So, since the Spring of 2020, I had begun to liken the apartment complex in which I currently reside as I am writing this piece to a Communist or Soviet State. I have also begun to create jokes about the complex I formerly resided in with my then, now ex-wife. I do this only in jest and mean no harm or malice of it, whatsoever. Those of you who know me in person, know very well that I am immensely grateful that I have a safe and affordable place of my own. They also know that I feel a strong sense of community with my complex and my fellow tenants. They have become closer than my biological family, literally! Many of them are also part of my Blood Washed Heavenly Family, praise God! If I ever move out and purchase a home of my own, I want it to be near this complex so I can still visit everybody daily!
I don’t go public with my political humor too much, but I think one will appreciate the complexity that it took for me to come up with these jokes and how I was inspired to create them.
I have so far lived in two subsidized apartment complexes because as of now, the amount I get from my disability pension cannot cover most market-rate rent prices in addition to my other necessary living expenses. I truly believe that it is personal greed that is driving up the cost of housing and it is also what makes Communism or Socialism appear so attractive to many people within my age group. Some folks my age have to work two and three jobs just to make rent. Anyone that can think should be able to see why so many young people are angry about this. I mean, so many people are working their best years away at jobs for which they are overqualified and underpaid and therefore have little to nothing to show for it. They also have little time to no time to do what they enjoy. Such an existence is unbearably miserable. Such an existence turns citizens into serfs and even borderline slaves. Such an existence makes Communism and/or Socialism look relieving, refreshing, and even prosperous!
Now, for every record, I am certainly not advocating Communism or Socialism, but I do believe there should be access to affordable housing for everyone. Home ownership for all or at least much more than currently would be nice as well. Unfettered Capitalism does stand in the way of these desires tremendously. That is a fact! Unfettered Capitalism can and will eventually bring back the feudal system. People in my age group are afraid of this because they will lose even more.
Still, I don’t think that the have-nots ought to use lethal or even brutal force to take what they want or even need away from the haves, which in essence is Communism and also some strains of Socialism. I am neither condoning nor endorsing anyone who suggests taking what is not rightfully theirs, whether in reality or just morally, by force. There are more peaceful and, yes, even godly alternatives. We need cooperation and compromise from both sides. We most of all need both sides to help each other and to understand each other. Wicked people in high places want the exact opposite though. These wicked people want to incite a class war and race war and war, in general, to overthrow what is currently in place and establish the most oppressive government ever. It will be even worse than the darkest, bleakest dystopian novel ever written.
My biggest complaint about Communism and Socialism is that in many aspects and executions of the two, they are in direct conflict with my Christian Faith! My next biggest complaint about Communism and Socialism is that they have failed almost every time they were implemented and in places where they still succeed is only due to outside Capitalist influence and support. I believe with all my heart that my biggest complaint about these nefarious economic policies is the cause of my second biggest complaint about them.
And government-subsidized housing is indeed a Socialist policy/practice, but it helps millions of people tremendously, myself included.
Still, there are certain aspects of government-subsidized housing, that make it only attractive to those who have no other choices.
So I began to make jokes about how the apartment complexes in which I resided were like miniature Communist countries.
Let me back up to July of 2017. As some of you who have followed me on social media for a lengthy amount of time, you will know that I frequently poke fun at the Dollar General chain of retailers by referring to it as “The Ruble General.” I came up with this joke while wanting to make some groceries for my dinner. I specifically wanted some pickled beets to have as a side dish. So I drove to the local Dollar General hoping to find a can or jar of pickled beets. There were none. Not only that, the said store was out of several other grocery items of which I had intended to purchase. Then there were long lines and cluttered aisles. So I got back to my then friend’s house and posted to Facebook how I thought the Dollar General should be called The Ruble General because shopping there is very similar to shopping in the Former Soviet Union and/or all of the Sattelite States. I had been listening to NPR all afternoon, that day and there’s something about NPR that fuels my creativity. For those of you who didn’t know, the Ruble was the official unit of currency for The Soviet Union. The Ruble was to the USSR what the Dollar is to The USA and various other sovereign states. So, it has become one of my trademark jokes to refer to The Dollar General as The Ruble General.
