Charlie here: Winston Churchill described depression as the “black dog” and I think dad has been a bit bitten as of late. As of late, has been woefully derelict in his duties when it comes to the care and feeding of this page, so I have decided to take over for a bit until he decides to step up his game.
One thing that drives us is a sense of mission. Whether it’s a championing a seemingly lost cause, preparing for an extended road trip, or even a Walter Mitty-esque episode inside his own head, having a mission is both the carrot and the stick that propels both of us.
Dad is a huge fan of Don Quixote, the mentally-afflicted Spanish night who was always crossing the countryside in search of wrongs that needed put to right. It didn’t matter to the Don if these wrongs were sometimes imaginary and made him the laughingstock of the more realistic knights around him; he always had a mission, and that’s what made the difference. One of his more famous exploits occurred when he spotted a group of windmills in a nearby pasture; to his chivalry-addled brain, they appeared to be giants challenging him by waving their arms. Even though he was vastly outnumbered, he set his lance and charged the field. And of course he failed; but for a time, at least he was making a difference. Hence the term “tilting at windmills” meaning to attack a sometimes imaginary enemy when there was scant chance of success.
So it was a great honor when we were approached by Leslie Rush to assist in repealing a local city ordinance discriminating against certain breeds of dogs; finally, another mission! Another apparently lost cause to champion!
Dad was asked to speak on my behalf; no problem there. The real mission was to keep his presentation under three minutes; a real issue to someone afflicted with a chronic case of viral verbosity. That’s like asking a Kardashian to avoid the paparazzi. But he did it; two minutes and fifty seconds, and here’s the transcript as proof:
And there you have it, proof that miracles CAN occur; even to the point of dad shutting his yap when absolutely necessary.
We be of one blood ye and I.