the youngsters in line. If we old dogs do that we can lift the nation out of its economic woes.

It's time we accepted that responsibility again.

Lenny Palmer



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