people have the cajones to say Mexico is not progressive enough. They just don't
understand that that's the reason God invented the cheer,ˇViva la Mexico!
I am not among those who scream for progress. I want to go backward in time,
not forward. I love colonial villages like Ajijic and Oaxaca, where a handshake
is better than a written contract, the air is clean, people don't sue each other
over dumb stuff like hot McDonald's coffee spilled between their legs, you can
walk around the neighborhood at night without fear, and your kids can still sit
in your lap on a trip without being harnessed into a plastic chair on the car's
back seat. They call it a restraint system, but I believe a mother's arms are
a whole lot more secure than a bunch of webbed straps and heavy-duty locks.
As for cars and adults, who wants to be in a car that's like a bondage machine?
What're we, masochists? Who needs a Stepford car that tells you in Japanese that
you're lost and gives you directions? Or a car with locks that automatically snap
shut and windows that can't be opened without pushing special buttons? You won't
find a horse or a burro that's childproofed, so why do we want cars that are?
Where are the old cars that did what we said instead of what they wanted? Mexicans
have kept cars running smoothly from as long ago as the 1930's, and better than
most new cars. All they ask in return is to call a Chevrolet a Chebby.
Speaking of cars, they say the biggest technological progress since the automobile
is the computer. Oh yeah? I may need mine, but I don't like it. It's too deceptive.
When I'm not looking, it sucks in a whole lot of really disGUSTing porno from
cyberspace. With photographs yet. You call that progress? I want my porno in person.
You know, warm flesh right there under the sheets.
Maybe fans of progress
enjoy receiving email about extending the size of their penis. But I don't want
mine extended. In fact, I don't want one at all. I'm like Charlie Brown; I suffer
from a severe case of Peanuts Envy.
And I certainly don't want to have
sex with a seal or any other mammal except maybe for the cute human guy down the
street who resembles a balding Harrison Ford in overalls.
all this pounding email insisting I buy the progressive drug Viagra? Personally,
I don't want to be with any guy who needs his sex delivered on demand. Gentlemen,
we are not a pizza! When are they going to invent a pill that makes the guy give
us a warm hug? Now that's my idea of safe sex.
And speaking of progressive
pills, what about inventing one to make us appreciate the benefits of aging? I
figured out how to do that without a pill. Rationalize! For instance, cataracts
can't be too bad; when you look in a mirror, you can't see the wrinkles.
And it's fun to tell the same stories over and over -- each time they get better,
don't they? This is called Revisionist History. After all, if Monica Lewinsky
can parlay her lowjinks into speaking engagements plugging her line of handbags,
anything is possible. History can now recall her as an entrepreneur and former
president Bill Clinton as a man who did not smoke a cigar with that woman.
George Carlin made the most of aging with his observation: Have you ever
noticed that anybody driving slower than you is an idiot, and anyone going faster
than you is a maniac?
Woody Allen said, "I don't want to achieve immortality
through my work. I want to achieve it through not dying."
at 99, noted, "I'm very pleased to be here. Let's face it, at my age I'm very
pleased to be anywhere. I'm at the age now where just putting my cigar in its
holder is a thrill," and "People ask me what I'd most appreciate getting for my
one hundreth birthday. I tell them, a paternity suit."
They say age can
make a person grouchy. Not me. Unless you count the fact that I hate traffic,
waiting, crowds, politicians, and everybody who doesn't do what I want them to
do. Oh, and I don't like teenaged policemen. Didn't cops used to be older than
They say as you get older you can remember your entire childhood
but you can't remember what you had for breakfast. Well, dearie, that's not true.
I can well remember what I had for breakfast. I just can't remember anything that
happened before that.
The other day, my philosophical daughter wondered,
"If we don't know when we're going to die, how do we know when we've reached middle
I taught my kids to plan for their old age. As my son was showing
me around his new house, he asked if I had planned ahead for old age myself, and
I said, "I certainly have. Which room is mine?"
Like I said, I hate the
direction progress is taking. If we could only find a way to progress backward
instead of forward, one day we'd find our youthful future, which, at the moment,
remains behind us.
Copyright Maggie Van Ostrand
Balloon In Cactus" 2003 Column
More on Mexico