Tuesday, September 06, 2011

6 SEP 11: You Make Me Want to Shout

"Is this the way to Harris County?" the driver in the other lane asked me in a loud voice Monday morning. This was a nice change from some of the last people to attract my attention while I was driving - those two alleged prostitutes in May.

The man in the other lane was driving a pickup truck. And he was heading northbound on Veterans Parkway downtown. So I confirmed he was heading the right direction, adding he had "10 or 12" miles to go. It probably is longer than that - but for a driver with a big new pickup like he had, it won't seem long at all.

Another recent driver on a four-lane street was a very different matter. I was heading across town in the morning and approached a slow old car in the right lane. For once, my humble Honda could act like a top-ten performer in a NASCAR race....

But as I passed that old car on the left, the driver spoke up - and even though my passenger-side window was rolled up, his message was clear. "SCHOOL ZONES! SCHOOL ZONES!!" he shouted. He said it with the authority of either a retired second-grade teacher, or a Fort Benning drill sergeant.

Sure enough, the other driver was correct. We were both on Wynnton Road, in the school zone for Wynnton Elementary School. It's potential trouble for people hurrying to downtown jobs during the morning. In fact, some drivers might pay that shouting man to stand along the roadside to keep them from a ticket.

I could have reacted with anger toward this shouting driver. But instead, I pointed to my left wrist -- the one with a wristwatch on it. For the record: yes, I did point with my index finger.

A red light stopped us side-by-side in the next block -- and this time I motioned with both hands toward that other driver. I held up fingers for 9:02. The morning school zone hours for Wynnton Elementary end at 9:00 a.m. This should prove conclusively that being "fashionably late" for something can pay dividends.

The other driver smiled and nodded, as he read my hand signals. He seemed to realize the school zone hours were over -- even if he didn't notice the lack of flashing lights or crossing guards on Wynnton Road a couple of blocks earlier. Maybe he was preoccupied watching for fourth-graders falling off the curb.

I'm normally conscientious about slowing down in school zones. Yet when I'm puttering along at 20 miles per hour, other drivers occasionally pass me. If they don't see a child, they can run a little wild....

But I've seen Columbus Police cars hover around school zones already this term. So as a three-day weekend ends, please watch your step while driving near schools. In fact, I wouldn't stop and linger too long outside a school if I could help it. In 2011, someone might walk up shouting, "Stalker."

-> Our weekly local poker night was moved up to Monday this week. Look for details about how things went, being posted Tuesday at "On the Flop!" <-

E-MAIL UPDATE: The holiday weekend gave readers plenty of time to write us. We start with an item from the Sunday Soapbox....

Dear Richard,

You wrote: "But it admittedly concerns me when a blog set up for humorous comments about the community becomes swarmed by people with deep-seeded agendas -- especially when the agendas aren't really humorous at all."

I have two things to say about that:

1. I was thinking much the same thing. On the plus side, it appears you don't need to advertise for any straight men for this blog. They come to you!

2. As far as "deep-seeded" goes, you might want to check out "Common Errors in English Usage".

I honestly did not know Ron Paul opposed HR 676, The Civil Rights Act of 1964. While I might tend to agree with Ron Paul on a wide range of issues, there are a few items that still bowl me over. I don't agree with the legalization of drugs (an issue that seems to separate the real Libertarians from the rest), for example. So, while I understand his arguments about the bureaucracy of federal government and race quotas, I think it overall forced in front an issue that society at the time needed to confront and still has not effectively dealt with. He's correct that race quotas aren't the correct way to fix the problem. They address the symptom, not the cause. However, I wouldn't want to see it just go away without a better avenue in place in which to address these issues, either. Addressing the symptom is still more effective than not addressing it at all!

I am forced to agree with CA "Brother Love" Hardmon in that "…Satan certainly has to be [the author of confusion] to stay in business and keep us divided." That is what Satan does: divide. As long as the human heart gives in to Satan's ways, we will always be divided, whether it be by race, religion or downright pride. You cannot legislate the human heart. It is up to each person to submit to God to rule their heart. Unfortunately, far too few will see the need to do so until Jesus Christ returns.


John D Carmack

I was going to avoid any comment about John's first point -- but I'll only say this. It's our longstanding policy NOT to ask for any writer's sexual orientation, much less skin color.

As for point two: I did a quick Bing check on that phrase Saturday night -- but apparently it was too quick. When I think of something that's "deep seated," I consider myself on a couch watching a football game.

Ron Paul and the other Republican Presidential candidates don't seem very interested in Georgia or Alabama these days. Labor Day found several of them campaigning in South Carolina. We won't really know which candidate is in the most trouble until someone gives a lecture at Bob Jones University.

Let's move on to the "Ciudad de Plastico," and the good news we reported Monday about Columbus plastic recycling bins:

I sympathize with your recycling dilemma. In the cafeteria at my employer they have so many trash bins sitting around labeled for different "recycling" products I think most people just give up and throw everything in the closest bin.

It's getting to be that you have to have a masters in ecology just to take out the trash. But it's for the children, right.


I haven't seen any research on this - but wouldn't it make sense for women to recycle more than men? After all, they're used to sorting through stacks of laundry at least once a week.

Uh-oh - there's that phrase of semi-scorn, "it's for the children." Why do conservatives mention their concern about children and grandchildren when they talk about the national debt, but NOT when they talk about saving space in landfills? Is it a matter of burning garbage, to avoid burning hard-earned cash?

And after two days of reflections about Columbus TV personalities becoming national names, we received this:

Don't forget Reece Davis of ESPN did sports here in Columbus..Samantha ? on the Weather Channel is a Columbus girl.

That's Samantha Mohr, who I didn't realize until Monday night also is a former Miss Georgia. But hold on - Rece Davis is where this topic started Sunday. Now that we're past Labor Day, summer rerun season ought to be over.

Our count of unique visitors from January to August was up 22 percent from 2010! To advertise to them, make a PayPal donation, offer a story tip or comment about this blog, write me - but be warned: I may post your e-mail and offer a reply.

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