Poppy Talks: First World “Tragedies”

P oppy is struggling today (it’s mid December 2022 at the writing desk) to write serious satire because it is just too tempting to talk about Paul Whelan. Trying to wrap my head around the situation that left an American—a Marine who formerly served our country in Iraq and later as a police officer—sitting in a jail cell in Russia instead of a basketball player is just irony waiting to be put to paper and the satire practically writes itself.

But since that’s old news by the time you read this, Poppy will just reflect on the lighter side of other “things that are just not fair” for 2023. 

For instance, we all have first-world problems whether we realize it or not. Sure, no one cares about them, and no one should, but I bet you have at least one thing in your own life that qualifies. It may not be a big problem and it certainly doesn’t change the world, but it’s your problem so you’re allowed to let it bother you. Poppy doesn’t judge. 

Seriously, there’s a reason I don’t tell people my back hurts because I have spent weeks skimming thousands of leaves and acorns out of my pool, which we chose to build under an oak tree for the shade and so we didn’t have to walk too far from the porch to get in it. Seriously (again), I’m not even humble bragging; I’m actually just trying to see myself as a jerk before I forget and say things like that out loud. So I suppose writing them down for readers is not too bright either. Did I just do it again by reasoning that lots of people read my column? Eh, Poppy is all about life lessons and it is the month of resolutions, right? 

Maybe it’s not just me. How many times have you gotten angry about being blocked on Netflix because there are too many devices online in your home? This is about the same as “I wish my charger was long enough so I could stream movies in bed.” 

Overheard: “My storage unit company [implied: because I have so much stuff I have to rent a piece of a building to hold it all] is raising its rates this year.”  Note, readers, we’ve just confirmed, “My garage has so much junk, I can’t park my car in it,” is a qualified substitute, and the judges will also accept, “My house is so big I don’t get good wi-fi in some of the rooms.”  

But even Poppy has her limits. This is probably on the list for some but you will likely never hear me say, “This all-inclusive resort/cruise/Disneyworld wristband is too tight to wear 24 hours a day to eat and get services without payment.” Full disclosure, I have, on occasion, complained that my flight to some lovely vacation destination was too early in the morning. 

Did you know there is a $55 soap dispenser that is Alexa-enabled? Have I become so incredibly attention-deficited that I can’t wash my hands without entertainment? Still, I would probably pay for an audible alert that tells me when the water coming out of our old pipes is finally warm. I don’t enjoy wasting ten minutes and ten gallons of water to avoid hypothermia in the shower. 

In contrast to the old pipes, it’s also annoying that my smart refrigerator sends me emails when it thinks I’ve opened the door too many times this month. Thanks, but I already have a human mom to tell me when I’m getting fat and I can only wish I could upgrade her software. 

Meanwhile, I’m going to find out how I can mail a care package to Paul Whelan. He may not get it, but how fun would it be if he suddenly got dozens of boxes and we all got to read about our first-world disposable income annoying a bunch of Russian politicians?