A little-a this, a little-a that
One of the many blessings of writing an omnibus-type column is that it allows me the freedom to wander whichever way the wind blows. Each week is a blank slate, and any number of variables may determine what finally ends up on the page. There is no formula except to keep your eyes open to the world around you and make sure your skin is thick enough to ward off the slings and arrows from those whose worldview is different from yours.
And one of the sub-blessings is that when no one particular topic emerges that trips your trigger, you can weigh in on several observations, opinions, ideas or events and turn that into a column. Folks in the column-writing business call it variously a mailbag or a desk-cleaning or a notebook or a ‘…well ‘… an omnibus, but we all employ it from time to time. It goes something like this:
Out of the mouths of babes ‘… You no doubt recall the ‘Flush the Johns’ bumper stickers that graced too many SUV’s and pickup trucks during the election. But one proud GOP family took it a step further. A home on West Friendly actually dragged two toilets out in their front yard along with a large ‘Flush the Johns’ sign to make their political preference clear.
Over lunch last week with the mother of a precocious 10 year old, the subject happened to come up again. The mom related that she and her son passed the house one pre-November day and his pithy comment was, ‘“Now that’s real mature, isn’t it?’”
I’m keeping my eye on that kid. Hey, I may end up voting for him if I live and the republic survives long enough.
I don’t get it ‘… The prize for the year’s most annoying commercial goes to this little ditty: ‘“We’re Suncom ‘… and we get it.’” Those seven syllables and seven notes just make me want to kill! I’d go back to tapping out Morse code before I’d sign up for their service.
And I really used to like Harry Connick Jr.
Hanoi Jane ‘… Jane Fonda’s been on the talk-show circuit lately, hyping her new book. The tidbit that seems to be getting the most press is her apology for going overboard in her opposition to the Vietnam War. It’s a touchy subject even today, and I know a few vets who will never accept her apology for going to North Vietnam and, according to them, consorting with the enemy. Fact is, a lot of my fellow anti-war protesters went overboard back then, ultimately sabotaging our own cause by blaming the vets rather than the government for the immoral war.
So, my question is this: When is the United States government going to apologize for its abysmal treatment of far too many returning vets by denying disability benefits, denying treatment for drug dependency, denying that post-traumatic stress disorder was a disease, denying that Agent Orange was the cause of many of their ailments?
Belated congrats ‘… Some of my true-blue friends don’t believe it, but I swear to you I am happy for the Carolina basketball team. I am one of those Dookies who can bring myself to pull for the conference representative when the chips are down. It feels strange, but I am able to force myself to do it without gagging.
Of course, I’m also hoping that Sean May, Raymond Felton and Marvin Williams join Rashad McCants in turning pro early now that they’ve had their little fun.
Speaking of which ‘… I must tell you, the New York Yankees, aka the Evil Empire, showed a lot of class by applauding the Red Sox ring ceremony in Fenway last week. That touch of class starts at the top, and by that I mean Joe Torre not George ‘Great Satan’ Steinbrenner.
If, after shelling out multi-millions for The Unit and Pavano, the Yanks don’t win it all this year, I fully expect George to buy every single pitcher in the American League and force everyone else to play with eight players.
Go the distance ‘… Here’s a juicy little tidbit. GATE, the city-run fleet of handicap vans that exists for the sole purpose of taking disabled people where they need to go to maintain some semblance of a normal life, has a client who wishes to attend the Unitarian Universalist Church. Problem is, the church, located at the corner of Hilltop and Guilford College-Jamestown roads is 7/10 of a mile outside the city limits. GATE refuses to go less than a mile out of the way to let this person worship at the church that accepts him for what he is.
Oh, GATE will dump him off at the city limits, but isn’t that a bit cruel to someone in a wheelchair?
Ogi may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and heard Tuesdays from 9:35’–10 a.m. on WGOS 1070 AM.