The Road

BudLiteGood morning, y’all. Well, we were deluged by rains that apparently snuck up from behind on the Whiz O Meter. I’m guessing the rains were of the variety that can’t be seen by the monitors of the Whiz O Meter. You know, the monitors whose vantage point is buried deep within the bowels of the Channel 11 basement. The clouds must have been using that new fangled stealth technology that keeps things from showing up on radar.

I mean, not a mention of the possibility of rain, and we got a soaking. I think even the Union County early warning system gave us a call before the bad weather hit. Of course Union County’s situation is somewhat different than Channel 11’s. Union County’s operations are above ground, and they’re able to look out the window to see what the weather is doing. Seriously Channel 11, open a window, look outside and see what’s going on. Otherwise, pay some folks around the state to give you a call when the weather changes.

It makes one wonder if we get so wrapped up in what we think our technology is capable of doing, that we lose sight of the practical things that need to be done. Being a big fan of science fiction, I am always looking at the latest achievements with an eye for their future impact. I honestly don’t think Skynet could take place, but, I don’t discount the idea that something we invent for one purpose could go horribly wrong and produce an unintended consequence.

Something going horribly awry is the setting for a book I just finished, “The Road” by Cormac McCarthy. I love books like this, and I’ve heard the movie is just as good. I’m not sure I’ll be able to work it into the Date night schedule, but I may try. I’m not sure that the movie could capture the overwhelming despair of the book. Which, if it does, is not a good theme for a Date night. Maybe I’ll just cue it up for a “Home Alone” session.

Being alone is the central theme of “The Road”. A father and son are trying to survive in a postapocalyptic world. We don’t know if the world has been destroyed by a nuclear war, or an asteroid falling to Earth. We do know that the world is in a nuclear winter setting and that even the snow is gray. The world is a very cold place that no longer supports life of any kind. The survivors are left to their own devices for food, and most turn to cannibalism as a means of survival. The father and son have a gun to defend themselves with, or, to take their own lives if they are beset by cannibals. Oh, and to make matters worse, the Dad is dying from some sort of lung ailment he has developed. Now for the bad news….

The Dad is trying to get the son to the coast before he, the Dad, dies. It’s unclear how the son is supposed to survive better at the beach, but that’s the plan. The “road” is the path that father and son take to arrive at the sea. Along the way they have a few happy moments, but for the most part, it’s just one horror scene after another. One of the happy moments was when they found a farm house that had cans of food. For a little while, the pair are able to relax and enjoy a couple of days of “normalcy”, before setting off again for the sea.

Eventually they reach their objective, and the Dad dies after he achieves his goal of delivering his son to the beach. The son is collected by a family who promises they’re “good guys” and the book ends. When you finish the book you just want to drag a lawn chair into the sun and strip down to your shorts, sunblock be damned. The overwhelming imagery of an ashen sky permeated my thoughts for about a day and I marveled at the brilliance of Cormac McCarthy.

McCarthy is 83 now and was 73 when he wrote “The Road”. At the rate I’m going, I’ll be lucky to be able to write a rental receipt when I’m 73. I need to find out Cormac’s regimen. Clearly he’s got a handle on this aging thing.

“The Road”, it is one of the choices best taken.

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