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Remembering Walter Wakelin      Phydeaux Speaks!

Phydeaux Speaks
December 1999

In my first article for this fine publication, I talked about the upcoming New Year celebrations. I tried to make the point that all this Millennial crap is just that. It's only an important date because we are making it so. Any problems that pop up with the date rollover will be entirely of our own making. I guess what I left unsaid was the fact that sun will still rise (in the East, no less) on Saturday, 1 January 2000. There will still be food in the grocery stores and you'll still be able to pump gasoline into your guzzling and noxious SUV and drive the two blocks to the grocery store to buy a quart of milk. When I said you should be prepared for glitches, I wasn't envisioning Armageddon.

So why is it that you humans are so totally freaked out by this upcoming event? Practically every one I know is going through some Big Crisis right now. Drastic changes in love life, quitting jobs, moving to distant places, everyone seems in upheaval. You people seem to be acting on your basest instincts, and there seems to be no room left for others -- only thoughts based on self are being acted upon.

People who have always had a kind word, a pat on the head or a doggie biscuit for me now walk right past me on the street with their heads down, as if they were walking into the teeth of the most vicious blizzard ever. Look up, folks! The sky is absolutely clear and a brilliant blue. There is a gentle breeze blowing and flowers are blooming. So be prepared, but don't be freaked out. Don't be the one to start a stampede.

My friends have lately been concerned about the fact that I have, myself, been depressed. But let me tell you a secret about being depressed and wallowing in it. If you embrace your sadness and really get down and feel sad, then you get over it and you feel wonderful. Depression and sadness are just as valid as happiness, and should be just as fully experienced. I promise you that you will be a more fully rounded individual if you grab hold of every emotion as if it were the only one. One thing though, if you are in therapy or feel you need to be, listen to your therapist and not me. If my thoughts interest you, talk with your therapist about them. That's what they are there for. Hell, I'm just an old Labrador anyway.

On to more important things. I have picked my running mate for the 2000 Presidential Election. In a blatant effort to erase any species gap, I hereby name Miss Phee Lign as my co-candidate. This move is guaranteed to get me the votes of all you hard-working cats out there. Phee brings with her a long history of oratory to rival the biggest blowhards in Congress. I'm sure you've heard her at some time, expounding in an alleyway late at night. As we are still formulating her beliefs, it will have to wait until next time for you to hear directly from her. I can tell you at this time, however, that we are both in favor of food, clothing and shelter for everyone, regardless of their tax bracket. Once elected, Phee will provide an invaluable ally in the Congressional cat-fights sure to ensue when we implement our sweeping socioeconomic changes. More on that in the future. For now, keep in mind our campaign slogan: "Choice 2000 -- Phy/Phee or Ho/Hum?" I smell the blood already...

Since I won't be talking to you again until February, let me close with these thoughts... As you move through December and into January, take a little time each day to notice something that Nature has to offer you. Even in the middle of downtown Asheville you can see some of the wonder She has to offer us all. Take a walk on a briskly cold afternoon. Instead of encasing yourself in an artificially-created tropical zone, go outside (just for a few minutes) and take a deep breath or two -- but make sure the pollution levels aren't toxically high when you do. Unless you grew up in a sub-tropical zone, a deep breath on a cold day should remind you of your childhood. "The air tasted just like this when I used to go sledding." Revel in this memory. Now look around you. Do you see anyone else with a faraway look in their eyes and a slight smile? They are doing the same thing you just were. You don't know this person and you may not like the way he is dressed, but the two of you have just shared an experience. If you do this as often as possible, the barriers between you and others will come down and we will be closer to that great Christian saying -- Peace on Earth, Goodwill to Men.

Please don't forget this after the Holidays.

See ya.

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