Ben Stein's Diary

Getaways

Is Obama a commie or a socialist? This and other musings from an ocean locale.

By From the May 2012 issue

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I felt terrible last night, but I also felt like a change. So I had my messengerette, Helen, drive me down to the desert. It was a stressful experience. She is not a great driver, and she veers madly from lane to lane. Plus, her car is too small. I hate this feeling of vulnerability. But we have to get used to it. Soon, the government has ruled, we will all have to have cars that get 56 miles per gallon. How will they do that? Won't the cars have to be terribly light? Won't that put the drivers and passengers of those cars at risk?

I very much agree with the goal of reducing air pollution, and I do not want global warming from cars if that's where it comes from. But I also do not want anyone I love getting killed in a car crash.

I think I am giving the wrong impression here, though. I read this and I see that I complain too much. I actually like my life a lot. I got here last night, watched and listened to a panel talking about the Supreme Court argument on Obamacare, then watched The Untouchables, then swam in the moonlight.

This morning, I awakened and swam. A man with a tractor/lawn mower was mowing the golf course and a hummingbird was flying a few feet from where I swam. Hummingbirds are the only birds that can fly backward. My Julie Good Girl was lying nearby looking at me. Overhead, big jet liners glided onto the landing path for Palm Springs International Airport. Much higher up, there were half a dozen contrails from high-flying jets framing the azure sky above the Santa Rosa Mountains. Bougainvillea bloomed at one end of the pool and the scent of grapefruit trees was everywhere. Like perfume, only better.

My endless thought is, "How long can this keep going on?"

I must stop thinking like that. Instead, I will concentrate on gratitude for every instant and every person and every dog in my life. And for this blessed America, the sum of man's desires.

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About the Author

Ben Stein is a writer, actor, economist, and lawyer living in Beverly Hills and Malibu. He writes "Ben Stein's Diary" for every issue of The American Spectator.