Most of the time I wake up in the middle of the night for no reason. It’s hereditary. I’m doomed to middle-of-the-night staring at the ceiling. For the longest time, I fought it. Now, I just wake up and write to the three or four of you. Thank you for being there.
It’s 2:58 on a Monday morning, and I am awake for a specific reason. It has to do with a couple tons of leaves that my brother, Brian, and his son, Al, helped me move to the curb. I am sore from raking. I refuse to take Advil so that I will have something to complain about to the three or four of you.
I observed several times on the air that the leaves weren’t turning colors. Alexis and I drove all over Indiana for college football games. Normally, this would be a spiritual experience. What is more beautiful than a drive across Indiana when the leaves are turning?
Not much. But it’s not the same when the leaves stay green almost to the day that they fall off. This is what happened. Everything was green and lush into November. And then the leaves turned colors for like a week. It was a beautiful week. There were some of the deepest rusts, yellows, reds and purples that you’ve ever seen. And then, in one fell swoop, all of the leaves fell off all of the trees. I’ve never seen anything like it.
The coverage of leaves on my lawn was inches thick. It was beautiful coverage. The rusts and reds and yellows and purples that were on the trees all of the sudden were on the sidewalks and grass. Most of the time you rake leaves that are brown and shriveled. Not this year. You almost hated to push the leaves away they were so beautiful.
While we worked, my brother and I told Al stories about when we were in high school. Like Al, my brother and I played high school basketball. But, unlike Al, every weekend we worked for the family construction company. This would be unheard of in these times. We’d work all Saturday shoveling or busting up concrete or moving pumps around and then we’d go home, take a shower, and play a high school basketball game.
It was beautiful, just like the rusts and the yellows and reds and the purples that lay on the ground. I’m left typing to you in the middle of the night with a soreness in my shoulders that I welcome. It means I worked and that my brother and I made little Al work and that’s just as important.
The task at hand is to prepare to do a couple of radio shows. As the three or four of you know, I do two shows in the morning. Before I do my main radio show, "JED in the Region," I strap on a wireless microphone and walk out onto Indianapolis Boulevard and do a little warmup we call “JED in America.” Among big trucks and honking Region Rats, I talk. Sometimes I muse about what is happening to this country in these divided times. Sometimes I sing. Sometimes it’s cold, so I stomp up and down like I’m angry. Really, I’m just trying to keep warm.
The topic of this first segment – the outdoor segment – is almost always Donald Trump, our president. He gives me plenty to talk about. Last week, he tweeted that Democrat types are going “absolutely nuts.” And, of course, he ripped on the “fake news media.” This stuff is funny. If you’re a broadcasting student at a small liberal arts college on the East coast in 50 years, you will have no way of truly understanding the humor and absurdity that is going on these days. The best suggestion I can give you, especially if you’re a budding literary snob, is go read some Kurt Vonnegut then read Donald Trump’s tweets. This’ll give you as good of an idea of what’s going on as anything else.
Let’s check Mr. Trump’s latest.
"I was with the President of Finland and he said… we are a forest nation… and they spend a lot of time on raking and cleaning and doing things, and they don't have any problem.”
Trump said told this to firefighters risking their lives trying to save California from the inferno. Many took Trump’s comment, and perhaps the fires in general, as a rebuke to Californians for being negligent rakers. Outside of not wanting to deal with soggy leaves in the Spring, I did not want to be considered a negligent raker by the president of the United States. So my brother and his son and I raked our asses off.
“The New York Times did a phony story, as usual, about my relationship with @VP Mike Pence. They made up sources…” Trump tweeted.
“Isn’t it ironic that large Caravans of people are marching to our border wanting U.S.A. asylum because they are fearful of being in their country - yet they are proudly waving.... ....their country’s flag. Can this be possible? Yes, because it is all a BIG CON, and the American taxpayer is paying for it!” Trump tweeted.
