Ben Stein's Diary

A Perfect Day

Sandpoint can do that to you.

By 8.9.10

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Thursday–August 5, 2010
Up and hard at listening to Mozart while looking at the lake. It was a windy morning and immense lake waves blew one upon another. The American flag at the marina was stretched taut.

I got up eventually and my wife made me bacon, an egg, English muffins (what on earth does Thomas's put in them that makes them so good ?), Tazo Refresh herbal tea, possibly the single best food on the planet, and orange juice. I ate and went back to bed to listen to more Mozart. The Requiem, over and over again. Then shaving, listening to that brilliant Bolshevik, Jackson Browne, singing one of my favorite songs, "The Boulevard," about prostitutes on Hollywood Boulevard in the 1970s. I was there then and I don't recall ever seeing one but my memory may be faulty. I do love Jackson Browne a lot.

Down on the Boulevard,
They take it hard.
They look at life with such disregard.
They say it can't be won,
The way the game is run,
But if you choose to stay,
You wind up playing anyway....

Then out the door to UPS to buy envelopes, then to the local bookstore, Vanderford's, to buy the Wall Street Journal, and note cards. Then off to Sandpoint Super Drug to buy baby powder for my wife and Neosporin for me. Then to a little latte cottage to buy more Tazo tea, then to the next door Safeway to buy Fiji water.

As I browsed, I saw a staggeringly shapely and comely young woman. It was my pal Angie, who works at the Edgewater Hotel as a desk clerk. We talked for a few minutes. Wow, is she good looking or what! Then, out to put the water in the trunk.

A stunning young, tall, blond girl was loading empty boxes into her truck. "Are you packing for college?" I asked her.

"Yep," she said.

"Where?"

"N.I.C." she said, which is Northern Idaho College, a community college in Coeur d'Alene, about fifty miles south of here. I wished her well and went over to buy my wife a fountain diet Coke at the Shell station. They sell a variety of lottery tickets there. Many years ago, my handsome son and I would trek there in the snows to buy him lottery tickets. He would throw snowballs at me as we walked. Golden days. That gas station was his casino. Autres temps, autres moeurs

Then back to my black Caddy for a trip to Home Depot to buy an in room air-conditioner. They did not have the sort I wanted so I bought two fans. Everyone there was super-friendly.

Thence a few hundred feet to The Wireless Works to pay my Verizon bill. As I walked through the door, I beheld a young woman of superhuman beauty sitting at the desk.

"Wow," I said to her. "You are beautiful."

"Don't you remember me?" she asked. "I know you."

"I don't, I am afraid," I said. "How do I know you?"

"You know my sister, Dalayna."

Yes, yes, yes. The sister, also a beauty, used to be cashier at a gas station in Priest River where I often stopped to buy popcorn and gasoline. She introduced me to this young woman as the woman was heading off to college to study math. Now, I have not seen Dalayna in forever and here is her sister, the staggeringly beautiful Kellie, helping me pay my immense but well worthwhile Verizon bill. She has her degree in math.

This woman, this Kellie, is a stone knockout. She worked hard to get my bill paid and I told her, truthfully, I hope, that she is more beautiful than any movie star now working. Frankly, I know a lot of women more beautiful than any movie star now working, but Kellie is at the top of the hill.

I took some photos of her with my great Verizon phone, and then off to City Beach where the refreshment stand sells fine popcorn. Several teenagers wanted to know what kind of engine was in my Caddy and we talked about that for a while. There was not a cloud in the sky. The beach had no litter and no one scary. People look normal here, as opposed to the exotic species we have in Beverly Hills and Malibu.

Then back to our condo where my wifey was, as per usual, reading her mystery du jour.

Out to the Marina dock to meet our first mate, Tim, and zoom over on my mighty Cobalt 263 to Bottle Bay for dinner. It was mobbed but we got our usual fine table overlooking the boats.

Wooden ships on the water,
Very free.
Easy the way it's supposed to be. 

Jefferson Airplane? Or Crosby, Stills and Nash? I am not sure.

Bottle Bay has zero crazy-looking people. Almost everyone knows everyone. They all greet me by name. Great boats come in and out. The food is superb. Spare ribs. Salad. French fries. Brownie. Ice cream. Fudge sauce.

Overhead, an osprey flew patrol looking for fish, gliding lazily while its super-human vision looked for dinner. It found something, then came back for more. Smoke from forest fires in Canada created a fine mist on the Seven Sisters mountains fifty miles away.

Tell the people on the shoreline
We must be
Very free and easy.

We paid the bill and got back on the Cobalt and headed onto the lake. The sun was setting over the Selkirks. Alex was sitting next to me. As we neared the Marina, three magnificent Canadian honkers glided by high above us.

I actually parked the boat without crashing it, always a thrill. On the dock, two young girls were doing cartwheels flawlessly, flawlessly as their parents watched.

Tim and I buttoned the cover on the boat and I walked along the dock. How did I get to be so blessed? What miracle of God's providence allows me to live this way? No one on this earth has ever lived better than this. My ancestors anywhere could not imagine life like this. (Well, my parents did live a tiny bit like this, to be honest...Maybe my aphorist sister, too....) No one on earth can have a better life than this. This is the America we pledge allegiance to and I get to be here and not at Treblinka or at the Lyubyanka. But who makes it all possible? Who are God's angels? The men and women in uniform. The soldiers. The sailors. The Marines. The Air Force. The National Guard. The Reserves. The police. The firefighters. The prison guards. The people who protect us. Above all, their families.

They are in my prayers day and night.

I lay in bed and listened to Mozart while my wife read. Then I got up and wrote this and now I am going to get on my knees and thank God for this perfect day.

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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.