22 Sep 2008
I was moping around the house this past week a little more than usual. I was feeling really depressed and I really could not put my finger on the reason. Sure, it was the last of summer and fall has begun, but this happens every year so I had ruled this one out. Something was desperately wrong with me.
It was then that the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage stepped in with her diagnostic skills. She took a long look at me and said, "I know what’s wrong with you. You have PFS."
I was shocked by her diagnosis and vehemently denied it and said to her, "That's impossible. I'm not a woman."
She laughed good heartedly and said, "Silly, I didn't say PMS, I said PFS."
Well, I must admit she had me there. I had never heard of PFS and had no idea what she was talking about. I knew how devastating PMS was and was hoping it was not related in any way.
Finally, she saw that I was not getting it and said, "PFS is simply Political Fatigue Syndrome. Most people get it about this time of the election year."
As she explained PFS, I had to admit that she was making sense. Just don't let her know that I said it. The question I developed in my mind was how many other people were suffering from the same syndrome? And, who is working on a cure?
The more I thought about this the more I was determined to come up with ways to deal with PFS. It must be, by now, a national epidemic, more devastating than the recent meltdown on Wall Street. And I think I came up with several ways to deal with this malady. Sometimes homemade remedies work the best.
The first thing that came to my mind was simply this. As soon as a political ad comes on TV, immediately bang your head against the nearest wall until the ad is over. In the long run, (and believe me these politicians know how to run long) this will be less painful than actually listening to the ad. And the thumping in your head afterward will probably make more sense than the political ad itself.
Whoever came up with the idea of political ads should be hung on the nearest tree at least three times, just to make sure. The inspiration for these things came from the other place than heaven. I was under the impression that torture was against the law in this country but I guess it is okay if politicians are doing the torturing.
Being a protestant I do not believe in purgatory, but all these political ads have given me pause to reconsider. These political ads are probably as close to purgatory is a Protestant can get.
Another thing that came to me was I could cancel my TV service until the end of the political campaign. But this brought to mind several problems. First off, how would I ever know who wins America's Got Talent? Secondly, I do not want to miss the next time Geraldo Rivera falls into the ocean. That in itself is worth one year's subscription to cable.
Another solution would be to join the Amish who do not have electricity. That means they have neither radio nor television and have no idea what is going on out in the political world. Ah, such bliss must be heavenly. There is a downside to this. Who wants to wear funny clothes and get up at 4 AM to milk cows?
I had another idea. When a political ad comes on, put fingers in both ears and sing, "La-la-la-la-la," until it was over. However, this only aggravated my wife resulting in a 45-minute lecture of not torturing people, her in particular, with my singing, which in her opinion was not actual singing.
While I was musing on some solutions to PFS, the telephone rang. Lo and behold it was a political pollster (kin to a polecat) wanting to know who I was going to vote for in the upcoming election.
I took a deep breath, counted to 10, three times and then told him I was going to vote for Calvin Coolidge. There was an awkward silence on the other end of the telephone and finally the person said, "Is he a Democrat or Republican?"
"He's a Demopublican."
Again, the awkward silence, and then a resounding "click," as he hung up the telephone. I will not say I enjoyed that. I did, but I do not want it to get out.
About this time, I was beginning to understand Popeye, who said, "I've stands all I can stands and I can't stands no more."
I guess there is no real cure for PFS. The only consolation we have is that it will soon be over. The downside to this is, as soon as it is over, it starts again.
My responsibility to the government is outlined in the Bible. "I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty." (1 Timothy 2:1-2 KJV).
The only real solace available is prayer. I take comfort in the fact that my well-being does not come from Washington DC or Wall Street. My comfort and security comes from God.
Rev. James L. Snyder