Why is the Government in my Shower?

I told my daughter to wash the dogs and she lifted a headphone long enough to say it was too cold. This is one of a litany of ridiculous excuses, but I let her get away with it until the dogs smelled so bad I could pinpoint their location when I pulled into the driveway. At that point, something had to give. “This is Georgia”, I ranted. “It’s a mild fall! They have fur to keep them warm!”

Unconvinced, my animal rights advocate negotiated the use of my shower for the canines. They got washed and I got a nice slugtrail of dog water from the bathroom to the porch. Great.

After she emerged, she had the audacity to question the water pressure in my shower. I told her it was weak because that’s where the government lives. Her eyes grew wide for just a second while she considered the implications. But as with most things I tell her, she quickly sized it up to poppycock and trudged off to interact with actual intelligence of the electronic variety. She didn’t believe the old man, but it is true.

Like mold growing over cheese in the back corner of the fridge, the government is no longer content with mattress legislation and has steadily crept into our collective bathroom. I’ve already had a fight with them over the anti-scald valve – a fight I am proud to say I won. A snip here and a tug there and I bypassed their foolish legislation so that my wife can enjoy a steamy winter shower to her heart’s content. For at least that day, I was her knight in dripping armor. But now they have forced shower head manufacturers to reduce the flow of water in my shower to a measly 2.5 gallon per minute trickle! Is nothing sacred? I’m past fifty now, I know all about reduced flow but there are some things that can be helped.

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This is the same government that finally heeded the request of veterans to issue ID cards. Yes, rather than carry your DD-214 in your wallet (which bears your social security number), congress forced the VA to create a better identification system in 2015. That was two years ago. The government has all of my information and issues ID’s for everything, but it took over two years for them to create the framework. I want my discount at Denny’s without opening myself up to identity theft!

The mandated deadline for creating the process was November 2017. On the last day of the month, the system opened… and promptly crashed. It is dead as a doornail. I assume it will take another two years to fix it. After all, they are too busy tinkering with my shower.

This discontented and unidentified veteran has a wrench. I took the nozzle off and found it clogged with calcium deposits. A quick internet search led me to a baking soda/vinegar concoction that didn’t work. A second search told me about water pressure restrictors. I don’t like restrictions! Why is the government obsessed with my shower?

All it took was needle-nose plyers to remove the governmental interference and the first test blew out enough calcium to meet the National Institute of Health’s yearly requirement for a lactating woman. It’s like standing under a pressure-washer. This morning I lost three freckles and part of a tattoo, but it was totally worth the price to live free from government tyranny.

If I could only get 25% off a Grand Slam breakfast, I would be swimming in liberty.

Happy Armistice Day

I know, I know…It is Veterans Day now.  Forgive me, my kids call me old, so I’m sticking with Armistice Day.

As the writer of a book set in the 1920’s, it would have been impossible to do an authentic job of setting the scene without some research into World War I and the plight of veterans returning from Europe.  In hindsight, it is easy to see how woefully unprepared our government was to care for and assist the flood of men who came home.  The lingering effects of trench and gas warfare haunted many for the rest of their days.  Unable to maintain steady work, a good few vets languished in abject poverty long before the Great Depression.  Fortunately for us, many of the benefits we veterans enjoy today came from public outcry and government action in the decade after WW I.

At my kitchen table last night, I asked my kids if any of them knew the origin of Veterans Day.  We sat in a long period of unknowing silence, or maybe reluctance to engage with the old man on a favorite topic, who knows which.  My wife and I don’t allow electronics at the table, so the blank stares from the teenage contingent could have been due to the fact that they wanted to get back to their social media (just to embarrass them, I like to call it “The Facetube”).  They were rescued by their eleven year-old sister who gave a detailed and accurate history of the ending of WW I, Armistice Day, and its change to Veterans Day in the 1950’s.  Thank you Perimeter Christian School for your fine teaching on this subject!

The town of Portsong would joyfully celebrate Veterans Day.  As a patriotic place, there would be flags, ribbons, parades, and special honors bestowed by the Ladies Historical Society.  Although not a veteran himself, Mayor Shambley would never miss the opportunity to stand in a lectern.  Daniel Jacobs, Abel Lowder, Rif Jenkins, the Pinkerton boys, and all the rest would set to march down Chestnut and Main in whatever semblance of uniform moths and time had not yet destroyed.  Yes, Portsong has always loved its fighting boys through many wars.image

I leave my thoughts on Veterans Day with a picture of my grandfather in his Doughboy uniform from World War I.  I do not believe he saw action, as he volunteered just a month before the war ended.  My maternal grandfather served in the Navy during the World War II era and I did my stint in the Army in peacetime.

From the heart of our little town of Portsong, thank you to all you veterans out there.