It’s the Economy, Cupid

So much I still want to do …

Visit Fenway. Finish law school. Have season tickets to something – anything – the Dodgers, Disney Hall, a struggling drive-in in the dusty part of town.

I want to fight along French soldiers in an important and winnable war, preferably against the Krauts. I want to play poker with the first lady of Monaco. I want one pair of stupidly quilted golf pants to wear to fancy weddings.

See, when you’re a peasant like me, your dreams are your private jet, your pillowy schooner. Your dreams are your revenge against the landed gentry.

The world is preying on peasants right now. The other day, the supermarket was so cold you could’ve made your own icebergs. Makes no sense, this incredible chill — the cost of it, the general discomfort, the frost bite.

While looking around for a pair of wool socks, I notice entire watermelons priced at $7. I note, also, how they’d carved one $7 watermelon into eight wedges and were selling each wedge for $5. That’s capitalism right there, a 570% markup on a melon. So don’t tell me inflation is linked to pipeline issues. Inflation right now is mostly greed.

I’m not that far from selling off all my shoes and all my decoder rings, my Butkus jersey, my nutty friends (see photo). Guys like me can’t outhustle inflation. Prayers do you no good. Inflation is insidious — an economy’s incurable case if hiccups.

Worst of all, inflation ups the price tag on all our ideals. Remember the ‘70s – Earth Day, Earth shoes — when we were so poised to repair the planet, then realized we couldn’t afford to? “Wait, that’ll cost money?” we gulped. “How about we just recycle a bunch of beer cans and stuff?”

See, kids, short-term needs always take precedence. Pizza costs money. Love triumphs over ozone. It’s the economy, Cupid.

Our ideals returned briefly in 2020, and then inflation, like a dragon, licked them away again.

I know what you’re thinking. “No one mixes metaphors better than you, sir. And don’t say ‘lick’ so much. Ewwwwwwwwwwwww.”

For the record, I shake my metaphors, with ice. You should see what I can do with a martini glass and two jiggers of Bombay, some briny olives. I’m sure you’d find it all very licky.

Meanwhile, so much I still want to do…

I want to hitchhike through Maine in mid-October, buy Suzanne a fuzzy sweater the color of pumpkin pies.

I want to win a Super Bowl. Learn a trade. Swap trinkets for land.

I have all these amazing concepts for restaurants – Bag-O‘-Burgers, Trombone Kabobs — but not the energy, nor the start-up capital. Nor even the trombones.

Once Trombone Kabobs are a sensation, I want to buy a house for someone who really needs one. I want to hand out $100 bills to wide-eyed kids on Christmas Eve.

I want to fix up this one guy I know with this girl I just met, so maybe they will live happily ever after, which hardly ever happens anymore, but when it does it’s glorious…better than a million one-night stands, better than kissing Audrey Hepburn on da lips.

The only love that’s even close? Dogs.

Speaking of which, I was scolding White Fang the other day for piddling on the neighbors’ trash cans, a thing she does almost mindlessly on our walks, almost a nervous tic. When she hears about the drought, she thinks: “Drought? What drought? I have plenty of piddle here for everyone. Stand back!”

Whatever.

Anyway, White Fang was piddling on other people’s property, trying to address the drought in her own special way, when I started to tell her about all the plans I have for us. I tell the dog how I want to restore a ’55 Chevy and drive us to Chicago for a ballgame, stopping for chili at an all-night diner in Moline.

I tell White Fang how, one day, she and I will probably have puppies together.

“Puppies!” she screams.

OK, not puppies. But everything else. All that other stuff.

Point is: Being a peasant isn’t so bad. We still have our imaginary schooners, our impossible dreams … our funny friends and our warm pumpkin pies.

And kisses on da lips.

Gin & Tonic Society alert: Reader Lynn Knox has kindly offered her Rose Bowl area home for our next gin bash on Saturday, Sept. 3 (Labor Day weekend). Mark your calendars. Details to come. Meanwhile, for books, past columns and the most beautiful gin glasses you maybe ever saw, please go to ChrisErskineLA.com. Email the columnist at Letters@ChrisErskineLA.com

12 thoughts on “It’s the Economy, Cupid

  1. Such creative, lickable dreams! I never would have thought of most of these, but then we have established that your mind works in truly delightful and mysterious ways! I am going to gently suggest, however, that you check with Suzanne first about her color preference for that fuzzy sweater.

  2. Best paragraph yet!

    “Remember the ‘70s – Earth Day, Earth shoes — when we were so poised to repair the planet, then realized we couldn’t afford to? “Wait, that’ll cost money?” we gulped. “How about we just recycle a bunch of beer cans and stuff?””

  3. Start with Fenway ! If you can make it past the 20 plus bars on the walk in it’s the best!

  4. Hit it on the nail with the economy-it’s all about GREED!
    Hey, can a person come to the Gin and Tonic social if the person only likes tonic, not gin and is half Kraut?

  5. Watermelon slices ($5) 1/8 of a whole melon ($7)!
    It’s the American way! You’ve got the inalienable right to be stupid, Cupid!
    And how about the people who buy gas for $7 a gallon, because?, when a nearby station sells it for $5.59.!
    It may be inflation, but having no common sense doesn’t equal victimization!

  6. Bob already said it but yes, Fenway! Every year that goes by I realize I still haven’t done what’s number one on my bucket list. Can’t make it this year, but gotta get to Fenway next year! Imagine, Teddy Ballgame played there! And on his last at bat, he homered! What could be better than to visit that hallowed ground?

  7. Ummm…the dog is smiling in the accompanying picture; she’s usually pensive or serious, or at least recorded that way. Maybe it’s because she’s with her young family disciple. Smiles love company. Or maybe she’s having her own peasant dreams…anyway, in the antic spirit of this thing, have another incredible weekend in this most beautiful of summers, and if you cannot make it to Fenway, which has always looked a little worn to me, perhaps burdened by the weight of its history, try Wrigley Field in Chi Town. There is something in the air there that makes the place shine with an eery light in the late Sunday afternoons when a fly ball hit to dead center can go over the wall, bounce in the street, and ricochet onto the second floor deck of the apartment building across the street and into history with a roar you would later swear came from the ball.

    What better else have you to do this coming Sunday afternoon ? Read Hemingway, with his run-on sentences falling into a cylinder of juniper and lime? Smooth the nubbly surface of the matching chartreuse sweater on that sweet silver sliver lodged fingers away on the chaise.next to you? (she rejected pink—too hot for the season). Or later, lie in the dark on the beach in Malibu and listen to the crash and swish of the ghosts of all the beautiful people who have done so in other Summers, and who come alive in the sights and sounds and black glitter of a beach on a summer night? Have peasant dreams?

    What better else, indeed.

  8. That fix-up guy named Chris. Huh? Sooo happy, beautiful this life, slaps, promises, “then comes love”. Times FOREVER reader

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