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My woodpecker story

I remember an improvised comment my brother made when he was in his first year college at 18. He was sitting in class listening to his professor, when a woodpecker began pecking frantically on a tree just outside the classroom window.

The knocking was distracting the professor. My brother quipped to the class, “I told him nobody was home.” (Big laughs from the class. My brother is far cleverer than I am, or just about anybody I know.)

Anyway, what’s happening now to me when I turn on my email constantly reminds me of my brother’s wit.  I’m pounded with notices, requests, ads, petitions, polls, health offers, environment warnings, investment offers, travel deals, protect  our kelp forests—and all of this requiring me “to answer the door” in one way or another.  I do a lot of browsing and I pick up every imaginable appeal on every imaginable subject. Something like the following:

1. Saving Democracy. Ed, we haven’t heard from you. Are you with us on this? We need you to sign our petition: “End large gatherings of politicians.”

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