TAHOE/TRUCKEE — Did anyone remember to celebrate the eighth anniversary of Grasshopper Soup? I forgot all about it. It was Monday, October 3rd. I lost track of the years long before Grasshopper Soup began. I had no idea I could last this long. Like most men, I guess I underestimated the great lengths to which my ego would go in order to assert itself.
Being given the opportunity to shoot my mouth off publicly for eight years has been one of the greatest honors of my life. Grasshopper Soup has taught me some valuable lessons, and I have made some regrettable mistakes. Sarcasm and satire do not always translate well into diplomacy and good intentions.
But I don’t regret my regrets because everyone was fairly warned by the first words Grasshopper Soup ever served up, which were:
Warning! This column contains free speech, partial profundity, frontal oddity, and graphic impudence. If you are easily offended, turn to the society page now!
Today’s belated anniversary column is dedicated to everyone who has ever read Grasshopper Soup, and who still reads it even though they can’t stand me. Thank you! I love you all. I have had the privilege of knowing some of you personally. I love you now as much as I ever did. We are two peas in a pod; creatures with natural limitations, trying to do our best. I always root for the underdog, and I see no reason to stop now.
I admit, it is not always easy to be modest about being a writer.
In the early years of Grasshopper Soup I created a fictitious political party to include everyone, called the Hispanglos Africasiandians, who, as it turns out, are for real. The name comes close to describing the entire political spectrum, locally and nationally. I called them Hissies for short, because the full name was such a tongue twister, mimicking the political chaos of our times. The all-inclusiveness was wishful thinking. They were sure to become as corrupt as any political party. I gave up on them all with the invasion of Iraq, which proved to me the government was motivated by revenge, not common sense.
Now we can include all the hopeless college grads and the under-educated masses emerging onto the political and public sanitation landscape in city parks and streets across the country, whose prospects for the future look as grim as their faces.
As I said over a year ago, the stimulus money should have been divided up among the people instead of going to bankers. Occupy Wall Street has said they will remain for as long as it takes, whatever “it” is. I hope a miracle occurs and they get everything they want, but I recommend camping, fishing and hunting over living outside on the street indefinitely in front of the New York Stock Exchange, especially with winter approaching. Hasn’t it been long enough already? Mankind has existed for what, a million and a half years now? Even if you only count the last two thousand years, that’s a long time to sit and sleep on concrete and asphalt waiting for a global utopia to appear.
And I would advise against marching on the homes of rich people. The protestors would benefit more by hiking the John Muir Trail and the Pacific Crest Trail for a year or two, 100% subsistence style. No food drops, no hiking out to the nearest Post Office to re-supply, and no cell phones. Just a light tent, sleeping bag, fishing gear, a bow and arrow, guns and ammo, some water jugs and some odds and ends. My brother and I wanted to hike from the Canadian border to the Mexican border on subsistence alone, but we weren’t sure we could kill enough game to keep us full. Whoever does it first will be my hero. They would also become famous, and rich, if they play it right.
If the Occupy Wall Street protestors can’t afford the gear for such an expedition, maybe George Soros would be happy to furnish them with the necessary supplies.
Bob Sweigert is a Sierra Sun columnist, published poet, former college instructor and ski instructor. He has a B.A. and an M.A.T. from Gonzaga University. He has lived at Lake Tahoe for 28 years.