Don’t Get Me Started

Don’t Get Me Started: July 2018

By Dennis Hinkamp

The heat is on.

Ned: How’s the cop business, Oscar?

Oscar: Real good. Always starts hopping in weather like this. When it gets this hot, people try to kill each other.

— Body Heat (1981)


Days and tempers are getting shorter in this month of fireworks madness. You are probably going to have a few of “those days,” so plan for it.

I always look forward to the appearance of the blue and white “BE KINDER THAN NECESSARY” billboard that pops up around the Valley and Brigham City area. Whomever the secret Santa is for this, please contact me and I will help go-fund it. Being kinder than necessary is just the kind of low bar we need to make this a memorable summer.

You don’t have to broker a denuclearization deal, rid the NFL of concussions or even find a quick way to kill bindweed. You can be kinder than necessary in small ways every day. You can be kind to other people, the environment or even yourself.

Let me get you started.

There’s a reason the phrase is “peace and quiet;” no quiet, no peace. I may have ranted about this before, but noise is the new secondhand smoke. We never liked secondhand smoke, but we sort of tolerated it because there wasn’t a lot of evidence that it was a health problem. Now we know better. We also know that hearing damage in early life does not heal itself. That ringing in your ears is from self-imposed damage from engine noise, power tools, rock music or screaming siblings.

All we need to change this is a few dozen angry Mothers Against Noise (MAN; ironic acronym) and every device would have a muffler on it tomorrow. We have the technology, just not the will.

So until we have to impose more noise ordinances, be considerate when mowing, edging, weed-whacking, Harley Davidsoning, droning, dirt biking, etc.

Share the roads. Nothing good will ever come from driving angry whether your anger is directed at slow Prius drivers, Arizona-plate summer citizens, bicyclists, sheep, runners, crows, turtles, potholes or whatever else is robbing you of those gone forever 30 seconds of your life. Just pull over to the side of the road and play with your phone like everyone already does in the parking lot now. I’m sure that Facebook wombat video will help calm you down. Email me for the link.

Consider shopping less frequently. I admit guilt to my love of shopping on Sunday because of the smaller crowds. I also see that this is selfish and unproductive. Some of my best consumer experiences in the Valley have been at businesses who give their employees at least Sunday off and let them go home at 6 pm. I know food services are different and I love Sunday brunch more than free beer, but maybe we could make Sunday the national, non-religiously affiliated cook-at-home day. I’m working on it.

There is a reason it’s called “the bitter end.” You don’t have to endure everything. It doesn’t always make you stronger. Know when to get off the stage. This is where you get to be kinder than necessary to yourself.

Dennis Hinkamp says, “I’m not negative, just observant.”

This article was originally published on June 30, 2018.