Friday, April 9, 2010

Phasing out

Express Staff Writer

Welcome to the 99th day of the year. There's 266 days to go as we gradually phase out of 2010. How about those taxes? Never mind, let's not talk about that. You either have them in already or not. Once done, you will have formally phased out of 2009. And, how about that census? Did you comply? In Blaine County, less than half do. I tried to balance it out when they came to my door and they asked how many live here. I said, "Me, Steve, Pete, Marco and Jerry." Of course, the last three were cats. There's still hints of snow in the air as the cold season winds down and winter slowly phases out. Other than that, it's a pretty nondescript day.

It wasn't nondescript on April 9 in 1682, though. Robert Cavalier de La Salle (meaning that Bob was from a town called La Salle in France) discovered the mouth of the Mississippi River and claimed it for his country. Never mind the fact that there were millions of Native Americans all over the place. How presumptuous was that? Where was the census, then? He'd never seen it before, stumbled upon it and said it belonged to him. But, not only that, England's and Spain's explorers did the same thing until gradually, the Native Americans were phased out. With that kind of reasoning, I could go backpacking in the White Clouds, arrive at a lake I'd never seen before and claim it. "This is Lake Spa de la Ketchum." Then, the Feds would tell me that I would have 16 days to move and I would be phased out of "my" lake.

But, what about La Salle? LaSalle became a Buick in the 1950s, hung around awhile and then was phased out. What does all this mean? I don't know, but, now, when the census counts me and the government taxes me in the same year, I get the feeling they're gonna be phasing me out, too.

Nice talking to you.

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