Funny, the stuff you see. As Yogi Berra once said, "You can observe a lot by just watching." So on my way home, I see a sign in this wacky deli that no one I know ever goes to, the sign reading ''Brazil - The Only Country Run by a Gangster."
Huh! I did not know this. I have to wonder, is it a real gangster, one of those guys with the blue pinstripe suit and a fedora, looking and talking like Edward G. Robinson? Does he attend summit meetings with other foreign dignitaries (pause for laughter) and slap them around, mumbling threats, saying "yeaahhhhhhh see?"
My mind a blur of activity, I thought it best to wikipedia the whole thing and here's what we found about the president of Brazil. First of all, he seems like a doggone nice guy by the name of Luiz Inàcio da Silva. He seems to have one of those cheery smiles, and that sash sets off everything nicely. Really, reading the entry about the man online, nothing seems to suggest that he's anything other than just another politician who climbed to the top.
Fact is, most people don't know much about Brazil. We're proud to be able to say that we know they speak Portugese there, not Spanish, as is the case in the rest of Latin America. Other than knowing full well that their economy depends almost wholly on regular exports of Brazil nuts, we don't know too much about them, all 169,872,855 of them (2000 Census.)
But I did read that voting is compulsory there, and that sort of gives you that "uh-oh" feeling like it's a place where everyone's always telling you what to do. Which brings me back to the sign in the window. I don't know whose sign it is, but whoever he or she is, I bet that they have lived in a country of oppression and a ban on free speech. And I bet they appreciate being able to hang that sign on their window without worrying about someone knocking on the door in the middle of the night and hauling them off to parts unknown.
I know I do!