Well, my back is starting to hurt, so I just took a muscle relaxer and chased it with some ginger ale. In the recent weeks and months, my lower back pain has been getting worse, so I sought medical attention for it, after being in tremendous pain while doing a task as simple as reformatting my neighbor’s laptop. Therefore, my physician prescribed me a muscle relaxer known as Baclofen. I’m too afraid to take anything stronger, or something with narcotic properties nor do I think I need such a pill, to begin with. I’ve seen how pain pills ruin lives and cause more problems than they solve. Therefore, I shall avoid them for as long as I can. My two favorite activities are going to church and writing. And sadly it is during those two activities that my back pain acts up the worst.
So, moving on, I will also admit that I have a fascination with and even an admiration for the Polish electrician turned politician, ultimately the first president of Post-communist Poland, namely, Lech Walesa. I truly believe he is an honest man, a family man, and an ethical man. I had first learned about him during my Sophomore year of high school while reading ahead in my World Geography book. I read about how his Solidarity campaign brought down Communism in Poland and eventually contributed to the entire collapse of the USSR! Like any good man, there will be those opposed to him and try to ruin his name, but I don’t believe the lies said about him. What is amazing is that his motives behind starting Solidarity were to be able to feed his family. He was a hardworking marine electrician who loved his wife and children and likely did his best to provide for them. Therefore, he was infuriated by the rising food prices in Poland that a worker’s wages did not keep up with. See, Communism did not and does not solve this inflation problem! Likely, inflation is inherent to all economic systems. So, he positively channeled his fury and frustrations and started what would become Solidarity on the grounds of the shipyard at which he was employed. All in all, I had partially forgotten about him after I completed World Geography and turned in my textbook. But then in my very early thirties, I began to read more extensively about him, through online sources. There were pictures of the insides of the apartments in which he resided. I was quite amused when I observed how the living room of one of his residences was strikingly similar to the living room of the apartment that I shared with my then-wife, now ex-wife. By the way, Lech Walesa is still happily married and his strong marriage puts my faulty former marriage to shame by a factor of about (6^6)! Just so you know I chose the number 6 because he is about 6 years older than his wife and I am the same age as my now ex-wife. One thing I have since learned about relationships is that couples with an age difference get along much better than couples who are very close in age. Case in point, Donald Trump is about twenty-four years older than his current wife and say what you want about him, but they appear to have a very solid marriage and they are raising a brilliant son! I could go on about this, but there are more important matters to cover in this piece. I may, someday, write more extensively about how couples with an age difference get along better than couples without an age difference. By the way, it doesn’t matter if the man or woman is older, I’ve observed happy and solid relationships in both scenarios.
And look at that, I’m just realizing my back has stopped hurting! This Baclofen treatment does indeed work, God be praised!
It was late one evening in the Spring of 2020, that inspirations for my jokes of referring to my apartment complex as a miniature Communist country started to develop. I was doing laundry in the laundromat and was also listening to a new portable scanner, which I had recently purchased. It is the entry-level Whistler handheld model, the WS1010. It is a far descendant of the Radio Shack Pro-32. I had also installed a high performance, multi-band antenna on it, in hopes to pull in signals better than the pathetic stock antenna. On that evening, I was particularly interested in trying to see if there was any traffic on a certain VHF Low Band frequency that was licensed to the Waterford 3 Nuclear Power Plant. Granted, it is located about fifty miles from where I was, but I am very much aware of how VHF Low Band Signals travel quite farther than their higher frequency counterparts. The frequency I had in my scanner, by the way, was 37.46 MHz. It was assigned to Entergy for use at the aforementioned power plant, but I just checked the FCC records a few minutes ago and couldn’t find it. And I ashamedly admit that I failed to maintain a Christian vocabulary when I couldn’t find it. All in all, I was trying to see if I could hear any traffic on that frequency during that Spring evening. There was none. However, my mind wanders at times and when it does, it sometimes brings forth creativity. The such happened on that evening. I began thinking of the fact that I was trying to listen in on the operations of a nuclear power plant. A younger me would have associated this with The Simpsons, but my current (age 28 to present) self began to think about Chernobyl instead. I pondered extensively about it. Then I began to realize how this apartment complex in which I reside does indeed have some very Soviet qualities. At some point, I had decided to scan other channels in that scanner and picked up a signal from The Feds, but it was sadly encrypted, or at the very least encoded, and the scanner I was using is an analog-only model. But the thoughts of how I feel like I am living in a Communist country, albeit a very benevolent one, while I am in this complex began to multiply. They brewed for a few months. At some point in very late August or early September, I began to refer to my apartment complex as: “The People’s Republic of [insert complex name here.]” I won’t say the name of my complex on this blog, because of my safety. And also for the safety of my neighbors.
