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Heavy Breathing In Circle City, Arizona
April 26, 2001
by Jorge Root

Heavy Breathing in Circle City, Arizona

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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 a day.

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.

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