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It's Déjà Vu All Over Again

Cartoon sketch of a man in a karate uniform posing in front of a dog that has a question mark over its head. Illustration by Earle Levenstein.

Yogi Berra is credited with that line. Along with a lot of other Yogi-isms. Fact is, he was a great catcher for the New York Yankees and at the same time, a first-rate observer of life.

It's déjà vu all over again: funny…and ironic; and true. Proven year after year and time and time again. And I've been around long enough to appreciate the irony.

Looking over some of my 1970's editorial cartoons I'm reminded of that all too familiar end-of-life-as-we-know-it, feeling.

Of living with events just marching along, day after day, increasingly bizarre or just out of left field or all too often, headed straight for the fiery furnace. And worst of all, having absolutely zero impact upon the situation.

Waving a red flag, holding up warning signs; Bridge Out, Tornado; shouting, praying.

To no response.


I'm just invisible.

For me, that leads to frustration at the emergency level, rage, and since I'm—as you might know—a migraineur, I just know that what I can't let out, is going to make a U-turn and head straight for the part of my body or brain that's within reach and explode.

So what do I do? Apart from venting my spleen at my reflection in the mirror I have one response that frequently does work and has at least a chance of success.

I walk.

That's a given in my life; after breakfast and organizing my To-Do list—that's a joke—I walk somewhere between three and four miles.

Physical activity—I'd take up boxing if I didn't like the idea of possibly being flattened—can be magical. But I have to pretend I'm having a fight with someone I despise, which means a lot of grinding of teeth and swearing loudly—obviously in private—and really getting into it.

Risk is, of course, a neighbor knocking on my door and asking "Is everything OK?" which is a tough question to answer honestly; like by saying No, it's not OK! and shouting and clenching my fists and then having to explain that what I'm doing is trying to head off one of my migraine attacks and then having to discuss my lifetime of migraine and how emotional distress, if not addressed directly will go after my head or my body or my soul and really inflict the kind of migraine-inspired pain which is unbearable and…

Well, I think it's obvious why I take three to four-mile walks every day.

I have considered taking up some less than fatal form of Martial Arts, though. There's a place a block away and I hear the people grunting and shouting when the door's open and they all seem to be pretty well-balanced individuals, you know?

And if I loiter near the door I begin to feel really good.

Shouting and grunting…kicking…

Sure beats shouting at the mirror…

That is a thought, isn't it?


And just a block away, too…

Stay tuned.

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