I was driving a friend around and had to stop by my apartment to pick up something and he commented on how the buildings in the complex do appear very Soviet. I don’t see how, but to a degree, I trust his judgment. Although, I think he may be confusing Soviet architecture with 1980s architecture in general. Of course, there were numerous housing projects constructed in the Soviet Union during the early 1980s. All in all, I ask my Christian friends to pray fervently for his salvation. He is highly intelligent on diverse subjects and equally skilled in many things that which I value. In fact, he too, for most of his working life was a marine electrician just like Lech Walesa, but also was employed in road construction, as a freight train conductor and most recently, a corporate chauffeur. He holds the highest amateur radio license there is, can build complicated antenna systems and is an avid model railroader. He is one of my biggest supporters as far as my creativity goes, he laughs at my jokes more than anyone else and also more than anyone else, aside from The Lord Himself, has helped me tremendously whilst I was going through a divorce. However, he lacks what is most important of all, namely: Jesus Christ. His lack of Christ and flat-out refusal to come to Him is starting to cause issues in my spiritual life. If that weren’t bad enough, he either shuts down and lately has become hostile when I talk about my faith. If it gets any worse, I am going to have to make a choice between him and Christ, and I know I must needs choose Christ.
Because of the highly unreliable nature of our complex’s laundry equipment, these machines frequently eat our money. This is overwhelmingly frustrating, especially since the majority of us living here are indeed on government pensions and therefore our incomes are limited. I made a joke out of it by saying, “Oh well, the laundry machines are eating our money again, I must inform the Politburo at once!” From those of whom I was brave enough to tell that joke, I received plenty of laughs. Politburo is an Anglicized spelling of a Slavic portmanteau of the words, Political Bureau. Certain Slavic words are amazingly similar to English words and my theory behind that is much of modern English has words that are derived from Greek and Latin, as do Slavic languages. So, every Communist state has a Politburo. Actually, the phrase of “…must inform the Politburo…” is from Goldeneye when MI6 agent James Bond meets with Soviet Defence Minister Dimitri Minshkin in the Saint Petersburg National Archives about General Arkady Orumov indeed being a traitor to the USSR, and which Minshkin tells Bond of how he “must inform the Politburo.” Well, Goldeneye is one of my favorite movies, and the video game, namely for the Nintendo 64 console is my all time favorite video game. By the way, I’m highly amused on how my Ruger LCP II appears quite similar in appearance to James Bond’s PP7 or Walther PPK, depending on the movie or video game, and has the same ammunition capacity, assuming one is using a standard magazine clip. My next gun will hopefully be a Ruger LCR in .38 Special! By the way, speaking of firearms, the overwhelming majority of Communist countries and also countries with significant Socialist tendencies are notorious for flat out banning the civilian ownership of firearms. There are wicked people here in The States that have this nefarious practice in their agenda, too, I won’t lie.
My back pain is slightly coming back. If it gets worse, I will take another Baclofen and likely once again, chase it with some ginger ale. It may not seem like I have written much in this piece and, it’s true, I haven’t, but it is taking me the course of several hours to get this piece done. It was actually in the neighborhood of about two hours ago that I took my last Balclofen and it was over twenty-four hours previous to that when I took the one prior. I’m allowed to take three pills in a twenty-four-hour period and as of now, that is more than enough.
So I ended up taking another Baclofen because the back pain was getting slightly more than I could bear and I do want to get this piece finished. And, yes I chased it with some ginger ale. I like both Schweppes and Canada Dry, by the way. I will admit that I was afflicted with a mild case of Covid in late July and early August of 2020. But because of prayers most of all and but also highly aggressive treatment, I survived and am back to normal save coughing a little more than I used to do! Yes, God be praised, indeed! Before this bout with Covid, I drank Wild Cherry Pepsi, those of you who have been reading this blog since the earlier days and those of you who follow me on social media are very well aware of this. However, during my quarantine, a family member delivered me some groceries, one of them was a case or two of ginger ale and I have since been hooked on it. Ginger ale is indeed an acquired taste, but once acquired it is a very refreshing soft drink! I suppose I could write more about my experiences with Covid, but if I do, that piece will trump this piece in terms of controversy and I don’t think the world is ready for it! Anyway, I’m just waiting for this Baclofen to kick in and do its wonders so I can focus on concluding this piece.
