Maxed out 

All the sense in the world

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“Better make it a Bloody Mary.”

“No, after that.”

“I’m buyin’?”

“Yeah. That. I’ve never heard you say that before.” It was a little like taking a mild but stunning blow to the head. J.J. offering to buy a drink? The guy who purloined my beverage whenever he came within reach. The guy I’d seen swipe beers off tables when their owners left them untended to make a pit stop. It was like hearing Stephen Harper say he and Peter McKay were secretly gay lovers.

“You look like you need a drink,” he countered. “In fact, you look like you either need a couple of drinks or you’ve already had a couple.”

Stumbling to the nearest patio, he ordered two Bloody Marys. “Make that one Bloody Mary and one black coffee,” I corrected.

“Coffee this early,” he mocked. “You are confused.”

“And you’re not,” I said. “How come? Usually it’s the other way around. You’re scattered and I’m the one who knows more or less what he’s doing. In fact, you seem eerily calm.”

“I am. Calm, that is.”

“How come? How can you be calm?”

“What’s not to be calm about?”

“Oh, let’s see. There’s the price of oil. It’s getting high enough even our American cousins have mostly stopped buying SUVs and pickups. We’ll have to wait until next winter to see if they’ve stopped driving six hours to come skiing. Of course, it’s also making food more expensive, fertilizer more scarce and influencing what farmers are growing. Hey, nothing like food riots in Haiti to foreshadow the kind of chaos that might grow around the world when hunger rubs up against desperation.”

“Why worry about things you can’t do anything about?”

“Worry is doing something! Unfortunately, it’s about all I can do. I can’t do anything about the world’s only superpower being led by an idiot who’s fiddling while the economy burns. Can’t do anything about three uninspiring presidential candidates, two of whom believe eliminating the gas tax is an energy policy and one of whom is being destroyed by a crackpot preacher. Can’t do anything about Canada’s government hitching its wagon to becoming the U.S.’s energy pimp by raping a willing Alberta instead of developing any sane alternative energy policy. Can’t do anything about the wars that are raging and the ones just waiting in the wings for a spark. Can’t do anything about the Olympics turning my own home into a tarted-up party girl. Worry’s about all that’s left. How come you’re not worried? Since when did you start channeling your inner Bobby McFerrin?”

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