It’s been quite a while, I just realized the other day, since I wrote my weekly letter home from the war to my “folks,” which at that point was my parents, and the war was in Vietnam. My main goal then was to let them know how much fun it was to be in a war in Vietnam. Which it wasn’t. But as you know, the truth and I have a contradictory working relationship that started then and exists even now. Back in Nam, it was more fun to make fun of what was going on. Being as I was in the army, there was always a lot going on, for better or worse. No one wants to know the worse, really.
My folks have been gone a long time now, so long that in fact I’ve turned into them. That’s a war in itself, and of course no sense in not making fun out of that. When I started this weekly dance with the truth, I was in a war in Vietnam. When I started writing every week once again for you “folks,” I titled myself a “spy,” a “prairie spy,” and thought of myself as being on the “home front” of a war.
And I still am. It does seem like these days we are all in a war of sorts with The Virus, a war that finds us running around with masks on, for Pete’s sake, something which, along with walking on the moon and cell phones and computers, you’d’ve never guessed would happen.
Something else you’d never guess would happen, along with the fact that there are still people running around out there thinking we’re not in a war, and not wearing their masks, is the fact that the United States is finally number one at something besides being number one at thinking we’re number one, namely that more of us are spreading and having and not surviving the virus than anybody else in any other country in the world.
That’s quite an accomplishment for a place that’s never really been number one at anything important, like how long we live; like how many of our babies die; how inefficient and ineffective is our health care; how inferior our educational system is; at, at, at….the list goes on and on. So isn’t it just great that we’ve finally made it?
It’s also quite an accomplishment that it’s January here at the 40th parallel in NW Minnesota, and the furnace hasn’t come on and run for almost an hour. It’s a full moon now, and always in the past, if you were to look out the window late at night and see snow and a full moon, you’d know that just almost certainly, it would be thirty below zero, rather than thirty above.
Usually about now, I’m in Florida, but what with the war and all, travel doesn’t rank just too high on my list. It’s pretty nice to be here and be outside, really, compared to all those New Year’s Eve gigs when the band was playing. It was always, always, always for sure that it would be thirty below zero, and back then, when all vehicles had carburetors and didn’t want to start when it was cold, the parking lot at one in the morning was filled with drunken revelers running around trying to start something with jumper cables.
Now everything is fuel injected, and always starts. That’s a war we don’t miss. Some of those cold spells, cell phones would have sure been handy, wouldn’t they?
It’s for sure unusual that the one time I’m not leaving the cold weather and heading south, it’s not freezing my you-know-what off. That’s not so normal. Life rarely ever misses a chance like this to get even with you, life being a war all by itself.
It’s time to sign off, I guess. Hope this finds all of you having as much fun as I am here on the home front.
Sincerely yours, The Prairie Spy