The Rant 

I am so bummed out. See, I've just done what I try to do as often as possible (which is about once a year) and gotten away from it all. I have a secret retreat way out in the country in the middle of nowhere, and I escape to that place whenever I can to commune with the chipmunks and groundhogs and rivers and streams and trees and birds and turn off the rest of the world. It's a great thing for someone who finds driving for 10 minutes in the city a horrid sensory overload. The thing is that when I do this, I miss out on so much. I think I missed all of the riveting news about Tom Cruise and Katie what's-her-name having their baby. I caught just a second of news about it, but I was left hanging in a limbo of intense wonder about the couple and their new child. Was it a turkey-baster baby or was it really Tom's? What did they name it? Did what's-her-name have to have the child in silence or could she scream in pain? Did she get drugs or was that a no-no? What did ex-Cruise wife Nicole Kidman have to say? What did Brooke Shields have to say? Did Brooke also have her baby? I think I heard that she had it the same day in the same hospital just down the hall. Could this be true? See, this is all very, VERY important stuff. And while standing on the banks of the Harpeth River and watching swallows build dirt nests underneath old bridges is a fine thing, missing out on news about Tom Cruise and Katie what's-her-name is a pretty high price to pay. Missing out on all that was buffered, however, by entering the restroom in a small establishment in the country. There was a sign above the toilet that read, "We ask you not to place your cigarette butts in the toilet. It makes them very soggy and hard for us to light!" Now, that is almost worth the lack of TomKitten information. I also missed out on all things political. I hope the government took the advice I offered in this column last week and left Donald Rumsfeld to do whatever he wanted. I don't know, because I haven't seen the news. No Google. No newspapers. No television. For heaven's sake, I hope he is still in charge of things at Guantanamo so that we can be assured everyone there is being treated humanely. Is George W. Bush still the president, or has he been impeached? He certainly has been impaired (ha ha ha) by all the bad press he's been getting and the staff exodus from the White House. Has anyone else left yet? Has Scooter spilled any more beans? Has Dick Cheney smiled yet? Has Condi gotten that needle up her you-know-what with a sledge hammer yet, or is she still uptight and not so out-of-sight? I'm glad she wasn't in that bathroom in the country with me. Not for any reason other than I just wouldn't want to be in the bathroom with her. I'm afraid I might try to make a toilet paper holder out of her head. But then that is being mean and I have been communing with nature and wondering about Tom and what's-her-name and I should just keep my opinion to myself. And what about Karl Rove? Seems I heard something about him changing roles from politics to policy. Or policy to politics. I can't keep up. I have a sneaking feeling there's not much difference between the two and he's still trying to keep us down. The little people, that is. And what about the Exxon dude? Any more news about him? Is there anyone out there who still would contemplate buying gas at Exxon even if their gas tank was empty and they were on the way to see TomKitten? I wish people who buy gas at Exxon would become the equivalent of people who wear real animal fur. You know, they are at the pump filling their SUV with Exxon gas and someone runs up and sprays paint on them. That would be lovely. Has that happened anywhere yet? Oh, well. Maybe Tom Cruise will get caught pumping Exxon into his car and someone will hurl psychiatric medicine at him. Now, that would be worth leaving the peace and quiet of the country

to see.

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