David Broder's Beaver Island Exile

OK, so maybe we've been a little hard on the WaPo Style section's handling of the wondrous sensorium that is summer. After all, we very nearly missed David Broder's dispatch on the security fence surrounding his own summer getaway, which we are so very happy to report is named Beaver Island. (What, the guy couldn't find it on Pay Per View?) Yet--wouldn't you know it--the island's hifalutin security measures proved unequal to a crisis that befell Broder and his 500 or so other cabin retreaters hoping to cross a channel from Lake Michigan via a drawbridge on the fritz:


An electrical surge in the municipal power plant had knocked out switches in the bridge controls, and no one knew how to repair them -- until a Highway Department technician could drive up from Lansing. That meant that the 8:30 trip from Charlevoix didn't leave until 1:15 in the afternoon.

On most Sundays this would have bothered only a few passengers and those waiting for the Sunday papers to arrive on the island. But this was the Sunday of Homecoming Weekend, the busiest day of the summer. On Sunday afternoon and early evening, all the visitors and island folks throng to the Holy Cross Parish Hall for a charity dinner -- a half-chicken, roasted on an outdoor grill; mounds of mashed potatoes and gravy; sweet corn; cole slaw; home-baked biscuits and pies; coffee and cold drinks, $10 for adults, $5 for children.

The Dean of the DC Press Corps actually drones further on--though unconscionably, he refrains from itemizing the cold drinks menu!--before rumbling into the moral of the tale:

Now, I ask you, is it just a coincidence that things went haywire around the time the fence went up, or is there a message for those homeland security bureaucrats in Washington?

Well, since you ask, Mr. Dean, Sir: It's pretty much a coincidence. Yepper. But nice job of hitting your wordcount--and of demonstrating that a columnist doesn't have to be exiled to Crawford to plunge readers into teeth-gnashing banality.

Homeland Security on Beaver Island [WaPo]

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