This is true. The American taxpayer is paying for 6,000 troops stationed south of San Diego to keep a caravan of migrants from Honduras from seeking asylum in our country. I just went downstairs to investigate a strange noise, and on the walk through the living room, I heard the CNN announcer say it has cost us 240-million dollars so far.
Here’s one of my favorites:
“The inner workings of the Mueller investigation are a total mess. They have found no collusion and have gone absolutely nuts. They are screaming and shouting at people, horribly threatening them to come up with the answers they want. They are a disgrace to our Nation… A TOTAL WITCH HUNT LIKE NO OTHER IN AMERICAN HISTORY!”
This is a tweet from our president about the Robert Mueller investigation. It’s an investigation into just about everything Trump ever did. This is not a healthy situation to have a president elected and then spend the next two years investigating him and everyone around him. Fifty years from now you might call it a political hatchet job.
But, for the time being, the frustration that the Mueller investigation is causing our president makes for interesting late-night tweets.
“Universities will someday study what highly conflicted… Bob Mueller and his gang of Democrat thugs have done to destroy people. Why is he protecting Crooked Hillary, Comey, McCabe, Lisa Page & her lover, Peter S, and all of his friends on the other side?
“The only “Collusion” is that of the Democrats with Russia and many others… Check out how biased Facebook, Google and Twitter are in favor of the Democrats. That’s the real Collusion!”
Does this remind you of the adage – “Hey, just because I’m paranoid doesn’t mean it’s not true?”
Our president makes these kinds of tweets all the time. It never stops. You never hear of a time when the president is totally “off” the job. He is almost always on. He tweets in the morning and he tweets late at night. And when he hasn’t been on TV in a couple of days, he does a one-on-one interview, usually on Fox News. This is what the president did today with Fox’s Chris Wallace. It’s a non-stop show and I’m grateful for it.
After all, eventually we’re gonna go back to another boring old president. Barack Obama was boring – “no drama Obama.” If Mike Pence ever becomes president, the feet of an entire country will fall right to sleep. President George W. Bush was a little interesting, but only because he said “noo-cue-ler” instead of nuclear. Bill Clinton did have some flare, like when he took Monica Lewinsky for a ride, but for the most part he was so slick you tuned him out after a few minutes.
Mr. Trump, for better or worse, is the most non-sensical and interesting president we have ever had. And I am grateful for the material that he provides.
This should do it for the three or four of you – and broadcasting students 50 years from now. I’m gonna take a shower, fry up a couple of eggs, and do some radio. It’s a beautiful thing. Don’t mess it up.
4:45am - By the way, when I was in the shower scrubbing my --- (rhymes with "y'alls), it dawned upon me that I left out the punch line - It turns out that the president of Finland doesn't recall saying such a thing about raking leaves to Donald Trump. It never stops, I tell ya. It never stops.
It’s snowing in northwest Indiana. When it’s snowing this hard, it’s easier to write a blog, make love under the covers, and not feel bad about watching the national Trump show.
Just finished a three-hour radio show. It’s normally two and a half hours, but folks who come on the air after me had a hard time getting here. One thing about living at the southern tip of Lake Michigan – when it snows, it’s beautiful.
It’s 3:54 on a Wednesday morning. I have to wake up this early just to get to talk to the three or four of you.
Every once in a while, your life gets in a rowboat and floats away from you. Standing on the shore, you shout for what was you. Come back to me, asshole. You’re my life.
This is how I feel on a Wednesday morning when it’s 19 degrees out. My life has floated away from me. I am standing on the shore. Exhausted, beaten, alone and without a reason to walk to the local grocery store for a Diet Coke and a pack of Marlboros.
It’s the eve of the 2018 midterm election, and you’d think Racquel Welch just lifted up her bikini top. Or Roger Triemstra called for a snowstorm in July. Richard J. Daley bought ballet shoes. Selena Gomez shot a basketball.
There is so much absurdity going around, I don’t know where to start.