Thursday, September 30, 2021

"How Sad": The Song We Sing As America Crumbles

 I have been on mainland America for a couple of weeks.

My wife and our three cat children have been on Lopez.

We talk once in awhile and text more frequently.

And email gets into the mix upon occasion.

The cats prefer Facetime but they have become pretty adept texters.

I got a forwarded email last weekend thanking my wife for her order.

"Uh oh" I said to myself; how passive aggressive of her".

(When I am on the mainland I don't have anyone to talk to so I talk to myself.)

I had thought that the last order I had ordered and had been delivered was going to carry us through the month.

But I guess not.

At least the new order was big enough to cover cat appetites for a few more weeks - until my credit card has cycled and I could be more responsible about the care and feeding of our children.

Yesterday my wife and I talked.

There were a variety of things askew - it's the time of the year for that sort of thing - chief among them that Chewy's order had been delayed and that the order that I had bought previously and which I had thought to be sufficient to carry Cinq, Rose, Alfie and Genji (the kids feral mother) through the end of the month, and beyond was going to be gone before the new estimated delivery date for the Chewy order.

I was not surprised.

Chewy ships by FedEx.

The FedEx terminal in Portland has run out of people, trucks, planes and ideas; so, if you ship FedEx on the West Coast north of Red Bluff you don't get your shipment.

On time.

Maybe ever.

Infrastructure - human infrastructure - crumbling?

So she was going to have to go to the mainland to buy cat food on the morrow.

We have a marginal but acceptable grocery on Lopez.

So I wanted to ask why not just go to the grocery and buy some cat food?

But I knew the answer: "they only eat Fussy Cat".

Fussy Cat only comes to Lopez from shipments from

The grocery only has Fancy Feast.

Our cats left that behind years back.

When we first went to Lopez ten years ago the grocery bordered on great.

But it has followed the national trajectory since that time.

(I should mention that, at that time - when we first went to Lopez - there was Crowfoot Farms, a U-pick strawberry field, The Bay Cafe, a restaurant that competed and won with top end mainland restaurants, The Galley, a  spectacularly implemented West Coast version of a New Jersey diner and The Drug Store, a pharmacy with an old fashioned soda fountain that had about ten or twelve milk shake blenders and made banana splits;  they are all gone now.)

The grocery, like everything else on Lopez and everything else in America is declining.

But back to the story: starting this morning I have gotten a stream of texts documenting my wife's progress in her catfood quest.

I should mention that a lot of the employees of the Washington Ferry System apparently are trumpists and they are refusing to get vaccinated.

Our governor has decided that that is a firing offense.

So, in the inevitable kerflufflel that that sort of employer/employee incivility always generates, the ferries are an iffy proposition in the Salish Sea.

The biggest ferry system in (crumbling) America may or may not make a traverse at any point in time.

A hundred thousand or more citizens of Washington State are held hostage to donnie's crowd.

Back to the ferries.

They always were late, but they almost always ran.

Now we have donnie in charge of enough fringe elements to bring us down.

But back to my story.

When my wife told me she was going to America I was understandably nervous; she might get over there, but would she get back?

The cats are pretty philosophical but they need food every few days; and water is even more important.

So I kept texting throughout the day.

Here are the last few from her,

"Yakima is running late".

"Finally underway - @80 minutes late, but at least it wasn't cancelled".

To which I responded:

"I'm sorry. For you especially, but for America also as it crumbles. I heard a guy today on BBC Newshour say "you have to understand; America is a third world country with a lot of money".

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