THE COURTS HAVE already gotten a new directive for making a witness swear to tell the truth in the courtroom. The baliff is now going to say: “Do you solemnly swear to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth — or an alternate truth –so help you God?
It does not matter what you say in reply.
Really, why does it matter if more people attended the inauguration of President Obama or President Trump? Let’s get down to the business of solving some of our mutual problems.
A YOUNG MOTHER ASKED ME (young women often ask me vital questions) how she should dress her children for school, saying it was a vexing problem she faced daily in the Arkansas winter.
“It’s cold, then it’s hot, then it’s cold, then it’s hot. It rains, it don’t rain. It rains, it don’t rain.”
Heck, it sounded like a perfectly good question.
Thank goodness I had a perfectly good answer.
Dress your children for arctic conditions in the morning. Send them to school with a suitcase so that they can change into t-shirts and shorts at noon. They may need to take the rain poncho out of the suitcase and keep it handy for when they go home in the afternoon. Especially since most children must walk at least a half-block in the weather-of-the-moment when they get off at the bus stop.
And you gotta remember that some of these kids live as much as two or three blocks from the schoolhouse. They barely have time to get into a fistfight before it’s time to get off the bus.
ANIMAL CRACKERS. ‘Our’ Pam McAnelly is the only one in the office qualified to properly deal with scorpions. That’s because she’s the only Leader staffer ever stung by one of the critters.
“Oh, dang (or something close to that),” I heard her say on a recent morning. “There’s another scorpion.”
She pointed to a little brown thingy on the floor and sure enough it was one.
His tail was up and he was ready for action.
As I said, Pam is the only one qualified to put such critters out of our misery. She tapped it vigorously with her shoe. ‘Tap’ is a misnomer because Pam really really hates scorpions now.
The tapping shook the building but hardly phased the little darling.
She drew her foot back and then it did something none of us knew that scorpions could do.
It ‘leaped’ into the air. Not real high, I’ll admit, but high enough so that it could land atop your foot if you were barefooted.
Pam called in the heavy artillery — me. I stomped that scorpion like I was whuppin Bert Bulimea’s defensive coach. It was real, real dead when my size 10.5s got through whuppin.
Pam wouldn’t let me scoop it up and put in a trash can. That’s because sometimes she’s the one that empties the can. So I carefully scraped it onto a piece of paper and transported it to the gutter in front of our office.
If you come along and it comes back to life and jumps up on your foot and stings you it’s your own fault.
In the meantime, we’re banning the wearing of stylish flipflops in the office.
MORE ANIMAL CRACKERS. The looooong flights of redwing blackbirds are swooping our skies. They can clean out my birdfeeder in a jiffy.
And — is it just my imagination? — are the fire ant mounds which have been popping up lately have a different color than previous times? Seems to me that they are more reddish.
Several reports of Louise Fox swooping through our neighborhood, too. One neighbor says she is hoping Louise will not notice a nest containing three tiny bunnies in her bushes.
Good luck. Neither Louise nor I have gotten to this point in life by missing many meals.
THE SUPER BOWL. I’ll be rooting for Atlanta in honor of our town’s Mark Millwood who had a couple of seasons with the Hawks before knee injuries forced him out of pro football. Mark was a record-setter at Arkansas Tech.
THE TWINS. Grin and Bearit are resigned to four years of surprises, tweets, and alt-facts from Comrade President Trump. They should be more like their cousins, Take-it or Leave-it.
THINGS I LEARNED from opening email: Half the people you know are below average.
HE SAID: “From my father’s point of view, without a thought for self, a true patriot stands up against the stones of condemnation and speaks for those who are given no real voice in the halls of justice or the halls of government.” Thomas Steinbeck, screenwriter and photographer (and son of the famous novelist)
SHE SAID: “The bedrock of our democracy is the rule of law and that means we have to have an independent judiciary, judges who can make decisions independent of the political winds that are blowing.” Caroline Kennedy, ambassador and President’s daughter
SWEET DREAMS, Baby