Ed Spivey Jr. 10-26-2020
Illustration by Ken Davis

Illustration by Ken Davis

IS THE ELECTION over yet? Can I emerge from my dark cave of foreboding to the bright light of day, or have my worst fears been realized? I don’t really have a cave, just a basement. And it’s not so bad, since it has two reassuring packs of toilet paper to get me through the unknown that lies ahead. There’s also a case of tuna, and several cans of beets procured, presumably, by a troubled family member who thinks sheltering in place means living with a red tongue and a sour disposition. Let’s be honest: In these perilous times, you may need tuna, but nobody needs beets. (Pretzels would be good. But we don’t have any of those.)

Speaking of safe places: I had planned to use this column as a smug refuge filled with sanctimony that I would fling at those on the losing side of an election that brought us to the precipice of authoritarianism. It was to be a preening and indulgent essay that we couldn’t publish before the election because nonprofits like ours are forbidden from partisanship. (I felt so sneaky! I’m such an outlaw!) Unfortunately, after a careful check of the printing schedule, it turns out this issue might arrive in mailboxes before Nov. 3. So, it’s a good thing I didn’t say which side brought us to the precipice of authoritarianism. Because when it comes to authoritarianism, there are very fine people on both sides. (Whew! That was close!)

Jenna Barnett 10-08-2020

Chris Curry / Unsplash

Last night’s vice presidential debate left viewers with many questions: Would Mike Pence aid in a peaceful transition of power should Donald Trump lose the election? Why do Kamala Harris and Joe Biden like fracking so much? Why was Susan Page denied a mute button? And why was that fly so drawn to Pence, plexiglass be damned? Perhaps it was the vice president’s hairspray, or his chilling stillness, or his pinkish eye. We may never know for sure. But in my search for answers, I turned to the Bible.

Ed Spivey Jr. 9-28-2020

Illustration by Ken Davis

THIS IS THE MOST consequential election in U.S. history. The fate of the earth hangs in the balance. But it has nothing to do with trampolines, so I’m pretty much ignoring it until I can walk upright again. Despite a lifetime of wisdom that should have warned me from my approaching folly, I succumbed to the pleading of a 9-year-old to join her on a contraption that, not unlike the guillotine, probably resulted in the demise of its inventor. (I can’t confirm this, but it would have served him or her right.)

Before you roll your eyes in complete lack of sympathy, it must be stated that this particular granddaughter is not to be denied. Unlike, say, your daughter or granddaughter, whose unremarkable lives (in comparison) will likely not be interrupted by moments of excellence or distinction, this one is very special, because, you know, she’s my granddaughter. A brilliant intellect, an accomplished artist and athlete, a passionate lover of the natural world, when she says “jump,” one simply asks, “how high?” And on a trampoline, “how high” can be considerable.