­­ Bumper sticker of the week: I'd rather be driving a Titleist.

­­ Quote of the week: ''(Harry asks) Sir, there are some things I'd like to know, if you can tell meŠ things I want to know the truth about.'' ''The truth.'' Dumbledore sighed. ''It is a beautiful and terrible thing and should therefore be treated with great caution. However, I shall answer your questions unless I have a very good reason not to, in which case I beg you'll forgive me. I shall not, of course, lie.''-- Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone

­­ Politicians should limit themselves to ten years in any one office. If you're at ten, move on or get out. This would help in countless ways, not the least of which is the person could only live off the public as long as a politician in any one office. Some of these guys and gals get in and make it a lifetime hobby. When voting, find out the number of years your favored candidate has been in and ask yourself this all important question: Just exactly how long is this person going to do nothing and get paid for it?

­­ Judges are another matter. This is one of those deals if you can't make it as an attorney, become a judge. This is not a ten year arrangement. This in most cases is an automatic lifetime deal. Most judges are actually appointed, so that the public has no say and little recourse should a blooming idiot surface. There is a kind of ''do you think this person is ok'' vote that occurs every so often; not many people realize that you're supposed to vote no. This whole process is why the judicial system is in such bad shape. Hardly any new guys come along to wake up the old farts sleeping on the bench. And all of them are lawyers, which in and of itself is a serious infringement on sanity. Illinois Supreme Court Justice James Heiple is a prime example of someone who would have been better off being an undertaker. At least he couldn't have ruined anyone's life while they were alive. Some judges do get elected. For the life of me, I can't understand why anyone votes for them. These elections should all end up in a deadlock at one to one. This assuming the candidates would vote for themselves, which if they had an ounce of sense to begin with, they wouldn't.

­­ I finally sold some of my peeves. Hallmark bought some of my catchy sayings. They said they were going to use them on their 99¢ discount cards. I didn't think much of that idea, but hey, you've got to start somewhere. I figure I can work my way up to their fancy $4.95, 3-D cards. Check this one out for a 65th birthday: You're approaching the twilight of your life. With age has come wisdom. Experience now bridles youthful idealism. And false teeth may have taken the place of real ones. Enjoy the world as it unfolds before you because it's about to end. Happy Birthday.

­­ Oh but for the good old days.

-- I miss the backyard privy. The outhouse. You could commune with nature, which most often meant you hoped nothing would grab your butt while you sat there. At night you could look at the moon, or shoot it, it didn't much matter.--

Families would sit down and eat meals together. This was thought to be good. The family that ate together grew fat together. Lively discussions would occur, like why grandpa hadn't had a bowel movement in three days. Mothers could check their kids for body piercings, which only occurred by accident back then. You'd get advice like ''Don't date girls that smoke,'' or ''Keep your zipper up.''--

Speaking of food, there used to be a lot of potlucks. A potluck is when all the women in town would make their favorite dish in an effort to show up all the other women and take them to a central place where I would try to be first in line. It was great. It was like Heaven on Earth. When there are potlucks today, women buy things at the store to take. This is not right. These are not potlucks. And they expect men to bring things. In the good old days, men just did the eating. It was wonderful.--

Schools were schools back then. There was no monkeying around. If you got out of line, the principal would beat you senseless. No cussing, disrespect, sloppy dress or excessive dropping of your pencil in order to look up the girls' dresses. You couldn't call a teacher's wife a whore. I found that out the hard way. There were cemeteries across from many schools. This was not by accident and helps explain why parents had to have so many kids.

­­ Change always travels with fear. As the unknown becomes the new, we don't always adjust too well. I suppose it's in our genes.

­­ How to tell if you're awake.--

You should be able to follow simple directions.--

You're able to move most of your body parts on demand.--

If you're screwing up beyond belief, you can pretty well be assured you're awake.

Uploaded to The Zephyr Online November 17, 1999

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