The story of Frank, who dislikes gov’t

Published 9:40 am Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Last January on a cold Tuesday morning Frank, a retired USDA meat inspector, went to his mailbox, picked up his Social Security check jumped in his truck and headed to town. The roads were icy but thankfully the Minnesota Department of Transportation had been out salting earlier that morning.

His trip to town is 10 minutes shorter now thanks to the new bridge that was finished last fall. Frank passes by the public access to the lake; he thinks to himself that he might drive out and do some ice fishing later on. As Frank pulls into town and waits at the stoplight he waves to his granddaughter, Stacy, who is on her way to school. Stacy did a great job in the school play, was on the honor roll last quarter, and has a swim meet this weekend. Frank thinks to himself that he will have to miss the swim meet Saturday because he is planning to visit his brother at the vet’s hospital. Instead he plans to take Stacy to either the zoo or the museum Sunday. He will let her decide.

As Frank pulls into the library to read the morning paper he waves to Tom, the police chief. He remembers way back when Tom came home from the Army with a Purple Heart. Tom went to college on the G.I. Bill and has been a police officer since. Frank leaves the library and walks down the sidewalk to the senior center. As he walks by the fire department, he is reminded of the close call he had last year. The state park next to his house caught fire. Thankfully the fire department got there fast. The Department of Natural Resources was in the paper later that year explaining how they had plans to restore the pheasant population that was destroyed during the fire.

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On the way home Frank stops by the pharmacy to pick up his prescription. Frank doesn’t even think about how much his pills would cost if it were not for his Medicare. After stopping by the bank, Frank heads home. He drives by the courthouse where his wife works. She told him yesterday about how the judge locked up a couple of out-of-towners who were caught trying to pass off some bogus $20 bills.

Frank finally pulls in his driveway, goes inside, turns on his TV and plops down on the couch to catch up on some news. Michelle Bachmann, Sarah Palin and Glenn Beck are discussing how the “government is the enemy” and that we need to “take back our country.” Frank mutters to himself: “Stinkin’ guberment. Who needs it?”

Al Helgerson

Albert Lea