The sweet and sour state of affairs

Community Columnist

I was invited to speak at the annual state of affairs meeting for the Ne’er Do Wells Club next month.

We’re a bunch of comfortably frustrated brawlers, bawlers, beatniks, orphans and lonely paramours who sit around and tragically shoot the breeze with unloaded repartees of less-than-precise vernacular.

They told me to prepare something short and to-the-point, and to not bring an umbrella if it didn’t rain. But I’m umbrella-challenged, so if it’s a nice day I just won’t bring my galoshes instead.

Addressing the club is always a daunting undertaking, but illuminating the state of affairs is a little like approaching a black hole with a penlight and a firefly. I figure 45 percent won’t pay attention and another 45 percent will heckle me either way. That leaves 10 percent to focus on, but if only nine out of 10 show up, I won’t have to focus at all.

It’s always wise to open up these things with a joke, so I’ll probably tell the one about the priest, the rabbi and the imam khatib in a hot tub contemplating God’s agenda with the universe while sharing a jar of sweet and sour gherkins when one falls in the water. The Ne’er Do Wells always appreciate a good pickle joke.

After the subsequent chuckles ensue, I’m sure I’ll be searching for some other tactics of filibuster before the crowd gets wise and beckons for me to get on with it.

What can I say? The world is a mess. At best, it’s sweet and sour and floating in murky water.

I like Obama; he’s a good man, a sweet man, but this has been a tough four years. His foreign policies have been solid, if not bold, but the rebuilding of Afghanistan is like fortifying the nickel; it doesn’t even work in a gum machine. Iran is sending food and first-aid to Syria in the form of automatic weapons and detonators. Al Qaeda is determined to steal the war from the rebels and random Americans are finding themselves in harm’s way as embassies are stormed for cartoons, caricatures and YouTube booboos.

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