Exit, Stage Right

By Jim Hagarty

Here’s a bold prediction I have been making for a while.

Donald J. Trump’s name will not appear on the ballot for U.S. president in November’s election.

The brash businessman turned politician is 69 and seriously sleep deprived. And there are studies on narcissistic personality disorder which suit Trump to a tee and which seem to show that the one and biggest thing an extreme narcissist cannot tolerate happening is defeat. His fragile personality cannot handle it. He will take whatever measures are necessary to avoid it.

It is entirely possible that Trump will lead his party to the worst electoral defeat in their history. Whereas, he might be able to get by with a squeaker of a loss, to be known as the man who killed the Republicans for a generation will not be tolerable. He is brash but not stupid. He will see it coming.

Others have predicted this: When the going gets too tough, he will fabricate some reason to drop out of the race. It is a real possibility.

He is obviously not having a great time. If nothing else, Good Time Charlies don’t like not having a good time.

I might be dreaming. But nothing about Trump is very predictable.

And nothing he does will surprise.

The Choices are Slim

By Jim Hagarty
Renowned Terrible Limericker

Ever heard of a piggy named Slim?
Maybe you should get acquainted with him.
He has a fine snout
Which he likes to stick out
And he keeps himself well-groomed and trim.

The Canoe Paddler

By Jim Hagarty

“Advice is highly overrated.”
Says the man who never takes it.
The man who paddles his own canoe
Has nothing at all to learn from you.

He’s sure his advisers mean well and all
And he knows that their words are meaningful
But the man who charts his very own course
Will never give in to suggestion or force.

For he knows he can do it all on his own
And is happy to plan his path all alone
For he’s sure that he is much smarter than you
And needs no one’s counsel on what he should do.

The man who paddles his own canoe
Is happy and wishes you could be happy too.
But when he sees rapids approaching ahead
He is apt to consider your caution instead.

And as his craft tumbles and tosses him out
He finally yells “Help!” but there’s no one about.
And as he’s submerged and his head hits a stone
He wishes for once he wasn’t alone.

The easiest thing in the world to do
Is push away people who try to help you.
And sometimes that’s fine and sometimes that’s brave
But it’s too late as they gather at the canoe paddler’s grave.

My Few Loose Screws

By Jim Hagarty

I did my good deed for the week on Sunday, a perfect day to do a good deed, I have found over a lifetime of distributing good deeds to the left and the right of me like a Good Samaritan on steroids.

On this day, I bought someone I don’t even know five screwnails.

It cost me 50 cents but it was worth it to see this anonymous do-it-yourselfer happy although I haven’t actually ever see him or her and I don’t know if they are happy but I hope they are. I hope, in fact, they are downright gleeful.

In the middle of a construction project, I was sent to the hardware store to pick up a box of 100 woodscrews. I raced like a maniac to the store and found the last two boxes of the screws I needed. However, the seal was broken on both boxes. Someone had been helping themselves.

So I asked the manager about it and he agreed that yes, someone had pilfered a few screws. He didn’t offer to knock a few pennies of the price of the box and I didn’t care enough to ask for a discount, so I bought the screws and raced home. Once there, just for fun, I dumped out all the screws and counted them. There were 95, not 100, in the box.

Now, I am glad the screw thief got away with the bargain he or she was looking for, but I am also very interested in the thought process that went on in the brain of this person who gave themselves a five-finger discount on the product. I am thinking they are an adult, as kids don’t usually need woodscrews. They must be in the middle of some kind of project themselves and so, by definition, they must have the money to pay for the whole project.

The hardware store is located just outside of my city so the person probably went there in a car that he or she presumably owns and maintains. If they have the money for all this they must have some sort of income and therefore, probably have a job.

So, here is a responsible, job-holding, car-driving person, probably a family man or woman who is operating under a belief system that suggests that it is OK to have someone else pay for 100 screwnails and only take home 95.

I guess that person’s conscience is clear and that their workshop is not cluttered up by 95 screwnails they have no need of.

That brings me to the notion that perhaps it should be possible to go to the hardware store and buy five of these screws when that is all you need.

Does that justify stealing? I don’t know. And given that most of the shoplifting done in these big stores is done by the employees, who knows who took my screws? Maybe it was an inside job.

All I know is, I got screwed.

And not in a fun way.