The Middle Ages

AROUND  6 P.M. yesterday, I was watering the yard with a hose. Six months a year, this is not necessary. The other six months, it surely is. Just plants. I don’t water the grass.

If grass grows, it needs mowing.

I started with the Alamo Wall, spraying the ivy that covers the far side. Had you told me when I was middle-aged that I would spend my waning years behind an ivy-covered wall, I would have thought you daft or worse.

I went on to water things on the wall’s other side, where the yard sits. I only water plants I like. I do not like the loquat tree or the peach either. Not too fond of the pear.

They are trash-tossers.

I do water the sole remaining banana stand, the four rose bushes and the two daturas. I water the towering nopal cactus because I don’t want it to die and thunder down.

I do not water the huge maguey, but I do soak the two beefy aloe veras and the surrounding greenery. I douse the pole cacti, which are over my head now.

I water no bougainvillea. Damn things are on their own.

While watering I was thinking about history.

I have a bachelor’s degree in history. There are few degrees more useless than history. I almost topped myself, however, because when I first attended a university right out of high school, I majored in philosophy.

That was at Vanderbilt in 1962. But I soon dropped out and dropped philosophy too. What was I thinking?

I read lots of history these days. Recently, I’ve been focusing on the Middle Ages, the Dark Ages, but it’s unfashionable to say that now. Maybe it’s a race thing.

There was lots of fun stuff in the Middle Ages. There was Charlemagne; his daddy, Pepin the Short; Vikings; Dual Papacies; tribes with names like Lombards, Franks and Jutes; and women named Gerberga and Himiltrude.

Nobody is named Himiltrude anymore.

lady
Gerberga

About a thousand years passed between the Roman Empire’s demise and the Renaissance. That time in between was the Dark Ages. We’re about 200 years shy of another millennium passing.

We’ll enter another Dark Age because people never learn. When baby girls once more have names like Gerberga and Himiltrude, you’ll know it’s time to dig caves and stockpile canned goods and hand grenades.

In the meantime, I wake every morning in the king bed next to my child bride, feeling fine and looking ahead to another day of blue skies, cool breezes and flocks of snowy egrets flying between here and the green mountains.

My Middle Ages were Dark Ages, but now my Old Age is a Grand Age even though I gotta water the yard.

The cluelessness of Barry

Barry

THE PERCEPTIVE among you might have noticed that I’ve not bashed Barry of late. That’s because I’ve mostly given up on him. He’s beyond redemption and, probably, the United States is beyond it too. Every great nation has its day in the sunshine, and that day has passed for America.

The 20th Century was its moment of glory. Gone now. Poof!

Lame-duck Barry recently asked, hilariously, for higher taxes and more government spending. Of course, the nation is already foundering in bloody red financial seas. And I see that Barry spoke at a “National Prayer Breakfast” yesterday where he said Christians — like Mohammedans — also have a horrific history.

The Crusades, you know. We’re just as nasty as they are.

Of course, the Crusades mostly ended in the 13th Century. The Mohammedans still live in the Middle Ages and, apparently, so does Barry at times.

The world faces murderous Mohammedan fanaticism, something Barry cannot even put into words.

And yet, something like 40 percent of Americans still think he’s doing a swell job.

It all reeks of the last days of Rome.

* * * *

* Perceptive cartoon was brought to my attention by Tancho.