One of the dangers of providing you with my opinions each week — besides not having a clue where to put commas — is that it is easy to lose touch with reality and start acting like all the media pundits who think they are so smart that their IQs should be measured with a yardstick. My momma didn’t raise me like that.
One person who keeps me grounded is Skeeter Skates, owner of Skeeter Skates Plow Repair and Stump Removal, recently relocated to Ryo, Georgia. Up until last year, Skeeter ran his operations out of Pooler, but he told me that the area had become so gentrified it was hard to find a stump worth removing, let alone a broken plow.
That doesn’t seem to be the case in Ryo. In the latest rankings of which I am aware, the potential stump removal and plow repair market in Ryo exceeds that of downtown Chicago and the Bronx combined. I must admit I was a little surprised by that.
But wherever he hangs his hat, Skeeter Skates is a man of much wisdom. I would compare him to one of those guys who wraps himself in a bedsheet and sits on a mountaintop contemplating his navel, but Skeeter might take offense at the comparison unless the guy in the bedsheet could also rebuild a chainsaw.
This week, I picked up the phone and called Skeeter. I hoped he could give me some much-needed perspective on the current state of affairs that I could share with you. As usual, I caught him at a busy time.
"Hoss," he said when he answered the phone, "this had better be important. I am putting a new 12-volt battery in a Dosko 721cc Kohler electric start stump grinder and this ain’t a good time for chitchat. These batteries don’t jump up and install themselves. What’s on your mind?" Skeeter always gets right to the point.
I told him I find myself challenged to understand what is happening in the world these days. For example, it is hard to believe that after all this time in the presidential campaign, we end up having to choose between a woman who only lies when her lips are moving and a guy with orange hair who would likely start World War III before his inauguration parade was over.
Skeeter snorted, "Ain’t neither one of them worth the gas it would take to prime a Briggs and Stratton four-cycle engine with a recoil start." I hadn’t thought of it that way. "This is what happens when you let a bunch of radicals run things," he said. "You’ve got your weenies on the left and your stiff-necks on the right making the most noise and having the most influence on the political process while the folks in the middle get left out. That is what is wrong with politics these days. The inmates are running the asylum." That makes sense.
"I know you hang around with a bunch of media elites, Hoss," Skeeter said. I don’t, but he doesn’t need to know that. "Tell them and their political buddies in Washington that they aren’t in touch with the real world. Out here in the real world, we’ve got more government than we need. It don’t need to get bigger and it don’t need to shut down. It just needs to work. In the real world, we don’t have the money to influence our politicians like the special interests do. We are just simple folks who love our country, our flag and our God."
Skeeter went on, "Yet, you folks seem to spend most of your waking hours talking about who can go to what bathroom where and making heroes out of jerks that disrespect our national anthem. Anybody who disagrees with that is made out to be an ignorant bigot. Seems like one side can speak its piece, but not the other. That may be your America, Hoss, but it ain’t mine and you can have it. You tell folks that Skeeter Skates said to take their political correctness and shove it. Now, if you don’t mind, I got some shear bolts anxiously waiting to join a 12-inch double bottom plow." With that, he hung up.
I suspect Skeeter Skates is saying what many frustrated Americans are feeling these days. But just to be fair, I plan to also talk to the guy on the mountaintop wrapped it a bed sheet. That is, if he isn’t too busy contemplating his navel.