Postcard from the Staycation

Dear Washington,

Just wanted to drop a note from our stay-cation to say we hope you’re enjoying your time off, and do let us know how the fishing, golfing and clam bakes have gone for you.

Circumstances being what they are, we have decided to stick close to home this year. We hope you don’t mind if we tag along, vacationing vicariously with you through media. After all, reading that you’ve driven four under par is like a victory for all us little people and I personally pine to see the latest fashions in casual wear and fine jewelry modeled by your wives and daughters. That Eva Peron was right, it really is just as satisfying for us to watch your families of four accessing private and government jets—even two at a time—to travel to your summer homes or Martha’s Vineyard or Bermuda, as it would be for us to fly to Disney or the Gulf Coasts, and no luggage hassles or feel-copping TSA pat-downs for any of us! I call that sweet!

What have we been doing? Well, I have taken to sitting on the front porch, watching the fireflies and whittling the low-hanging branches for this winter’s kindling. I expect with home heating oil so high, we’ll be giving the fireplace a workout, at least until some movie star tells us we ought not to use it anymore, in order to save the planet. Sally June tells me that the EPA is warning about rolling power shortages coming up and Charlie joked that maybe we ought to capture those fireflies and build a fixture around them, for night reading. That Charlie, always with an idea that won’t work. Everyone knows we ordinary folks don’t read much. They got men and gals on the teevee to tell us what’s what, after all.

I like that Chris Matthews. He’s especially good at expectorating. I might invite him up the porch someday. We could share some of Al Gore’s daddy’s chewing tobacco together and have ourselves a time! Well I know it ain’t glamorous, but with movie tickets at almost 14 bucks a pop, and sports tickets so expensive, and summer concerts above our pay grades, you have to make your fun where you can. I just hope that when the tax loopholes and mortgage interest deductions go away, those folks in Hollywood and at Lincoln Center and sitting behind home plate don’t holler too loud about having to pay their fair share and ponying up the dough, because it’s getting awfully tight for the rest of us who have not as yet made “enough” money. Old Lucky—we call him that because he smokes Lucky Strikes, and because he once won a free dinner for two at The Seafood Shack, where he enjoyed the ribs—has been saying there oughtn’t to be sports gatherings or arena concerts or those blowing-things-up movies that everyone likes, on account of their big carbon footprints and the energy crisis and the cut in our oil reserves and that grid he’s always talking about not being shored up, but I know he is just bitter about the coal mines not being allowed to be worked, and that Xanax shortage. I keep telling him, “now, hold on there, Old Fortunately Son, you know those green jobs are a-coming, it’s just that the president hasn’t been as lucky as you! He’s been slowed down by some, what with those Arab revolutions and that big old earthquake in Japan, and then those riots in England, and the bad arugula harvest, and what with Joe Biden running lose in China and the basketball games, and trouble in Libya, and now that earthquake in DC, so what do you expect?”

But Old Lucky never did listen to sense. He says all of these things are the reasons we need to stop paying Brazil to dig for oil in the Gulf so we can do it ourselves, and dig up in Alaska, and down the coastlines, and melt the shale, and build refineries, too. He says, “the way to create some luck is to create some jobs”, and that drilling and refineries would keep us from getting affected by badly harvested greens and revolutions halfway around the world, and then we could reinforce that grid.

Always he’s on and on about that grid, as though we’ll even need to worry about any of that when pretty soon we can just plug in our cars, and go where we want!

Honestly, you put Charlie and Old Lucky together and you don’t know what seven kinds of crazy they’ll come up with! I heard them jawing about some idea of fixing the economy with a space invasion…that’s just the kind of foolish talk that makes people think Americans are dumb. That’d be like me saying there’s no such thing as shovel-ready projects, or that the Obamacare won’t control costs!

But then, they don’t watch the teevee like I do, so they’re apt to think any old thing. Honestly, if all I had to go on was their say-so, I would think the whole last decade should be one giant do-over. And that would be silly, now, wouldn’t it?

I must go harvest some peppers now, for supper. Just peppers and eggs; you know, we like to keep it simple in the summer. Come the autumn, though, when you all get back to work, why we’re looking forward to good times. Send us a postcard from the beach, you hear?

About Elizabeth Scalia
  • vanderleun

    That was the kindest, gentlest, sweetest and most thoughtful thrust of a stiletto I’ve read in a long, long time.

  • Andrea Shea King

    And we’ll even leave the porch light on fer ya…

  • Regina

    Remember when the Reagans were “The Imperial Presidency?” They were pikers by comparison.

    For the first time in my life, I’m looking at those in power and I feel poor, and I feel like we aren’t allowed to aspire to more.

    Is this why my ancestors leff class-bound monarchies? So that their descendants could live under class-bound (uncrowned) monarchies?

  • Stacy Trasancos

    That was brilliant!

  • Kris, in New England

    A sledghammer wrapped in bubble wrap and covered in velvet. Brilliant.

  • Mary Ann Andersen

    Walking softly…carrying big old stick; held by an iron fist wearing a velvet glove. Nice.

  • Doc

    That Chis Matthews line cracked me up. I can’t think of anyone less like Gaston.

  • Dad od Six


    Yep, there really is “Two Americas”

  • Rhinestone Suderman

    A hilarious post, Anchoress!

    Many thanks!

  • Callmelennie

    And to think you pulled the whole thing off without a single F-bomb!!

  • Martha

    Now, Anchoress, don’t you know that peppers and eggs (and even the eggs may be a little dicey for you) are the best thing you could be eating?

    Since red meat gives you diabetes! Yes, even a rasher for your breakfast, a pork chop or – heaven defend us! – a piece of steak for your dinner ups your chances of developing Type 2 diabetes, according to the smart people in Harvard. Eating one portion of red meat every day – now that’s just living above your station, and you should be grateful for the chance to save your health by not being able to afford such luxuries.

    So just stick to water – that’s probably safe enough – and, um, chewing the bark off trees?

  • CV

    That’s a hoot and a holler, fer sure.

    It warmed my little fly-over country heart.

    You should pitch it around for publication elsewhere.

    Would be great to see it get some play in the MSM. Maybe USA Today?

  • Regina

    This was absolutely brilliant! Slice em to ribbons and they don’t even realize they’re bleeding.

  • Charlie

    Mighty obliged to ya fer givin’ my green-energy-from-bugs idea a little airin’ on the Internets. ‘Twas mighty kindly of ya.

  • Rhinestone Suderman

    Mmmm, peppers and eggs!

    Sounds delicious!

  • Amy

    Love the photo. Who waters all of the hanging plants?

    Very peaceful….makes me want to build a wall (a shorter wall) in my backyard adorned with hanging baskets, adding icons and bits of colored glass to the mix.

  • Katherine

    Why you bitter, clinger you!

    Except, not so much.

    Thanks for the laugh!