In Circle City, Arizona
April 26, 2001
by Jorge Root
I haven't been the same since the election and to make things worse,
now another summer has arrived. I'm not sure I can handle both the summer
and the election results.
It's the atmosphere of the first few days of summer in the Arizona desert.
Television and newspapers are running ads to remind you to get that air
conditioner check-up. You know the one - the one you skipped last year.
Friends, and relatives all create an expectation that something wonderful
is about to happen - summer festivities and celebration. Somehow they
forget that, to some degree, it is always summer in the desert. No big
deal to me. Just another boring summer.
I call summer "the crazy season". I am convinced that there is a direct
connection between exposure to the sun and insanity. Here in Phoenix,
The hotter it gets, the crazier the people start acting. I can already
feel it happening. I need to get out of town - even if it is only for
So here I am on my day off standing by the roadside on state route 60
in Circle City, Arizona. SR-60 is a 1-lane-each-way road that connects
Phoenix to Wickenberg. Along that path is Circle City which lies between
Morristown and Wittmann. The shoulders blend in with the desert so you
can pull off just about anywhere. That's what I've done. It's only 45
minutes from my home in Phoenix but light-years different in pace. In
fact, I am the only living thing within eye sight. An occassional car
goes by or a roadrunner may dash accross the hot asphalt, but other than
that, I am alone. Surely the people living in Circle City are nice people
but I can not attest to that because I have never actually seen any human
beings here. Apparently, they keep to themselves. Just another reason
to like it here.
It is easy to wonder what I would do if I lived here. Probably nothing
that resembles working for a living. More than likey I would take up a
new hobby. What comes to mind? How about making bogus phone calls and
breathing heavy when someone answers?
Yes it sounds strange, to you, but here in the desert heat, it's not
that strange. It's that connection between sun and craziness that keeps
comming back to me. Anyway, I came here for peace and quiet and to do
some thinking. Mostly about the state of our country since the Supreme
court intervened with our election and handed the presidency to their
choice. That by itself is bad enough but I also suspect I am suffering
from Clinton withdrawal. Bill Clinton never had a dull day in his life
and I truly enjoyed following his eight years in office. Now we have just
the opposite. A boring and predictable president. What I wouldn't give
to have that guy from Arkansas back in the White House.
But it looks like we are stuck with what we have for at least four years
and I guess I can handle it, but please, someone, tell this guy that he
has to add a little spice to his act. Anything at all as long as it makes
the boredom go away. And please no more predictable rhetoric about tax
cuts, education Social Security and the other issues that we get clobbered
with every 4 years.
Tax cuts? There is nothing in it for me. As I read it, you need to have
either children under 18 or dual incomes (both is better) to qualify for
a tax break. I have neither. This is what Republicans call "across
the board?" Yeah, right.
Social Security? This one is a no-brainer. The market numbers for the
month of March tell the whole story. The market is simply too fragile
for investing Social Security monies. And the sad part is this - most
people think it is the world economy that drives the market when in fact
it is driven more by human emotion than anything else. Letting human emotion
control my retirement fund is the last thing I need. It would take a madman
to invest any part of Social Security in the stock market.
Education. Again I am sick of hearing how education is failing our kids.
I heard the same story 10 years ago and 20 years ago and 30 years ago
..... I remember when my generation was told that we don't know enough
math, we're not prepared for the real world, we can't even do simple trig.
"Beg your pardon" but I could do trig way back in '58, at least for 15
minutes or so. Or was that a square root?
Anyway, I will make my point, no - change that to my observation.
There is nothing we can do to create smarter kids. My experiences show
that people seem to realize when they need to learn something and will
usually not voluntarily learn it until they have to. As an example, the
average age for a person to graduate with a Bachelor's degree is probably
around 25 years old. The average age that same person re-enters college
for a Masters degree is 32 years old. This person went eight years without
adding to the Bachelor's degree knowledge base. Eventually something happened
which required this person to simply know more. Money, power or
any number of triggers are possible. It seems people will learn only as
much as necessary to get by. No more, no less. At the age of elementary
- high school, that amount is usually very small. So go ahead and throw
more money at education.
My dollar to your donut, it won't change a thing.
"WATCH OUT!" Geeesh, that roadrunner just about got nailed by that Ford
explorer. Hold it just a minute... there is something fishy here. What
are the chances that a vehicle and a roadrunner cross paths in Circle
City? Pretty slim. I bet the roadrunner was waiting for a vehicle to come
by, then darted across the road just to make sport of it. After all, there
isn't much here for roadrunners to do either. Time is on their side.
Now I'm onto something. I can move here and apply for a grant to study
road-runner behaviour as it relates to vehicles. Maybe the Question-Mark
man has something in his book that will help me get the grant.
Oh well, enough relaxing and thinking for today. Guess I'll head home
now so I can start putting my roadrunner plan together.
Then again, just in case the roadrunner plan falls apart, I will make
some time to practice my heavy breathing.