We were discussing politics over dinner. The Poster Queen can’t do that at her house — passions run too high — but we do it a lot. The talk turned to the government of my husband’s native country. They had no elections, but when he left for the U.S., they had both a northern and a southern king. The northern king was invincible. The southern king could make himself the size of a fly and pass unnoticed through crowds.
We don’t dispute this kind of claim at our house. My father-in-law was also invincible: bullets would stick to his skin, but not penetrate. All his kids believe this, and tell the story with the same amount of conviction with which I tell you about my grandmother’s knitting. When you have a grandfather like this, you don’t quibble about king stories. It is possible that #1 son’s fascination with mythology has its roots in this sort of story, although he says that Greek mythology seems more serious to him, while Lao history sounds like the people who made it up were drunk at the time. I think all cultures have a point at which history and mythology are indistinguishable. But I digress.
I was thinking what a difference it would make if our leaders had this kind of thing going on. Right now, our politicians are reduced to arguing about whether one of them refused a physical and exactly how badly hurt the other one was when he got his Purple Heart. Just imagine if, instead, the parties could say, “Our guy is invincible. Bullets merely stick to his skin. In the event of a terrorist attack, he would not be flying off to undisclosed locations, you can bet.” “Oh, yeah?” the other side could counter, “Well, our guy can turn himself invisible!” They wouldn’t say he could become tiny; it wouldn’t sound as good, and they are not wedded to truth anyway.
My husband says this can’t happen in the U.S. because we do not believe it. But we don’t believe what they’re saying anyway. We might as well have something exciting to disbelieve. Certainly the debate was dull and predictable enough. It reminded me of one of the pieces of advice I like to give students who will have to do an essay section on a standardized test: polish up a few paragraphs on something fairly abstract, such as our responsibility in the face of technological advances or something, and chances are you will be able to slip it in. Just so, both the candidates had decided (or been told) what their main message was to be, and they mostly just fitted it in as well as they could in every answer.
I had not expected to be able to watch the debate, but I had gone to rehearsal and not been able to find it. I am famous for not being able to find things, but not being able to find the rehearsal was extremely frustrating, the more so since we are gearing up here for an enormous biker festival, so all my driving and searching had to be done not only through construction, but also through phalanxes of Harleys. In the end, I gave up and came home to watch the debate and continue working on the quilt, which is sadly not yet finished. I hope to mail it off today, but I fear that it will not reach its destination before the anniversary.
Natalie (http://knitting.xaviermusketeer.com/ ) has a picture of her handsome DNA scarf, and links to some others. Jan shows her finished example, in a tweedy cream Reynolds Utopia. Having seen hers, I am looking forward to making the second DNA in cream. I am also still enjoying the current one in blue. Here is its picture:
There is a lot more of it, of course. Since it is a scarf, and therefore does nothing but get longer, I am trying to vary its pose enough to give the illusion of significant change as I go along. What you can’t tell from the picture is that it is soft and cozy, as a scarf should be. This one is in Reynolds Signature. I am still afraid that I can’t take it on the bus tomorrow. Once I get the quilt finished and packed (she said optimistically), I will have to sit down and decide what project to pack.