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Marc Dion
Marc Dion
15 Dec 2014
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Tender Negotiations

Comment

"Hey, Tommy," you say to one such friend. "You hungry?"

"Yeah," Tommy says.

"Let's get a pizza," you say.

"Yeah," Tommy says.

Based on this fast, shrewd bit of communication, pizza is ordered.

Not so when you are married.

"I thought I'd have a can of soup for supper," I say to my wife.

"That's not much for supper," my wife says. "We have some leftover beef stew."

"I don't know," I say. "All I want is a can of soup."

"What kind are you going to have?" she says, petting the large calico cat sleeping next to her on the couch. The cat purrs.

"Chicken noodle," I say.

"We have beef noodle," she says.

"Don't we have chicken noodle?" I ask.

"Oh, yes," she says. "But we have beef noodle, too."

"I was thinking about the chicken noodle all day," I say.

"I bought the beef noodle because you asked for it," she says.

"I know," I say. "I just feel like chicken noodle."

"Well, if you don't like the beef noodle, just tell me and I won't buy it anymore," she says. The cat twitches its ears and settles deeper into sleep.

"Oh, I like the beef noodle," I say. "I just feel like having the chicken noodle."

I open the can of chicken noodle soup and pour it into a pan. I turn on the stove.

"Are you going to have bread with that?" she says. The cat rises from the couch and comes into the kitchen to investigate the chicken smell.

"I don't think so," I say.

"We have English muffins, too," she says.

"You could toast one."

"No," I say. "I'm just going to have the soup."

The cat attempts to climb the kitchen cabinet next to the stove, trying to get closer to the chicken smell. The cat is not physically able to climb up on the counter but she tries whenever I cook anything.

"Getouttahere," I say to the cat.

"Don't be mean to her," she says. "She's just a little kitty."

My wife is a newspaper reporter. She is a good writer and does not choose the word "kitty" over "cat" for no reason at all.

I pour the hot soup into a mug with a large picture of Elvis and the words "Love Me Tender" on the side. It was full of candy kisses when I bought it for her last Valentine's Day.

I take a spoon from the kitchen drawer and walk into the living room with the cup of soup. The cat follows.

"Napkin?" my wife says.

I return to the kitchen, still carrying the cup of steaming soup and the spoon. I get a paper napkin. The cat follows.

When you're married, it takes a long time to get anything done because negotiations are frequent. But at Christmas, and throughout the year, I am damn grateful I didn't have to spend the rest of my life ordering pizza with Tommy.

To find out more about Marc Munroe Dion and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit www.creators.com. Dion's books, "Between Wealth and Welfare: A Liberal Curmudgeon in America" and "Mill River Smoke," are available for Nook and Kindle.

COPYRIGHT 2014 BY CREATORS.COM



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1 Comments | Post Comment
Sir...The worst part about people living boring lives is when they are lived publicly. Don't get me wrong. I see drama all around me, and I also see people living lives of quiet desparation who seem far too close to the snapping point. The hardest thing to witness is the way some people trudge through their entire lives like asses dragging a plow across a field that stretches from sun up to sun down. What a pitiful people to have become.
Can we not now we find some desparate heroes perched on the precarious edge of oblivion and triumph? Could we not contend with giants, mad scientists, or space aliens? I am not talking about living colorful comic book lives. I am talking about getting at what bugs us. How do we put a name on it. Think of Napoleon's grand army when they realized their master had run off to Paris, leaving them to freeze, and how lice from a dead men's coats were killing the army faster than Cossack on a killing spree.
A people dies when their dreams die, and our dreams are on our death beds. We have become the enemy we once fought. We have become the Goliath when once we were all Davids. We have met the enemy and the enemy is Ennui.
Look at how great peoples some times forget themselves, what they are doing, and what they are about. Look at Socrates trying to reinvent Greek Democracy in the form of Aristocratic Tyranny, and in every sense trying to emulate the Spartans caught in the dead hand of the past. We are stuck in that same hand, and like a rat caught in the curls of a constrictor we are losing our wind, and losing our will to fight that monster that has us in its grip. If we cannot win that fight, and break free of the past, break free of the constitution, or even admit the manifold fashion in which it has failed us- we are done.
I have been reading of Louis Brandeis, Attorney and Supreme Court Justice. The man was not a giant killer. He sought only some resaonable accomodation of the demands of labor and big business. Labor then was class conscious, and made so by the greed and waste of the capitalists. He warned of the rich displaying their ostentatious wealth in the faces of their empoverished workers. He was only trying like so many liberals to save capitalism from revolution. He succeeded in his goal. He saved capitalism from itself, and for a time workers were cut into the wealth of the ruling class.
No more; but now is gone the consciousness that made accomodation possible. Now the labor unions have no power, and what did their power rest on but the threat of revolution they as soon attacked as they were accepted as an alternative. No threat of revolution means no need for labor unions, and poof, they are history.
I agree that the trade union was never an alternative to the revolutionary union, but all organization robs power from the people that is wasted in politics. You play the politics of your marriage while this whole country is stuck in a myopic inability to see itself as the world sees us, as a failure before the judge of our own ideals.
We have been set on a course like wind up monkeys that we cannot dare deviate from. We do not have a common star to guide us, but show as much organization as a hill of ants. Looking beneath the appearance you can see an ant colony as a single being. You cannot find a single being in the nation of America. Parasites gayly feed on the body politic while we scratch and wiggle. We can't get at them and still we trudge on.
I see that Justice should be our guiding star, and it is so much balony on white bread; or so it is sold to us. We are taking the same path from empire to despotism to demise as the Greeks and Romans took. They lost their stars, and we have lost ours and their fate will be our own.
Comment: #1
Posted by: James A, Sweeney
Sat Dec 20, 2014 8:04 AM
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