As if we didn’t have enough to worry about!
America is a land of stressed-out worriers. We lose sleep over the latest epidemics and health scares, over diseases like SARS and bird flu, and over chemicals in our food and horsemeat in our tacos. We fret about gun-toting nuts charging into schools or gunning down innocent theatergoers and about rogue police officers on random killing sprees. We agonize about the prevalence of sexual predators and other sickos who might kidnap or molest our children. We brood about the bad economy, and whether we can keep our jobs, and whether the college graduates in our families will be able to even get a job in the first place.
Now, we have to worry about sinkholes, too. Will we be like poor Jeff Bush, sitting innocently in his bedroom near Tampa, Florida, when suddenly and without apparent warning a massive sinkhole opens beneath him, swallowing him whole and leaving not a trace behind? What can we trust, if not the seemingly solid ground beneath our feet? But even that may simply be shifting sands.
As if we didn’t have enough to worry about! I guess we’ll just need to live our lives without being consumed by the countless risks and dangers that could strike us down at any moment. Eat, drink, and be merry — for tomorrow we may sink.
Those evil meteorologists are saying that another big winter storm is bearing down on Columbus, ready to drop multiple inches of snow and prolong winter for a city that is oh-so-ready for spring. Just when we get a welcome glimpse of grass, it’s to be covered up again by another icy white blanket.
And so, on our evening walk, I look to the west and see the clouds low on the horizon. Is that the leading edge of the storm? Only time will tell.
I’m sorry to hear that Britain’s Queen Elizabeth is in the hospital. The queen, 86, was admitted with gastroenteritis, a condition that causes inflammation of the stomach lining and intestines and can be caused by eating contaminated food or contact with an infected person.
I don’t quite get how there can still be a hereditary monarchy, of sorts, in Great Britain, but the British people seem to like it and therefore it’s really none of my business. I’m not one of those Americans who finds the British royalty endlessly fascinating, either. I paid no attention to the Princess Diana controversies and don’t care about royal weddings or the other events that command media attention. Still, I commend Queen Elizabeth. She’s reigned since before I was born — which seems hard to believe — and during that time she has done her job, presided over the openings of Parliament, awarded medals, and performed the other tasks required of a modern-day monarch. She’s done it all without scandal and, apparently, with an appreciation for her role and the need to comport herself with dignity and discretion. And, of course, she’s been the subject of a Beatles song. It’s a pretty good record for a queen.
Of course, by reigning for as long as she has, Queen Elizabeth has kept Prince Charles, who seems a bit batty even by British standards, off the throne and free to tilt at global warming, modern architecture, and other windmills that attract his attention. That may turn out to be one of her greatest achievements. I hope she feels better soon and continues her long reign.