Breaking Down

Prairie Grasses in Late Summer

Prairie Grasses in Late Summer

LAKE MACBRIDE— My resistance to shopping broke down yesterday. I stopped at a national chain drug store and bought a packet of razor blades and two cans of shaving cream. I was almost out. By the way, when did razor blades move to $2.29 each? Rhetorical question.

In a life without television it can be quiet in the house. After returning from a two-hour shift at the warehouse, I crashed and slept for four hours.

While preparing dinner, I turned on the radio to Garrison Keillor’s A Prairie Home Companion, as I have been wont to do since I learned about the program in the late 1970s.

In 2011, there was a clamor about the underwriter Allianz, a German financial services company, and their underwriting of A Prairie Home Companion. They are said to have collaborated with the National Socialist German Worker’s Party,  and Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Florida) introduced legislation that would allow Holocaust survivors to sue Allianz.

“(Ros-Lehtinen) has launched a letter-writing campaign aimed at blocking the insurer from advertising with any U.S. media until it pays off all Holocaust survivors’ life insurance claims. During World War II, Allianz insured concentration camp facilities and sent money to the Nazis instead of rightful Jewish beneficiaries,” according to the congresswoman’s website.

“Allianz is no ordinary insurance conglomerate,” Ros-Lehtinen wrote. “This company was involved in one of the greatest atrocities in recent history and has gone to great lengths to dodge acceptance of responsibility for its actions.”

And I thought Allianz was bad underwriting for A Prairie Home Companion because of their financing of nuclear weapons.

Last night they were promoting Martinelli’s Gold Medal Sparkling Apple Cider, a product I sold at the warehouse last Tuesday. It is that weird blend of familiarity, and the unspoken meaning of underwriters that garners my attention as I listen to the radio program. If I had left the house quiet, I wouldn’t have been thinking about that—not at all. A Prairie Home Companion could pull the plug on Allianz, and should. I listen, as old habits can be comforting even if they aren’t the best for us.

What else is there to do while preparing dinner in the kitchen?

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