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Monday, July 9, 2012

The gift that goes on giving

"Tell me when it comes to a nuclear apocalypse."

That is the threshold we agreed on. When the Fast and Furious scandal reaches the point of impending nuclear catastrophe, I want to know. Otherwise, Dave has agreed to pay attention to it for me and I don't have to know one blessed thing.

We are big fans of the writer, Calvin Trillin. Trillin and his wonderful, late wife Alice had their own special tradition which we have copied.

It is impossible for any one of us to keep track of everything in the news. So the Trillins gave one another gifts. She would follow (this was many long years ago) the developments of the war going on then in Cyprus so that he would not have to. She gave this to Calvin as a gift. He could skip right over those news headlines and TV reports and pay them no heed whatsoever. It left his mind free to worry and wonder about Northern Ireland and the state of the downstairs neighbors. It was an excellent arrangement. Of course, he returned the favor and set her free from a topic of her choice.

Dave has done this for me, and I for him, over the years about a variety of topics. For example, I don't think he's worried about Tadijkistan for years. And I don't fret about dead-heading the salvia. But this is a bigger gift: Fast and Furious.

The moment I heard word one about the subject I thought, I don't care. And sure enough, Dave offered to care about it for the both of us. It is the gift that keeps on giving. Through days and weeks of headlines and broadcasts, I don't have the slightest idea of what it is all about. I don't have to. Dave is paying attention enough for the both of us.

As with the Trillins, we get to set a threshold for when to intervene and say, "Time you knew about this!!!" I could have set a lower threshold, like the whole business with the Attorney General being censured by Congress but I really didn't want to know about that. So I've said, nuclear war. When the salvia, or Fast and Furious lead to an impending war, I want to know. Until then, spare me.

I need to get Dave another gift, though. Any ideas? I'm thinking perhaps the lawn art.

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