Monday, 11 May 2020 11:48

COLUMN: Random ramblings of recent events

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I'd like to take a few moments this week and thank some of the readers for their contributions to the column.

I got a nice letter from Billy Lamm, who is rapidly becoming a good friend of the column, who wrote to me to share a wonderful column from Joseph Epstein in the April 28, 2020 Wall Street Journal. 

The column struck a chord with me, not only in content, but in style as it was not unlike my own. Mr. Epstein has a better command of bigger words than I do, and he is a professional columnist. Billy also related some anecdotes of incidents where he experienced what I had talked about in a previous column. A young girl at a fast food place was saddened that she could not sell Billy a gallon  of sweet tea, as the tea only came in half-gallon jugs. I'll let you do the math. 

The column this week is a little disjointed as I took a week off and have about a dozen random thoughts running through my head and not one single topic for this week. It happens like this once in a while and the column winds up being a collection of random things. So far, none of you have complained, so I guess it's okay. 

Well, no one but Mr. Who Cares (remember him?) complained. I'm pretty certain the paper has a rule set up in their email software that sends all of his correspondence to one folder on a central computer where it is read and responded to by the least-senior person at the paper or the person who has done something to upset the editor that week. I've been the guy who had to answer the unwanted correspondence. It was brought to my attention that it probably was not wise to start the response with, “Listen here, Jackass.”

My faithful and true 17-year-old car finally kicked the proverbial bucket. Having limited funds, my wife and I bought another beater car. This one is older than the previous beater but it has less mileage. It's a small truck and, compared to the old car, drives like a bus. I think it's great to have bought a weathered old truck without having to spend new truck money and wait 20 years. 

This little truck was built the month and year we got married, so I guess that's a sign. The check engine light came on today, but that's not such a big deal. We have had so many old cars that we worry when the check engine light is actually off. We didn't pay a lot of money for it and we bought it from our younger daughter's boyfriend. If anything goes wrong with the truck, the boy is already afraid of me, so I imagine any negotiations would go smoothly. 

I am thinking about doing another speaking engagement. I actually enjoyed the first one and was quite pleased when I was not pelted by rotten fruit and old bottles. My in-laws live in a retirement community and I had thought about speaking there. A lot of their friends read the column and I would love to take the time and show my appreciation to each and every one of them once life gets back to normal. I think they wouldn't mind if I spoke for a little while. I have learned that public speaking is just like a conversation. Speak to each person individually, but at the same time. 

I'm pretty certain life will get back to normal shortly. As long as we are mindful and considerate of each other, we are going to be just fine. Be civil, give folks space, and keep clean. If you think about it, this is what all of our parents told us long ago. We couldn't handle that, so we all got sent to our rooms. Behave and clean up after yourselves. 

Joe Weaver, a native of Baltimore, is a husband, father, pawnbroker and gun collector. From his home in New Bern, he writes on the lighter side of family life.