Discussing forbidden topics: Politics and religion

On Tuesday, April 12, the Old Men of the Mountain met at the County Café on Main Street in Schoharie.

Here is another weather report from the OFs. Those on the Hill talk about a mighty wind that blew through the area and where hail came down for a brief time so hard that it was at a 10-degree angle to the Earth before it struck the ground.

After the hail came the rain. Then, on the news, the OFs saw the damage done by what was a comparatively local blow. The weather guys never saw that one coming or told the OFs to batten down the hatches.  

The OMOTM sat in the comfort of the County Café enjoying the aroma of breakfast being made in the kitchen and looking out the window across the street to the Schoharie County Courthouse where trees are down and the park is gone. Construction is underway to build a hydraulic dike to keep the water from running into the courthouse when there is another flood.

The OFs say what a shame to spend all that money and ruin all that real estate when the OFs feel it would be less expensive just to add another floor to the courthouse if they need the space; subsequently abandon the basement and first floor.

But nobody asked the OFs. Some of the OGs can just fall out of bed and be at the County Café so it is not like the OFs are outsiders butting in.

The OFs discussed the location of the county jail and that is another bone of contention where (in the opinion of the OFs) the opinions of the residents were ignored.

This led to other topics that are generally no-no’s at the table: Politics and religion. That is the general heading of the conversation but it wasn’t explicitly on religion or politics.

Is God having trouble finding people to call?

Discussion was how the attendance in many organized faiths is dropping off, and churches are combining services in one church and closing others.

In some faiths, according to the OFs, it is a combination of the lack of attendance, and fewer young people showing interest and this trend is causing a shortage of young people going into the ministry.

This made one OF think, if it is God that calls people to the ministry, is God having trouble finding people to call, or is he calling them to minister in the church of “What’s Happening Now?”  Or is it that the traditional churches are so wrapped up in adhering to tradition that they are failing to minister?

Lacking presidential material

And, as for politics, the OFs at this scribe’s end of the table had no idea who they are going to vote for. The OFs felt none of those running to be the nominee of their parties were presidential material.

One OF said that, no matter which party took the White House, the OFs could look for, “A crow in every pot, and bicycle in every garage.”

None of the OFs could remember such a circus as there is now for an upcoming presidential election. It was more or less a generic opinion for the OFs that, with all the name calling and mudslinging going on among all of those running, how could anyone trust any of them?

The scariest words to hear is someone who says, “Trust me.”

One OF wondered who would want to run for president — their lust for power has to be great and their hide has to be as thick as a tank so that they can deal with the press, and all the negativity that is thrown about.

Oh, well.  None of the OFs are running for office anyway so it is all moot. Then again, maybe the OFs should run as a group and maybe something would get done.

The OFs thought that, if enough people wrote in “Mickey Mouse,” maybe Disney could run the government and the whole country could then live in fantasyland.

Bionic men share trials and tribulations

The OFs continue to become more bionic. One OF is going in for knee replacement; another is going for facial repair.

It is interesting to see how fast the medical profession is progressing in replacing people parts — not only organs, but joints too.

One OF had shoulder work done maybe 10 or more years ago; lately, one of this OF’s shoulder started acting up. The OF went to the same doctor who performed the procedure originally and, when the doctor saw the OF and the X-rays, he told the OF, “Oh, I don’t do it that way anymore — I don’t cut, or use screws like that. I use lasers.”

He didn’t offer any condolences to the OF either.  In fact, the doctor said, “You’re too old, suck it up; I will give you a shot.”

The OF said at the breakfast “Well, that shot lasted about three weeks.”

The OF going in for the knee operation might have the procedure performed with current technology, and the ways of yore may be long gone for how it is done now. The OFs wonder, at the rate medicine and technology is progressing, what medical procedures will be like in 50 years from now to replace a hip or transplant a heart.    

OFs in office

The OFs who made it to the Country Café in Schoharie, and who think it might be a good idea to write in OFs for president, were: Miner Stevens president; Glenn Paterson, vice president; Mark Traver, secretary of State; Chuck Aelesio, Federal Bureau of Investigation director; Mark Traver, secretary of Defense; Harold Guest, press secretary; John Rossmann, secretary of the Navy; Roger Chapman, secretary of  Homeland Defense; Bill Lichliter, secretary of Treasury; George Washburn, Federal Aviation Administration director; Robie Osterman, secretary of Transportation; Lou Schenck, secretary of Communication; Jack Norray, secretary of Interior; Gerry Irwin, secretary of the Environmental Protection Agency; Matt Farnam, United Nations ambassador; Ted Willsey, secretary of Labor; Mike Willsey, secretary of Housing and Urban Development; Bob Fink, secretary of Education; Bob Benninger, secretary of Energy; Jim Rissacher, secretary of Health and Human Resources; Elwood Vanderbilt, secretary of Farm and Home Management; Gerry Chartier, chief of staff; Harold Grippen, secretary of Veterans Affairs; and me, chief dog catcher.