A Scary Place

I was vacuuming today, and I started  thinking about a new post. I thought maybe I’d call it, “Here’s the Matter with Kansas.” I had seen an online article from the Washburn University newspaper. It offered more proof of the large number of dumb people in America, many of them stridently Christian. And it seems more than a few live in Kansas.

As a professional, I advise avoiding uprights; go with the canisters for cleaning those hard-to-reach areas.

As a professional, I advise avoiding uprights; go with the canisters for cleaning those hard-to-reach areas.

But as the cleaner whirred and my arm moved rhythmically back and forth, my mind drifted. This is not a bad thing, especially for a writer.Vacuuming is really conducive to the sort of freewheeling mental riffing that can lead to new ideas or, in my case, dialogue for a play. Over the years, I have done some of my best pre-writing while vacuuming, particularly when cleaning offices was my second job. I recommend that any writer feeling a little stuck just take out the ol’ Eureka or Electrolux and let that meditative state take over.

So, I’m vacuuming…Kansas…right-wing extremists…huh, Sam Brownback is from Kansas. He’s always seemed like a little bit of a douchebag. And Inhofe, next door in Oklahoma, he’s even worse. But are they as bad as other right-wing senators from the past? Who were some of the real jerks? Oh, Helms, that’s easy. Thurmond. Lots of Southerners…what about John Stennis? Don’t know much about him. But there was that old Robert Klein bit – they pick Stennis to listen to the Watergate tapes, and the guy is practically deaf. “His black servants do bits about him behind his back:  ‘Senator Stennis, you cain’t hear shit!'” Really liked that Klein album. I always think of that line, when I’m sitting far away from the stage at an event: “He looked like a raisin sitting on a marshmallow.” Do people still listen to comedy records? Maybe I should write about comedy records instead…

And there you have it. For all the wonders of vacuuming, the calm it induces can lead to mental straying of the worst kind. And this progression took place in the span of about eight seconds. Pretty scary.

So, Kansas – huh? Oh yeah, the latest idiocy, as reported in the Washburn Review. A Wichita church has displayed this sign: “America we have a Muslim president this is sin against the Lord!” If it was actually written like this, we also have sins against punctuation and syntax, but that’s the least of our worries. As many people pointed out during the campaign, so what if Obama were Muslim? But then there is the fact that he is not, everybody with an ounce of grey matter knows it, yet some people still won’t believe it. Prepare yourself for four (perhaps eight) years of more examples of sheer idiocy from the people who will not accept a black man with a funny name as their president. And that’s even scarier than the way my mind works.

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~ by mburgan on December 7, 2008.

4 Responses to “A Scary Place”

  1. This one really hit home, not just because of pondering about the strange excess of idiots within the state but because of your manner of cognitive creation—a vacuum cleaner. Personally, my favorite is a lawn mower but then it’s good only for a few months out of the year. As a part-time janitor and full-time writer (the former pays better than the latter, alas!), I found complete agreement with everything you said except for your choice of vacuum cleaner. Canisters are a pain in the butt. Get a good upright with tools and you’re good to go. Since I tore my back out this morning and haven’t been able to “go,” I find I miss my Simplicity commercial vac but not the wise words of a fellow writer. Excellent post.

  2. Thanks for the kind words, but I have to disagree on the cleaners. Using the tools with an upright, for me, takes too much time. Much easier with the canister to just take the hose off the wand and suck away in those corners and crevices. And I have never seen a hotel room with a carpet cleaned to my satisfaction, and they almost always use uprights. Those bulky heads just don’t allow for easy access under beds and such. But I will give you that maneuvering a canister can be a pain at times. I remember when my father (this was a generational business) used to have a cleaner you could wear on your back. Wonder if those are still around? Of course, they’re meant for younger men, with much stouter backs than mine.

  3. Why do you look under the beds at hotels? Hmmm. There’s a story there…
    I’ve added a link to your blog from my Web site and look forward with great anticipation to your continuing ruminations.

  4. Well, it’s not like I really stick my head under ’em; it’s more like when I’m sitting in a chair across from the bed and some of the flotsam and jetsam near the edges is pretty obvious.

    Thanks for the link, and looking forward to seeing more of your stuff too.

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