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Texas | Columns | "Quips and Salsa"

Get your mind off politics


by Jase Graves
Jase Graves

As some people age, they begin to lose a certain degree of excitement about simple life experiences like snow days, finding a penny in a parking lot or putting on a pair of fresh underwear still warm from the dryer. But not me! I revel in these moments, probably because I still feel like a kid a heart-at least until my hair stylist breaks out her lawn equipment to trim my eyebrows.

In these trying times when the American political system resembles a disturbing bonus episode of "Tiger King," it's important to seek solace in the basic pleasures of life. What follows are a few intentional strategies I use to get my mind on something other than the unattended daycare center that is the current U.S. government.

Spending quality time with family is a great way to focus one's attention on more wholesome matters. For me, this means hanging out with my wife and three teen daughters-when they can fit me in. These days, time with my daughters is often encroached upon by boyfriends, iPhones, and other household pests. In fact, one of my daughters just recently had a visit from a young man who parked his Porsche in front of our house. I immediately felt like the dad in every 1980'S teen movie I've ever seen. (Ah, the 1980's, when politics were simpler, the economy was booming, and all we had to worry about was the constant threat of nuclear holocaust.)

We also go on occasional family outings, where I almost always find myself loitering around the entrances to numerous women's clothing boutiques like some creepy, masked goober, and then waiting in line for expensive coffee beverages that I don't want. But, hey, at least we're together-sort of.

Another effective diversion from the antics of American government officials is enjoying our household pets, who-unlike most politicians-are generally housebroken. We had some extra-special doggie fun a couple of weeks ago when several inches of snow fell in East Texas, which is about as common in these parts as an untouched serving of tortilla chips and queso.

When we first ventured out into the weather, our two little doglets stood paralyzed with humiliation in their brand new plush hoodies, designed to keep them warm-but with strategically-placed openings to allow them the freedom to kill the grass and soil my footwear. Once we relieved them of their embarrassing threads, though, they contracted a raging case of the "zoomies," eagerly raced around the snow-blanketed yard and promptly sabotaged my snow boots.

Finally, and most importantly, I avoid political migraines by nurturing my spiritual life. After all, the Lord has seen me through much more traumatic situations-like junior high. And speaking of junior high, I am currently teaching a seventh-grade boys Sunday school class. If you think the American government is a worrisome embarrassment, try discussing the biblical miracle of Balaam's talking "ass" with a group of prepubescent boys. (Some kid always shows up with the King James Version).

Regardless of your political persuasion, I think we can all agree that there are more important things in life than whatever happens to be grating Don Lemon's or Sean Hannity's cheese at any given moment. The world of American politics is a toxic-waste dumpster fire right now, but we'll survive it. That's what Americans do. In the meantime, let's all say a prayer, love on our families, play with our pets, and grab a fresh pair of warm undies from the dryer.

Jase Graves
"Quips and Salsa" 1-25-21 column



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