In Trump's America:
No More Snow Days
“Snow Day. It’s a Snow Day!” I called out to Cat.
Cat had been pestering me about why I’d let the Trump blog go for several days without a posting.
“What’s a Snow Day?” Cat said.
“It’s a sacred New England tradition,” I explained. “When a big snow storm comes up, you don’t go to work, go to school or anything else. It’s a surprise day off! It’s mandatory.”
Cat looked at me with one of those scowls that have a creepy resemblance to that glowering pouty-face you see in photos of President Trump.
“Technically, every day is a day off for you and me,” he said. “Neither of us have jobs, or goes to school.”
Cat isn’t what you would describe as one of the sharper knives in the drawer; but, on the other hand, it’s pretty hard to pull a fast one on him. So I tried a different approach.
“When it snows, it’s important to go right to a park, or at least to the backyard, as fast as possible, while the snow is fresh, so you can roll around, bury your face in a snow drift or lie on your back and make snow angels.”
“This is why God made dogs?” Cat said, with one of those looks that signaled that he might make a full frontal rush at me, rather than, just attack from ambush as he usually does.
INSTEAD, he climbed up a couple of steps on the front hall stairs, turned around, and began what I swear was a kind of sermon, as I sat on the floor in horror, like one of those country-song sinners, who had strayed on Saturday night and now, on Sunday morning, was trapped in the front pew.
“You promised that you were going to keep track of ALL of the terrible and scary
“Instead, you’re out in some park, making snow angels. Which is what they mean when they say you're just "'dogging it.'"
“Big things, Phoebe," he continued from his stairway pulpit, "are happening.”
“The immigrant ban, for one. Men, women and children stranded at airports. People scared, uncertain, in fear of their lives. The president and his “men” saying it’s no big deal (even though it’s something they just had to spring without any warning, debate or plan). Just 109 folks ‘inconvenienced.’ Actually, the number is 90,000 - that’s how many have visas to go back and forth to the seven 'mostly Muslim' countries."
Which isn’t even the real point. The real point is the terrible things that humans do to each always start small ....”
I WAS REALLY floored, there on the hall floor. Cat was sounding like some kind of hysterical Hillary evangelist. And this was a guy I could have sworn was behind the failed Felines for Trump movement in Newport, which had been doomed by the age-old conundrum of “trying to herd cats.”
“Hold off, Preacher Man,” I pleaded. “I went to the Ladies’ March at the State House. I watched – and commented on – the dreadful Inaugural Speech. What do you expect from me? I’m just one dog, for Heaven’s sake.”
Cat stared down from his perch, lightening flashing from his eyes.
“This isn’t a hobby that you do when it’s convenient or when you feel like it,” Cat said. “You don’t get time off. You can’t go back to your old comfortable life. That ended on Nov. 8, 2016.”
“Think of it as the day that democracy was diagnosed with a terrible and possibly fatal disease,” Cat said.
“It means that everyone who loves democracy now has to help save it.”
“Stay up late. Get up early. Do whatever the doctor orders, if you can find one that has the slightest idea of what to do.”
“Weekends, my friend. Lunchtime. Prime time. Snow days. Nothing is the same anymore. This is the meaning of bad news. And understand this: No matter what we do, it may not work. But we have to try.”
I wondered whether Cat was going to actually burst into tears, then remembered the comforting words of that old gospel song: “Real cats don’t cry.”
“Where’re you going?” Cat demanded, as I started to walk away.
“To the backyard,” I said. “The snow's starting to melt, and I’ve got some more angels to make before it’s too late.”