But I don’t think I could give the same speech over and over again. I like to improvise. But I would never become a conman. So I should demand a calling that allows me to ad lib for the purpose of helping others, as opposed to one that requires improvisation for the sake of taking advantage of the uninformed (or aiding them at the cost of creative spontaneity).
We went to see my dad at the vets’ home yesterday for Fathers’ Day. I was worried that it would be bad, but it wasn’t too bad. The people there are kind. All of the workers, the nurses, the helpers, whatever their official titles are—they all glow with kindness. You can tell that they love their job. And the loved ones of the other inmates (sorry, but I don’t know what else to call the inhabitants of these types of homes), I say, the loved ones who come to visit my dad’s fellow inmates are the nicest folks in the world. It’s almost as if suffering personal tragedy makes people friendlier than otherwise they would be.
Still I have a complaint about phones – electronic devices, or whatever their latest name is (tablets? the things have grown huge) – everywhere I go, I see people staring at them:
When we were driving away from the veterans’ home, I saw a girl who was walking her dog while wholly absorbed in the screen of her device. The dog was trying to sniff the different items of its environment, while the girl kept tugging its leash and swiping her touchscreen.
My mother was the one who organized our F-Day get-together, on behalf of my earthly dad, who (due to a brain disease) can no longer speak. Out of simple curiosity, plus equal parts mischief and malice, I asked her if she could travel back into her memories and reveal exactly what it was about Ronald Reagan that ended up winning over her heart. (This was a pertinent question, because my father, back in his speaking days, was a proud right-winger who ceaselessly touted Monsieur Reagan as an exemplar; and my mother has always dutifully echoed his views.) Her answer was that Reagan was such a good speaker.
Monsieur is a form of address corresponding to mister or sir. It is French in origin: from mon “my” + sieur “lord.”