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  (ARCHIVES)Back to Current
Jerks - perks - smirks (03/07/2004)
By Janet Lewis Burns

Career politicians and telemarketers have sent me reeling over the cuckoo's nest a time or two. I try to keep my cool, bearing in mind that they're all someone's son, mother, sister, nephew, significant other, etc.

I think of the line Katharine Hepburn spoke to her movie daughter Jane Fonda in "On Golden Pond": "Don't you ever just get tired of it all?" Sigh.

There definitely are things that go against my grain. Political rhetoric of another mission to the moon really frosts me. I heard President Bush mention it some time ago. Has he realized that this ship just isn't gonna fly this time around?

Convince that elderly widow, all alone in the world, living in a chilled apartment, eating just enough to survive in order to buy the medications she needs. Is a billion dollar discovery that the moon smells like limburger cheese and has smoldering multicolored craters going to pacify her, and the millions of others in her predicament? Let's get down to earth!

What good are all the "perks" of declining years if one can't afford to use them? Do we run around senior citizens' centers belting out, "Hail, hail the gang's all here! It's a beautiful day in the neighborhood!" There are pertinent catastrophes out there, in our American neighborhoods, in desperate need of revisions. Who's listening? Is it all politics?

The NRA and their "right to bear arms" puzzles me. I reason, if one has no gun in his or her hand, or purse, or boot, then he or she can't haphazardly shoot and kill someone else. In matters of self-defense, is the average "victim" going to be able to retrieve that gun, cock it, aim, shoot to wound a predator (who could turn out to be your daughter's new boyfriend), and then everything will be okay?

Could you even bring yourself to pull the trigger? Not much time to ponder. The possibility that no one will be shot is far greater if the victim doesn't draw a gun (double trouble).

What else can one do with those high-powered assault rifles, seldom used by even law enforcement, but blow someone else to kingdom come? To my knowledge, no one has threatened to take away wild game and trap shooting firearms. So what is it these people want to shoot?

Food for thought: When our family first moved into our new house, an incident nearly got our daughter Kelly clobbered. She came home late one night from her first babysitting gig. Startled by the front door's shutting and footsteps on the stairs, Pat jumped into his jeans as he stumbled toward the railing, his work boot in hand. In a weak little voice Kelly identified herself. What if the boot had been a gun? Case closed.

Perk up! There can be a definite advantage in having a friend in road places, like a trucker, who always carries jumper cables, an Indian blanket, a thermos of an unidentifiable liquid, and a heavy-duty chain, and is a shining example of chivalry to his fellow man (and woman). Jim Peterson is truly a hero among men. The day I ran my van up onto a curb of solid snow over on First Street, it was Trucker Jim to my rescue!

My cell phone plea for help (before Pat found out) did not go unheeded, as I braved it out at the scene. I knew this was a job for "Super Jim!" With the clang and clunk of a chain and his trusty 4X something, I was back on the road before the stench of burning rubber had lifted. What a guy!

So there we have it...the unnerving, the unscrupulous, the unsettling, and the unappreciated. Have you hugged a trucker today - or any other day?

Jim Peterson? I would strongly advise against it...he's taken. Smirk, smirk. 


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