Durnit, my back is still very tight at the moment, but I am going to try and press on.
So our complex has its own sewerage treatment plant. Those who live in closer proximity to it, are subjected to the highly offensive odor of Hydrogen Sulfide. I’m not sure as to why but as of lately that smell has been very present in the complex. If that weren’t enough, a day or two ago, an alarm was incessantly blaring at the sewerage treatment plant. I won’t pretend to know why our sewerage plant has an alarm. I know little to nothing about it, actually. A younger me would be fascinated by it and would naturally want to check it out, but my current self doesn’t want to be accused of tampering with it and risking eviction. All in all, I decided to make a joke, which went along the lines of, “Oh no, our sewer plant has been infiltrated, I need to contact the Politburo about this at once!” Those whom I told this joke to in person were in hysterics. I could have elaborated more on that by claiming that the sewerage treatment plant was infiltrated by either a spy, the special forces unit of an opposing state, or insurgents and if the alarm goes off again, I just might elaborate more!
The only hint I will give about my complex is that a Dollar General is situated right next to it. Dollar General is known for setting up its stores in low-income areas. I could write some jokes just about that, but, when one gets to thinking about it, they’re not funny. They would, in essence, be making light of the fact that a greedy corporate giant taking advantage of the vulnerable and impoverished, all to turn a greater profit. In reality, I don’t have any complaints about this particular Dollar General and I shop there almost every day. I’m sure all of the workers know me and I would hope they would find me to be a friendly and respectful customer. Well, around the same time, the alarm for the sewer was going off, the transformer that is dedicated to electrical service for the Dollar General next door had malfunctioned and the store was without power for about a day. Of course, this was gold material for my type of humor and I started cracking jokes along these lines, “Well, The Ruble General that serves The People’s Republic of [insert complex name here] has experienced a power cut and now we the people cannot buy groceries or supplies. Can the Politburo do anything about this?” As part of CYB purposes, the management at this Dollar General disposed of all frozen and/or perishable foods that could have spoiled due to a lack of adequate refrigeration. I personally know of people who took those foods from the trash bin and I praise God that they were able to get some food for free and that it didn’t go to waste. This sadly happens a lot more in a truly Communist country such as Venezuela and I won’t make light of it, because it’s not funny. Guess what, though: Communism does not solve the ills of humanity! Many times, it only exacerbates them, and I believe this is so because it attempts to remove God from anything and everything. The Bible says, though, “God is not mocked.” By the way for those of you who are curious, that statement is made in Galatians 6:7, and yes I am taking it out of context, but the statement is still very true, regardless. And, yes, I spent a good deal of this piece mocking Communism but in the earlier parts, I pointed out why it is becoming popular again. I’d like to think though, that I also pointed you, the reader, towards God, through Christ.
We are more divided than ever and instead of cooperating and compromising, we want to kill or at least maim each and all those who are diverse from ourselves. Who can solve this mess we’re in? Only one, of course: Jesus Christ! Whether you like it or not! But, consider following Him and if you do, you shall not be disappointed!
Yes, I know this piece is more controversial than what you, the reader, are used to when you read my blog and I apologize if you have been offended. If you were indeed offended, at least I made you think, right? Maybe even provoked the types of thought that bring forth growth? However, if you, got any laughs at all from this piece, then kudos to you, and thank you. Most of those with whom I shared these jokes in real life were laughing quite a bit.
I hope to continue posting material for my blog, and I know I haven’t been posting as frequently as I ought to, but I’ve just been busy forming communal bonds with people in real life. But I do appreciate each one of you that reads my work!
My Baclofen hasn’t kicked in yet and I realize it is getting near 3:00 AM in my part of the world as I write this, so I need to take other medications as well. Actually, it is now closer to 4:00 AM after editing and fine-tuning my grammar. Likely it will be near 5:00 AM by the time I post this piece!
I think, though, I have gotten my point across nicely and I sincerely hope that you, the reader, have been informed as well as entertained.
May God richly bless you!
Back to “Personal Reflections”