Paranoid America

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Paranoid America

Paranoid America



I worked with my photography most of the day, trying to get ready for my first show in April. It was a bright, sunny day and it was stifling being indoors. The forecast had called for frigid temperatures so I didn’t really know what I was missing until I went outside a bit after noon to get some more wood for the fire. It was actually a balmy 42 degrees so Bob and I both took a break and walked up Pilot Butte. The ice on the north-slope of the butte is still horrendous. I decided it was safer walking off the road through sticker bushes and crunchy snow. Bob didn’t join me until he slipped and fell, hard. He didn’t hurt anything other than his pride.


We were so enjoying the warm day that we extended our walk and went to the school so Bob could do pull ups on the monkey bars. I kept walking and returned to the playground ten minutes later. Bob was playing on the zip swing which consists of a metal handle that you grab onto that is set into a track so you can lift your feet off the ground and zip along the track, hanging from the bar, for about 25 feet. School was long over but a cute little girl of six or so was playing on the equipment too. I don’t know where her parents were; perhaps late to pick her up.  Bob waved good-bye to the child and we headed home. For some time Bob was really quiet until he blurted, “Society is just too sad anymore.” I didn’t have a clue what he was talking about until he explained that this nice little girl had shown up shortly after I left. She was sweet and chatty and is very young at heart and can be quite playful with children, so he went down the corkscrew slide after her then they swung on the monkey bars. The girl seemed sad and lonely so Bob was happy to spend time with her. Next, Bob flew across the zip swing but when the young girl tried it she couldn’t quite reach the handle. She jumped for it several times trying to catch it. Bob went to give her a boost then stopped suddenly when he realized it would be inappropriate in today’s society. “I’m a strange man hanging out alone at a children’s playground. If her parents showed up just when I was lifting her to the handle I might have been arrested for doing something indecent. So I just stood there watching her struggle.”  Finally, after a lot of effort, the child caught the handle and prepared to go zipping down the line. Unfortunately she was so small and slight she couldn’t get it to slip across the runner. Bob got on zip swing next to hers and showed her how to swing her feet and legs to get the momentum started. Of course he slithered right on down to the other end and could tell she was hurt and jealous that she couldn’t get hers going, no matter how hard she tried. Her skinny little arms were beginning to shake from hanging so long. She was determined not to drop since she had struggled so much to jump up and snag the handle. Bob felt awful not being able to giver her a push but he would have had to put his hands on her waste or back to get Bob grew desperate and figured out a way to get his hands on the handle, only slightly having to touch her hands, and with a mighty push he sent her flying.


All the way home we griped about how society has become a place with too many perverts as well as too many paranoid people. Just last week a five year old boy was expelled from kindergarten for hugging his classmates too often, many of them girls. It was deemed inappropriate behavior. Trying to suffocate human nature in this way is as large a sickness as anything else. Embroider a huge letter “A” on his t-shirt before sending him back to school why don’t you?

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Outside The Boxx is a place where I can put down some memories, collect my thoughts and opinions, relate my adventures, assemble my beliefs, and narrate my stories through words and photographs.


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