In My Opinion Caroline Porter

We laugh to keep from crying.

These days - when the war in Iraq causes us such sadness and loss, when we have a county clerk who has admitted stealing at least $40,000 from his former boss and when our county board and sheriff are still battling with the Head Start crazy lady about construction of a totally unnecessary brick wall - maybe we should laugh a bit to keep our sanity.

Here are some special tidbits about our country we haven’t thought of for awhile - from the internet:

Only in America... can a pizza get to your house faster than an ambulance.

Only in America...are there handicap parking places in front of a skating rink.

Only in drugstores make the sick walk all the way to the back of the store to get their prescriptions while healthy people buy cigarettes at the front.

Only in people order double cheeseburgers, fries and a diet coke.

Only in banks leave both doors open and chain the pens to the counters.

Only in we leave cars worth thousands of dollars in the driveway and keep our junk in the garage.

Only in we use answering machines to screen calls and then have call waiting so we won’t miss a call from someone we didn’t want to talk to in the first place.

Only in we buy hot dogs in packages of ten and buns in packages of eight.

Only in they have drive-up ATM machines with Braille lettering.

And from the American Legion magazine: "Probably more American men would enjoy ballet if they could watch it with their shoes off and a six pack of beer. Being able to bet on it wouldn’t hurt either."

A veterinarian and a taxidermist go into business together. Their sign: "Either way, you’ll get your pet back." Ta dum.

A good answer for a politician to remember, to the question: "Where do you stand on gun control?"

Answer: "It all depends on who’s holding the gun."

From the internet: You’re from Central Illinois if........

* Your idea of a traffic jam is ten cars waiting to pass a tractor on the highway

* You think of Chicago as not part of Illinois

* You know several people who have hit a deer

* Your school classes were canceled because of cold

* Your school classes were canceled because of heat

* You have had to switch from heat to A/C on the same day

* You know what’s knee high by the fourth of July

* All local festivals are named after a fruit, vegetable, grain or animal

* You think the major food groups are beef, pork, beer and jello salad with marshmallows.

* Driving is better in winter because the potholes are covered with snow.

* The local papers cover national and international headlines on one page but require six pages for sports.

* You think the opening day of deer season is a national holiday. Same goes for ducks.

* You know all four seasons: almost winter, winter, still winter and construction.

Three men were sitting naked in a sauna. Suddenly there is a beeping sound. The first man presses his forearm and the beeping stops. The others look at him questioningly. "That’s my pager," he says. "I have a microchip under the skin of my arm."

A few minutes later a phone rings. The second man lifts his palm to his ear. When he finished he explains, "That’s my mobile phone. I have a microchip in my hand."

The third man, feeling decidedly low-tech, stepped out of the sauna. In a few minutes he returned with a piece of toilet paper extending from his ear. The others raised their eyebrows.

"I’m getting a FAX," he explained.

A quote from Nelson Rockefeller, former governor of New York, when he asked for his position on the Vietnam war.

"My position on Vietnam is very simple. And I feel this way. I haven’t spoken on it because I haven’t felt there was any major contribution that I had to make at the time. I think that our concepts as a nation and that our actions have not kept pace with the changing conditions, and therefore our actions are not completely relevant today to the realities of the magnitude and the complexity of the problems that we face in this conflict."

When a reporter asked him what he meant, he said, "Just what I said."

Well, some things never change. As I said, in this strange world we have to laugh sometimes just to stay sane.

Caroline Porter is a free lance writer from Galesburg who can be reached at Other columns can be read online at www.the