Wednesday, January 9, 2013


Today, as is the truth every day, I am under threat.  Let’s see just what the threats are today. Well first there’s that rascal the “fiscal cliff.” Well we kicked that can down the road for a couple of months along with the “debt ceiling.” Then there was the threatened strike by longshoremen to close all ports. Out of the kindness of their hearts, they gave us a thirty day reprieve. Of course there’s the ongoing threat by radical Islam coupled with the latest threat by liberals to take guns away from law abiding citizens. As I look back on my seventy plus years on this earth I have been under some sort of threat for my entire life. I don’t know about you but I am tired of it.

In my earliest memories it was polio and infantile paralysis. Then there was the communist menace of the USSR. After that Red China roared and lifted her ugly head. During my teen years we all worried about the draft. There was no escape.

During my working years someone was always in charge of my livelihood. Threatening my job seemed to give great delight to all the little managers who regularly attempted to make my life miserable. No matter how far I advanced in my various jobs, I always had a boss who threatened to take it all away. When I started my own business, I had the banker. Same deal.

At virtually every election whatever school district we were living in threatened me in an effort to increase my taxes for bigger and better schools. Professional sports teams threatened me if we didn’t increase our taxes to build a bigger and better arena for them to increase their profits. Why, they would just move their team to a place where they would be more appreciated.

I have lived with asbestos, mercury, leaded paint and gasoline, and all manner of poison in the atmosphere. I have lived through holes in the atmosphere caused by my deodorant. I have been threatened by the melting of the polar ice cap and the devastation of fewer polar bears and rising sea levels. There was bird flu and Asian flu. I am constantly under the threat of oil and gasoline shortages and for that reason I am constantly dodging helmeted idiots on bicycles darting in and out of automobile traffic and poor lighting from fluorescent light bulbs...

Literally I could go on and on. There has never been a time in my life when there was not some sort of threat.

Well guess what. The vast majority of the “or elses” in my life have never happened.  I guess we are easier to control when we are under some sort of threat. Even the weather man threatens me. As if knowing it was going to rain today would in any way materially change my life.

Maybe I have lived to my age because I took some of the threats seriously. Maybe the threats were just a means of controlling me. Either way I find the older I get the less I am concerned about all the forces around me. I’m not as easy to scare anymore. I am considerably less concerned by it all. As we grow older we have real things to consider, not just idle threats, like getting out of my recliner or crawling up the stairs to go to bed.  Now there’s a threat.

Today as I sit here, I never got polio. The USSR or China never bombed us. I joined the Army and it was good. I managed to work a full career and  have since retired. None of the airborne poisons got me nor did any of the other assorted bogeymen, so far. With any luck at all I won’t outlive the paltry little savings I accumulated for these later years. So it is with a great deal of satisfaction that I now say, “Or else what?”

Ron Scarbro

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