Thursday, March 26, 2009

Past Deadline: Bicycles, Buster and Bonuses

A little bit of this, a little bit of that in this issue of Past Deadline, published Tuesday, March 24/09 in The Perth Courier.

Bicycles, Buster and bonuses

I don’t want to startle you, but this week’s column is going to break a bit from my usual highly organized and efficient writing.

Ahem. Yes, well, anyway.

Faced with the dilemma of not having a single topic in mind that would adequately fill the space required, I am linking three different subjects under the tenuous theme of “milestones.”

The first one is huge one for me. Enormous, actually. I bought a bike.

Wha? Yes, in my rosy little world this is A Very Big Deal.

Regular readers may remember the story about how, some 20 years ago when I was still in high school (holy moly am I THAT old?), I dramatically threw myself off my 10-speed at the corner of Wilson and Foster streets for reasons not clearly understood. Despite the fact I was able to tell bystanders my phone number and mother’s maiden name, they shipped me off by ambulance and I spent two days in the hospital with a concussion. I remember everything up to the moment of the crash. I was about to turn onto Peter Street and looked over my shoulder. Then there’s a gap in my memory of about 10 hours.

Always wear your helmet, kids. Really.

Back in those dark, wild and lawless days youngsters weren’t required to wear helmets. It was a non-issue. After the accident, it was made clear to me by my doctor and my parents that I was a very, very lucky girl. If I planned to ride my bike again, I would have to wear a helmet.
I didn’t ride my bike anymore. For one thing, vanity got in the way. No one wore helmets. It just wasn’t cool. (I know. That is so dumb I can’t even believe it now.) Mostly, though, I was skittish about falling again.

Last year, though, I finally climbed back onto the horse. I borrowed Groom-boy’s bike and helmet a few times and tooled around with Boychild. It was lovely!

Last week I went out and bought a bike of my own along with a snazzy red helmet. I’m very excited about this. It’s milestone no. 1.

I’m actually afraid to talk about the second milestone because I might jinx it, but here goes. It’s about Buster, my extraordinarily loud, fluffy, diabetic cat.

One of the interesting things about cats with diabetes is that even if they need insulin, in some cases the diabetes can eventually be controlled by diet. Guess what? Recent blood work suggested we could try to cut back on giving needles of insulin to the cat that bites. Further tests show he seems to be holding his own. Keep your fingers crossed because as much as Buster and I both really loved bonding over the twice-daily needles, not having to administer them has been, well, just fine, thank you! That’s milestone no. 2

Finally, what self-respecting columnist could possibly complete a weekly dissertation without saying something about one of the most-discussed topics in the news these days: those AIG (and other) bonuses.

Okay, well, lots of columnists could avoid it, I’m sure. After all, it’s all been said. In a nutshell: when did it become okay to reward crummy work with enormous sums of money? Shouldn’t these people be fired instead? And, yes, I know about the contracts, but couldn’t some lawyer argue they breached their contracts by tanking the company?

Anyway, I watched some of President Barack Obama’s appearance on The Tonight Show on Thursday and heard what he had to say about the bonus situation. What struck me, though, was his logical approach to the way things are in general. He’s saying we need to get back to a place where people are rewarded for doing good work and good things. He also wants to see people take responsibility for their actions instead of blaming others for screw-ups. We’re talking Big Societal Change, here.

If he can find a way to turn this barge around to a place where things make sense again then I call it milestone no. 3.

So there you have it. Now, if you’ll excuse me I have to grab my red helmet, hop on my new bicycle and spread joy somewhere about something.

1 comment:

momma's heart said...

Congratulations about your new bike! And your bravery.

After learning of actress Richardson's ski accident, and of her lucid period, I'm completely paranoid about head injuries. How will I know when the kids are really in danger, I wonder? Anyway, good for you for getting back on a bike!