During my time in America, the beautiful balance of forces converging in my driveway each summer showed a Divine Hand guiding all things. Just as migratory birds appeared on schedule every spring, another strange and wonderful connection between God and His creatures also occurred every August, right in my own driveway.
In August, the US Congress took its annual summer recess, just as the maggots reappeared in my garbage can. It happened as certainly as political lawn signs in September. The year I noticed this, both events coincided with National Clown Week. It was three-for-one.
My garbage bin was a wheeled black plastic 30-gallon larvae incubator. It absorbed prodigious amounts of solar heat. With a full load of week-old garbage it became a fetid cesspool of a nursery, fit only for the lowly housefly and her offspring.
Judging from the wheely-bin’s productive output each summer, maggots do very well in a slightly anaerobic atmosphere at about 50 degrees Celsius. This positions them to do well in a post-global warming world.
On the steamy afternoon in question I made a plastic-sacked deposit, and was greeted by the usual stampede. Thousands were suddenly crawling eagerly toward the light faster than Congress members after a donor checkbook.
Maggots? No worries, nothing a hose can’t fix. It gave the birds a snack off the front yard.
The entire scene: garbage can, maggots, hose job… it brings the thought of Congress back time and again.
Those maggots were my annual reminder that Congress is most dangerous when it is loose outside the Beltway. August was the time to watch out. When the Members hang around the Capitol, we know where they are and what they are up to. After all, we elected ‘em to keep ‘em out of our way, didn’t we?
But when they descended on the home district, it meant those pesky telemarketers soon called, and town hall meetings invaded the summer quiet. It marked the return of trespassing political operatives who vandalized my lawn with signs in the middle of the night.
When the clowns from DC mixed with the general population, it was hard to feel happy and secure. But no matter what they perpetrated, even bone-headedness of Washingtonian proportions, I now recall it’s not possible to remain unhappy if you are surrounded by real clowns.
That’s the truth of it. There I was, washing out the bin that summer long ago, musing on the redundancy of “political stupidity,” when out of nowhere, a miniature fire engine motored by, covered with real clowns!
It looked like a wheeled orange Chia Pet.
The clowns were on their way to a nearby celebration. I waved joyfully. They stopped and gave me a balloon and candy.
I like real clowns. They momentarily make other clowns more bearable. And they give away suckers instead of taking me for one.
Now of course, we are in a post-global warming world, or so they say. The maggots have taken charge. Checks and balances appear to have been thrown out the window. We don’t have mob rule, rather, by the opinion-du-jour. The loudest voice wins.
Send in the clowns. There ought to be clowns.
Don’t you love farce?
My fault, I fear
I thought that you’d want what I want
Sorry, my dear
But where are the clowns?
Quick, send in the clowns
Don’t bothеr, they’re herе
From ‘Send in the Clowns’ © 1973 Stephen Sondheim
Image by Vincent M A Janssen via Pexels