Wednesday, April 15, 2009


I know what gave me constipation of the brain this morning. I had two things on my mind. One threatens to become a bore: the ongoing saga of my eyes. My surgeon sure enough clipped a stitch loose from my right eye – but decided the other would probably be troublesome as well and clipped a stitch loose from it, too. Well, in a way he was right. The pressure in the left eye is now way too low; would you believe the pressure in it after the clip was three and a few days later it was down to two? He believes it will come back up on its own so we’re just waiting for that to happen. But like the song from "GiGi," "It’s a bore!" And meanwhile my vision is a little blurry.

The other thing is that I had signed up to come to a political demonstration at our state capitol building this evening and I wasn’t sure if I wanted to talk about it. It was certainly on my mind, to the exclusion of just about everything else. So I've decided to report on what happened.

Ellen and I went over to St. Paul, parked some distance away and took a bus to the site. I was reminded of why city buses are not my favorite mode of transportation. The bus is slow, it's smelly, it’s rattle-trappy. The demonstration started at five, we got there closer to six. There was a good size crowd, noisy but friendly. About six thousand strong at that point, they carried all kinds of signs. It was called a "Tea Party," after the Boston Tea Party and it was one of hundreds taking place all over the country. It was my first political demonstration, and it was fun (though I wish we had brought something to sit on). There were a lot of speakers but they kept their speeches very short. Some got the crows stirred up, chanting "No More Taxes." Signs ranged from professionally printed to hand-made on scraps of cardboard. "Government big enough to give you anything you want is strong enough to take everything you have," was one big sign. Most were shorter than that, and some were humorous: "Next Time Read the Bill" was a favorite. Many were ornamented with tea bags, and someone had turned TEA into an acronym: Taxed Enough Already. The crowd kept growing, within an hour it was up to ten thousand. It was a typical Minnesota crowd, friendly and cheerful, well-leavened with children. At one point, a news helicopter hovered close enough overhead to drown out one speaker and some people were shaking their fists at it. The speaker finally told all of us to turn and wave at it in a friendly way, so we did, and that startled the pilot enough that he pulled up and back. We came away footsore and hungry and wondering if our elected officials will get the message: We're friendly but serious. And I’m going to watch the news tonight to see if that turn-and-wave bit shows up on television.


Linda O. Johnston said...

It was certainly an appropriate day to demonstrate against taxes, Monica. I saw a clip on TV that someone had decided to hold a Washington Tea Party and toss a box of teabags over the fence onto the White House lawn, and the Secret Service used a robot to check it for explosives!
My very best wishes that your eyes heal quickly and perfectly.

Betty Hechtman said...

I can certainly understand why your eyes are on your mind. Who wouldn't be nervous with blurry vision.

I heard the tea protests were backed my news media and TV stations. Who knows what's true?

Monica Ferris said...

For those who think the tea parties were organized by Fox News or Newt Gingrich or some other entity, read this: