Bob doesn't care

Bob Wakeham
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There's a great line that most movie buffs remember fondly from "The Fugitive" largely because of its unambiguous embrace of total and absolute honesty, and its utter disdain for situational and phoney niceness.

Deputy Marshall Samuel Gerard (Tommy Lee Jones) has cornered accused wife killer Richard Kimble (Harrison Ford) after a chase through a series of watery tunnels. The fugitive stands inches and seconds away from what would undoubtedly amount to a fatal plunge over a gigantic waterfall.

Believing (as does the audience) that he might receive at least a twinge of understanding from the cop, given the futility and apparent finality of his situation, Kimble screams loudly over the sound of the falls: "I didn't kill my wife!"

But Gerard, ignoring the good doctor's plight and desperation, and in a drawly voice, responds in shockingly frank fashion, devoid of an ounce of sympathy: "I don't care."

Kimble then does a swan dive over the falls, and, well, movie fans know the rest.

So here comes the quantum leap (even bigger than the leap of Dr. Kimble): it was this glorious summer that prompted me to think of that line from "The Fugitive," believe it or not (stick with me, now). This nearly-unprecedented dose of magnificent sunshine has lowered my tolerance for those who have tried to rain, so to speak, on just the grandest few months of weather I can recall in recent times (complete with a spring, for nature's sake). Day after day after day of 20-degree-plus temperatures, a hot sun, with cut-off jeans and tee shirt the only required clothing.

But, uh-oh, we're told that lawns in St. John's are in desperate need of some rainfall.

Well, guess what?

I don't care.

The farmers need water for their crops.

I know. I know. It's motherhood. We're supposed to feel for the farmers. And it'll cost us in the long run in the grocery stores.

Guess what?

I don't care.

There's a polar bear up north somewhere (maybe sipping on a Coca-Cola in one of those sappy commercials that used to run constantly before movies at the Avalon Mall) who seems to have run out of ice.

Our hearts are supposed to go out to him. Most normal hearts probably do beat for the poor old bear.

Guess what?

I don't care.

This unusual "heat" wave is part and parcel, some say, of global warming, an environmental disaster that's upon us.

Yes, for sure, it makes sense to worry about future generations. And nice people do.

But guess what I'm thinking as I bask in the sun like a beached whale next to the pool (our family's little plunge into decadence), taking in the magnificent and un-foggy view of Flatrock?

I don't care.

Health officials tell us too much sun is not good for the body. Keep an eye peeled, in a manner of speaking, on that UV index.

Guess what?

I don't care.

Salmon rivers have been closed because of low water levels; the anglers are going through cast withdrawal, joining 12-step groups to commiserate with each other about the lack of fishing time.

Guess what?

I don't care. (Anyway, I've already caught more than my quota of trout).

Okay, I know. This is sounding stupid, inane, immature and selfish.

Guess what?

I don't care.

We deserve this summer. We've earned it.

(P.S. - As I get set to send this piece of cynicism to Mr. Editor, we've had a couple of days of rain and cool temperature: penance for me from the weather gods for my environmental apathy).

Bob Wakeham has spent more than 30 years as a journalist in Newfoundland and Labrador. He can be reached by email at


Organizations: Coca-Cola

Geographic location: St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador

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Recent comments

  • Abishta Wakeham
    August 27, 2012 - 10:12

    I Don't Care!

  • Joseph McGrath
    August 06, 2012 - 15:44

    Another keeper Bob.It has been a great summer indeed.For this Saturday tely column could we get your views on the unsolved murder of the seagull by St.Patriick"s Catholic Church and its members.They saw the seagull only looking up but maybe you could give us a view from the bird"viewpoint looking down.Who dun it Bob????

  • Right back at ya
    August 05, 2012 - 11:59

    And we don't care about Bob and his usual rambling.

  • Cy N. Inkpen
    August 05, 2012 - 10:19

    My sentiments exactly Bob. Don't know how old you are but probably, like me past your best-before date. Unlike you maybe - I don't have kids to worry about. After 40 years of slogging in the trenches, I figure I earned the right to look out for number one for the few years I've got left. Of course global warming is upon us, but 'tis an ill wind that blows no good. I'll take the shorter winters and warmer summers. By the time this becomes a full blown, irreversible nightmare, I'll be just another drop of oil in the making. Global warming is just one example of the way our world is completely screwed up. Politicians, bankers and corporate execs who wouldn't know how to change a light bulb having been running the world. They couldn't be farmers in a million years but they are adept at skimming the cream off the top and leaving the slop for the poor slobs like you and I. I remember working feverishly on an election committee years ago to get rid of Joe Smallwood because I was convinced he was the only thing stopping the little guy in this province getting a fair shake. How naive! It didn't take long to realize that all politicians are self-serving, pathologically lying, scum bags. I've never worked on a political campaign since and, in fact, the election of Danny as premier was the first time I had voted in twenty years. Stupid me. Nothing changed and I haven't voted since. I've watched this Muskrat thing putrefy until the stench is almost unbearable. I know its going to be the worse boondoggle this province has seen since Churchill Falls. Thirty years from now, they'll be asking (like we did) how their parents and grandparents could be so stupid. But - you know what - I don't care. I'll be long gone. As far as I'm concerned, this world is going to hell in a hand basket and there's not one thing ordinary people can do about it. I figured out long ago that if you want to - like the Trekkies say - 'live long and prosper', you have to join 'em, not fight 'em. No - I'm with you Bob, I absolutely don't care anymore.

  • Winston Adams
    August 04, 2012 - 12:30

    Bob, I share some of your joy for this fine weather. You say we deserbe it. Yes, when considering last year we had a record bad summer, this tends to average things out. But last year, and now this year is extreme,bad for farming both years. Part of global warming is the higher rate of extreme weather. And not everything gets warmer; all the ice melt up north has given us 3 decades of unusual cold water around our shores, Being on land you don't notice that much, but the cod ,caplin, crab and schrip take notice. And when you see those heavy fogs off of Flatrock on a warm day, there a very good chance the cold Labrador current is having dominance over the Gulf Stream. You say we deserve this weather. Yes I guess we do. First recoginize that it is extreme. Then that we all contribute to extreme weather by our addiction to fosil fuels, the big vehicles we drive, the air travel, and consumer habits. We contribute more per person than those in China or India. So, certainly, we do deserve extreme weather. And this present event is joyful here. But I wonder how soon before the next extreme event ? And this tempers my joy some. I realize we deserve what we get. Others areas sometimes seems to get worse than they deserve. Imagine worse than last summer here? I beleive it turned warm aug 13. Unlike you, I'll take the fine weather for now, but I do care. It's just extreme and unnatural . Maybe the fish are more in tune with nature than we humans. Our ancestors came here 500 years ago and were keen to the ways and need of the fish and the environment here. Our oil based culture and economy has little concern for either. With more extreme weather, what will 500 years, or even 50 years into the future be like for our children and grandchildren? Didn't mean to spoil your day. But maybe you might just whisper "I don"t care"