Russ Batenhorst Filibuster is one way to avoid doing work


I don’t really think I should write a column this week. I just don’t think I have to, despite how silly a big white space in the middle of the paper might look. So, much like legitimate column writers have been known to cite inspiration for their writings, I think I have found inspiration in not doing so. I’m following the lead of Sen. Ted Cruz, although I am a little leery of looking for inspiration from a politician. And, as if that isn’t bad enough, he’s from Texas. You’ve no doubt heard or read about Sen. Cruz this week. He’s the gentleman who is so dead-set against what has popularly come to be known as Obamacare, that he tried to take down Congress single-handedly by delivering a speech that lasted more than 20 hours. It was an attempt to block one funding vote. Politics is one area I try not to breach here, so don’t expect commentary of the issues Cruz was expounding on. No, I’m just borrowing his idea. He just rambled on to avoid a vote. I might just ramble on to avoid writing a column. You don’t pull off a speech like that without a few tricks. At one point, he read from Dr. Seuss’ “Green Eggs and Ham” (or the “Cat in the Hat.” I’m not sure). That’s a kid’s book. Dr. Seuss books can be a pretty quick read. He should have gone with “Captain Underpants.” “Captain Underpants” is a kid’s book that our son read when he was younger. I had almost forgotten all about him until my wife came home from the store with a new one (it’s a series). Now, I don’t really think my wife is in denial that our son is in his third year of college and probably can’t turn in reports on “Captain Underpants,” although it is a chapter book.

What do those snooty college professors want? But I was a little afraid to approach the subject. That’s when she said she wanted to give it to the son of our niece. Crisis averted and a tradition lives on. I think I enjoy hearing good live music more than ever. I was at an Irish Festival in my wife’s hometown last weekend and their two closing acts were as good as you’ll see anywhere. (The Wild Colonial Bhoys from Minnesota and The Elders from Kansas City, if you’d like to know). If there’s such a thing as Irish-fueled rock, I say that’s what they play. Is it strange that a person my age would want to stand at just the right spot close to stage so the pounding of the bass could be felt in my chest? Oh, well, I did so, anyway. Besides, don’t we all want to be rock stars? Watching someone play great music on stage while the crowd cheers still looks like it would be a good time. If that didn’t convince me, then it might have been later on at the town bar when I realized the guys from one of the bands were never going to have to pay for beer all night. I felt sorry for their one and only roadie, so I bought him one instead. Here’s an analogy to add to “watching paint dry” or “watching the grass grow.” “Waiting for the river to rise” is boring, too. I drive over the bone-dry Platte River every day. Every day this week I’ve wondered if it was the day the Colorado floodwaters reached this far. As of this writing — nope. But it’s supposed to be there on my next trip north. One article in the Tribune said that senator wasn’t allowed bathroom breaks during his more than 20-hour-long speech. How’d he do that? Not sure I want to know. No wonder late Nebraska Sen. Ed Zorinsky used to say watching laws being made is something no one should want to see, along with making sausage. So, no Nebraska football this weekend, eh? I have a feeling there’s not a wedding reception hall in the state that’s not booked Saturday night. Guess my invitations were lost in the mail.

My filibuster is over. I’ve avoided my work. Maybe next week I’ll write a column.



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