The headline for this post is a little misleading. Our government has not changed so much as our attitude toward our government. I am a senior citizen and for as long as I can remember the mailman always read Dagwood Bumstead’s mail – well, the postcards anyway. The mailman often had some snide remark about bills delivered through the mail. The mailman, a representative of our Federal Government, was spying on the Bumsteads. (I should note here that there has never been a terrorist attack on the Blonde comic strip so I think we can infer that the spying has worked). I don’t generally think of my government as an adversary – I prefer to think of the government as a partner. But one must be careful.
In my neighborhood we have a mail-person; did I say that correctly? She may have OCD, not a bad thing for a servant of the people. She parks her funny little truck around the corner on 29th Street and sort of spider-webbs out from there. Her rounds are like clockwork. She sometimes finds me sitting on my front porch – generally reading something she brought the day before. My dog, a seven pound Pekinese, lies under my chair. That dog will lick you to death if you give her an opportunity. The mail-person (am I supposed to imagine transgender here? I am not up on the latest politically correct terminology) offers her hand to the dog and they are fast friends.
That darn dog has a way of slipping through our fence. When she gets out of the yard she immediately begins tracking unseen danger – to people it appears she is just wandering around. People say to me, “Put her on a leash in the yard.” I say, “I am a human and eventually the dog will lose. I will eventually find all of her secret passages and she will forever be my prisoner.” Thank goodness for the United States Government. My doorbell rang last week and it was the transgender Federal Government mail person, carrying my dog. The dog had managed to travel about a block and a half and I did not even know she was gone. Unlike at Guantanamo Bay, I think my dog wanted to stay with the Federal Government (She does not watch FOX News so she is unaware of the danger).
I am no old fool (I have only been a full fledged fool for about a year). As soon as the transgender Federal Government mail person was off the porch I checked the dog’s paws for signs of ink – she may have been pawprinted while in Federal Custody. We left immediately for the veterinary clinic where she was scanned to be sure there were no tracking devices implanted under he skin. One can never be to cautious with our current Government.
I watched closely for the next week or so. I sat on the porch on purpose, with the dog under the chair, waiting for that suspicious ill-intended gov’ment agent. She extended her hand. The dog licked. I was unable to discern any mischief. Was my dog somehow a CI (That means Confidential Informant for those not up on the latest government intrusion methods)?
See here’s the thing. Government people act like the rest of us. They live in our neighborhoods; their children attend school with our children. Some of them, like multi-gender police, fire, and mail persons, wear uniforms. What is the purpose of the uniform? Are the uniforms mere distractions so we do not notice how our dogs have been converted to the dark side?
We live in a much more complex world that Dagwood Bumstead.