We Need to Laugh at the Nuttier Things We Do

Well---- I learned my lesson. Sometimes it is better to laugh at the nuttier things we do.

My Dad lived through the depression so he was careful to always turn out the lights if he wasn’t going to be in a room (Dad also saved dinner napkins to be used to check the oil level in our cars).  I naturally picked up the habit from him, much to the consternation of my kids.

One night, as I returned home from work, I immediately noticed that all the lights were on in the garage including the workshop lights.  I walked into the family room and all the lights were on there.  The same was true in the kitchen, and the dining room.   Aha!    I heard the television on in the front room.

I threw open the front room door and-------ran into a chorus of “Gotcha”!

Well---- I learned my lesson.  Sometimes it is better to laugh at the nuttier things we do.  This got me thinking that maybe we all could use a good laugh at the nuttier side of politics, and, maybe by loosening up we could learn to get along better. 

Towards the end of my scientific career I spent several (long and cold) winter months at Snoqualmie and Stevens Pass studying snowflakes (I really did).  I had lots of time waiting for it to snow so I thought it was a good time to write something along those lines.

So---my book “Thank God Those Idiots Are on the Other Side of the Mountains” is that try and there’s lots of opportunity to laugh at the goofy things both “sides of the aisle” do.

The book tells the first person story of a hapless, apolitical, house painter (D. W. Frank Franklin) who is caught up in the (still fictitious, but always possible) division of Washington State into a Republican eastern half and a Democratic western half.

The first half is his funny adventures in the Eastern Washington Republican side.  The second half is his adventures on the Democratic side, when he and his wife Alice move to Maple Valley. 

The book naturally divides into two parts so I thought for fun I’d weekly serialize the first half on Patch.  The second half is “too adult” to post.

If you like a challenge along with your laughs, you can try to figure out the analogies to real political people and events I put in the book.

I’ll also continue with my “scientific” blogs, but now you can run the video and let Frank tell his own story.


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Karen Noland September 23, 2011 at 07:41 PM
Yes! We need to laugh period...oh, and I almost fell out of my chair with the Shelton comment...
John Anderson September 24, 2011 at 03:18 AM
You are right, we do have a funny state. I remember back in the 70s, the Republicans didn't have a candidate for land commissioner, so a quirky guy decided he would fill the void. In the voters' pamphlet, he promised to go out and vigorously commission the land. One of the planks of his of his platform was: We should give eastern Washington to Idaho, because there's nothing over there but rattlesnakes. (The Democrat won.) On another somewhat related note, there is a Washington Post Book of the Year winner called About Grace. The quirky main character is a full time researcher of snowflakes, but as his life unravels, he picks up a job as a TV weather forecaster, a big step down from his science. The unraveling continues. Some of the critics think he spends too much time describing snow and other pieces of the natural surroundings, but I was fascinated with this book. The author is from the state that would have gotten eastern Washington had the Republican become land commissioner.
John Locatelli September 24, 2011 at 07:43 PM
Wow---I did make someone laugh-----I've got more videos starring old D W. I'll post these as the story unfolds. The snowflake guy sounds really interesting, but I guess he is not a real life person. I thought that I was the only person to be nuts enough to spend hours looking at snowflakes under a microscope. Sometime, after I'm fully recovered, I'll tell about it.


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