“Did you hear what that kid from South Bend said, Timmons?”
It was quiet one minute and I was wondering if Depends really work the next.
A typical Saturday morning in the office. Things are quiet. I was listening to the Miles Davis & John Coltrane Live in Stockholm 1960 album. Truth to tell, with that kind of background, I was getting a ton of work done.
Enter John Hammer from out of nowhere.
One minute the sweet sounds from Coltraine’s sax are filling the air and the next . . . cardiac arrhythmia.
Double sigh.
“G’morning, John. I don’t get it. Pete Buttigieg is out of the race.”
“Timmons, I swear, if you media types were any dumber dunce caps would have ‘Press’ stenciled on the side. It’s not about him running, it’s about the whole line of crap that Democrats feed us and expect us to swallow hook, line and sinker.”
John Hammer is a red, white and blue American who doesn’t suffer fools well. He has worked hard all his life and has the red neck and calloused hands to prove it. About the only thing shorter than his hair is his patience – especially when it comes to what he perceives as people screwing up the land he loves.
“But if it’s not about him running, why do you care what he said, John?”
“You know what, Timmons? That’s about the first intelligent question you’ve asked,” he said – making me glad that I know he actually likes me . . . I think. “It matters because of how ridiculous this whole process has become. What he said is that he’s backing Biden because we need a leader who can heal this broken divide we have across the country.”
He didn’t say anything else.
Awkward silence.
“Uh, OK, John. So why is that a problem?”
“HAVE YOU LOST YOUR MIND, TIMMONS?” he screamed. “We wouldn’t have a broken country if it wasn’t for the Democrats. They have been working since before Trump took the oath of office to get rid of him. From Pelosi and Schiff and Nadler and Schumer and AOC and the squad and every damn Democratic debate, all we hear is hate speech about Trump. Trump this and Trump that. Hell, ain’t one of them told us what they’ll do. All they talk about is getting rid of Trump.”
“Wait, John, that’s not fair. “Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders have indeed said what they plan-”
“Oh sure, Timmons!” he snapped. “You’re right. They want to become the biggest socialist presidents since FDR.” Hammer gave me a look and I felt a lot like I did when Sister Rose Ann called on me in third grade and I not only didn’t know the answer, I didn’t even know what subject we were on.
“The point is that we’ve always argued politics, but these people have taken it to a whole new level. They have politicized, or weaponized, or whatever you call it . . . not just impeachment, but healthcare, immigration and even how we’re working on this coronavirus thing.
“Timmons, they aren’t helping the country, they are helping themselves. They aren’t giving us answers, they are giving us hate.
“What the hell happened to the idea that if you didn’t like the person in office do something about it at the next election?” he grumbled. “Whatever happened to that, huh?”
“Well, John, I think-”
“I’ll tell you what happened to it, Timmons. The Internet and today’s world is what happened to it. No one, and I mean no one, has any patience anymore. Look around when you’re at a stoplight. People aren’t just sitting. They’re checking their phone, they’re tapping the wheel like they can’t wait to go, like this stoplight is the biggest inconvenience in the world to them. We’ve become a people who not only can’t wait for anything, but everything has to be our way.”
Hammer paused, like Hammer does. He was as frustrated as I’ve ever seen him.
“Timmons, these guys talking about healing are like a plumber who comes into your house, screws up your pipes and then tells you that you have a problem to fix. I get it that the Democrats hate Trump. Hell, I wasn’t too fond of Obama. But we have to quit attacking everything. It’s getting us nowhere. Nah, that’s not right. It’s taking us somewhere. Somewhere down a deep, dark path. I don’t know that any of us are going to like where it ends up.”
Coltrane and Davis were done. Nina Simone had just started rasping out the lyrics to Sinnerman. Hammer walked away.

Two cents, which is about how much Timmons said his columns are worth, appears periodically on Wednesdays in The Paper. Timmons is the publisher of The Paper and can be contacted at ttimmons@thepaper24-7.com.