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When The Dog Won’t Hunt

Good News and Good People is a column by Local Pulse Lifestyle Editor Dana Hof.

Have you seen the Internet?


Well, let me sum it up. We don’t know what we’re doing. It’s true. 

We’ve been boarding planes from the front to the back since air travel began. If that doesn’t tell you about the conundrum of the human experience, nothing will. How long and how much do we do something that doesn’t make sense and yet we keep doing it?

We can ask a man to play the violin during his own neurosurgery, but it took until just now for an airline to come up with the brilliant idea that seating window seat passengers in economy FIRST would speed up the process. 

Ya don’t say.

Half of America thinks Taylor Swift is a wide receiver now and Britney has written a memoir. Maybe I should audition for the Dallas Cowboys cheerleaders while the circus is in town.

And then I read that Robert DeNiro had a baby. He’s 80. This isn’t about agism…it’s about insanity. I’m 46 and many days parenting feels like falling from the top branch of an apple tree, making certain to fall head first into each branch while knocking all the apples off the tree. I can’t imagine in 40 more years I could rodeo the goat show that is youth sports, much less lose 180 hours more sleep per week than I already do.

“I’m fine. It’s fine. Everything is fine,” I mumble to myself and no one else in particular.

Then Jimmy Conway (er DeNiro) had to make a proclamation that he has very little to do with taking care of the baby.

Ya don’t say.

Let me tell you, this parenting business isn’t for the faint of heart. The admissions requirements for colleges would leave most of us at the Spicoli School of Tasty Waves if we applied now with the scores we had back then.

For us GenXers and older who attended college, it went like this, “I’m gonna go there.” And then you filled out the application with a pen or a typewriter. And then you went there. Same with trades – you decided, then worked your tail end off building a business with your bare hands. We didn’t spend thousands of dollars on travel sports or academic tutoring so we could save the same thousands of dollars on tuition. 

And no one had to end world peace, cure a disease, or start a non-profit by 17. And look at us, we gave you Guns N Roses and The Smiths. So. You’re welcome. 

And thank the Dog Star we didn’t have the never-ending pressure from social media and a whole litany of other things we don’t have the time to unpack. National health organizations will tell you that mental health illnesses for these kids are on the rise.

Ya don’t say.

To round it out, Meta has created a Kendall Jenner AI chatbot, Jada and Will – lawsy mercy, the mayor of NYC is sending robocalls in Mandarin that he does not speak, and Washington is full of irreconcilable differences. 

All of it makes a dumpster fire look like sparks from a flint striker. So, no, things aren’t perfect around the world and they’re not perfect here. We have problems and most of ‘em aren’t small. Maybe all this drama is to distract us from the deep wounds and suffering we don’t have the first clue on how to fix or heal. 

Truth be told, we got a whole lotta of dogs that just won’t hunt. 

The state of affairs can be overwhelming. Debilitating, actually. There’s a bunch of stuff that’ll just have to wait for the pendulum of time to swing in a different direction. But in the meantime, there is something we can do about it. We can apply some basic rules that have withstood the test of time and a burning Rome. 

If you don’t have anything nice to say, stuff your face with chocolate cake and take a seat. 

If something’s broken and it ain’t your hands, fix it.

A little step in the right direction is forward movement, so pick the right direction and get to steppin’.

If you wake up breathing, unwrap the gift. 

The old-timers know what comes next…Ya don’t say.

Go get some of that good salt air and love your people, Pensacola.

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Dana is an Arkansas native and a seasonal resident of the Gulf Coast since childhood. She was a Pensacola resident for 13 years, before moving to Gulf Breeze. Dana attributes her Mayberry-esque childhood in Warren, Arkansas, as enormously influential in honing her definitely Southern style of storytelling. She earned a degree in Journalism, Advertising/Public Relations from the University of Arkansas (Woo Pig Sooie!). In addition to writing, she loves photography, art, adventures in the great outdoors, and spending time with her three children.