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Cardella: Is It Me or Is It Hot?

Uncle Nunzi has his own ways to beat the heat. He insists that air conditioning bothers his “arthur–itis,” so he has to be creative. Uncle strategically places a large pitcher filled with ice in front of an air cooler. That little appliance must be at least 65 years old. It was built before Black met Decker. Uncle’s cool-off refreshment is homemade wine, to which he’s added slices of fresh peaches. The homemade wine and peaches live together, blissfully symbiotic, in an empty prune juice bottle in the refrigerator. Every hour or so, Uncle replenishes his glass — formerly a container once used about 20 years ago for Welch’s grape jelly.

For entertainment, Uncle watches old westerns — preferably GUNSMOKE or BONANZA. He placed “parental controls” on CNN, FOX NEWS and MSNBC, then threw away the password so he can’t access these cable news channels even by mistake. Has yet to hear more than a sound bite of a Trump speech. Thinks Dr. Anthony Fauci was once his foot doctor. Is convinced that he once dated Dr. Deborah Birx for a short while in 1976. And hasn’t left his apartment since Jan. 23 of this year for reasons unrelated to COVID-19.

Unlike many Italians living in the old neighborhood, Uncle is not enamored of Donald J. Trump, whom he calls only by the name “spaccone” — Italian for braggart. Clearly, Uncle Nunzio is a renaissance man. He is definitely not “undecided” when it comes to whether to re-elect Trump.

Frankly — I can’t figure out how anyone considers themself “undecided.” You say you’re undecided? Really? After three years of our every waking moment being filled with Donald Trump, you can’t make up your mind? I can understand if you’re at the KOHR BROTHERS soft custard stand, and you can’t make up your mind about whether to get the chocolate swirl or banana peanut butter cup. But undecided about Trump and Biden? That’s like you’re living in 1942, and you can’t make up your mind whether you like Churchill or Mussolini.

Maybe it’s the heat. Is it me or is it hot? And those pesky spotted Lantern bugs are all over the place. We’re supposed to do our civic duty by squashing the suckers underfoot. Is there a shortage of exterminators I haven’t heard about?

Someone please tell me what the hell is “Tik Tok?” Is there some kind of secret meaning in spelling it without the “C’s?” I hate this social media stuff. Is there no place for an anti-social person like me to hide? I checked Tik Tok out the other day. I found hundreds of short videos of teenagers posing provocatively. Expected the FBI to knock down my door. Shut down the site and went back to reading box scores of ball games.

According to what I’ve just read, Tik Tok is some kind of Chinese trap for interfering with our elections. I’m still trying to figure out how some cute Asian teenage girl wearing short shorts is affecting my vote — not that I watched for more than a couple of seconds, understand.

What is it with the Russians and the Chinese being so interested in our elections? Only about half the American voters give a rat’s ass about our elections. I say, if the Russians and Chinese want to affect who’s our next president more than we do, be my guest — stand in line at a social distance, wearing a mask — for six or seven hours in a voting line or try to figure out how the hell to get a mail-in ballot.

Trump keeps saying mail-in ballots are rigged. Here’s a guy who couldn’t wait in line for six minutes unless he was sitting his butt in a golf cart. He’s giving me direction? You lose the popular vote by 2 or 3 million and luck out in something called the Electoral College and you’re complaining about rigged elections? Somebody tell him that he’s not Al Gore?

I’ve got this crazy cousin. I’m not telling tales out of school because HE calls himself my crazy cousin. This cousin calls everybody who doesn’t agree with him a “snowflake.” Which, compared to him being all in for swilling hydroxychloroquine and refusing to wear a mask, makes me think being a “snowflake” ain’t so bad. But then this same cousin keeps telling me how my side is responsible for beating up his side, and I’m thinking we must be very aggressive snowflakes. You know when you start thinking that offering Americans better medical coverage makes Nancy Pelosi the helpmate to Satan, you’re flirting with Looney Tunes territory. But I’ll tell you what really makes me all Looney Tunes.

Marketing calls. I’d rather go back to the days when we shared a party line than to put up with Alex, who keeps apologizing for my PECO bill. I’ve accepted his apology. Can we move on? Or how about the gal who keeps telling me there’s something wrong with my vehicle registration when I can’t even drive a car? And then there’s the guy who sounds as if he’s the lead actor in A PASSAGE TO INDIA who keeps warning me that the FBI is going to confiscate everything I own (even my small Radio Shack transistor radio, on which I listen to Phillies games?).

Is it me or is it hot?

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