YARBROUGH COLUMN: Giving readers an opportunity to weigh in on some weighty issues

Published 10:30 am Saturday, March 26, 2022

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Between the pandemic and Putin, it has been a stressful couple of weeks. Thankfully, my readers have come to the rescue. I don’t want to get into a debate with my columnist colleagues, but there is no question that my readers are smarter than anybody I’ve ever seen on Jeopardy and sharper than a chainsaw.

And they don’t hesitate to tell me what’s on their mind. For example, a number of readers fussed at me last week about my column on the stupid poll some PR genius published that said Georgia was not a good place to live, when in fact we are the 8th fastest growing state in the nation.

Their complaint was that they want loud-talking, know-it-all Yankees to believe that malarkey and to remain where it snows ten months a year and all their buildings are rusted instead of moving here and making fun of the way we talk. They make a good point, but I fear it is too late.

And then there is the reader who writes frequently to remind me that I am an idiot, as if I don’t already know that. He even encloses the particular columns I have written as proof of my idiocy assuming, perhaps, that I may not have not seen them even though I wrote them. The columns in question usually reference Marjorie Taylor Greene, she of the unfortunate Gazpacho police incident in Washington when she was threatened by a bowl of cold Spanish soup. I guess “idiot” is in the eyes of the beholder.

This week, among my emails were a couple from a Great American in Cobb County, Joe O’Connor, and a retired physician friend in Madison, Dr. Rose Ann Weaver. Nothing deep and weighty, but I found them funny. Figuring we could all use a chuckle in these turbulent times, I pass them along.

First, from Mr. O’Connor: “If walking is good for your health, the postman would be immortal. A whale swims all day, only eats fish, drinks water, but is still fat. A rabbit runs and hops and only lives 15 years, while a tortoise does mostly nothing, yet it lives for 150 years. And you tell me to exercise? I don’t think so. If God wanted me to touch my toes, he’d have put them on my knees. I finally got my head together, and now my body is falling apart.

“Now that I’m older, here’s what I’ve discovered: It was a whole lot easier to get older than to get wiser. My wild oats are mostly enjoyed with prunes and all-bran these days. I spend a lot of time thinking about the hereafter. I go somewhere to get something, and then wonder what I’m ‘here after.’ I started out with nothing, and I still have most of it. If all is not lost, then where the heck is it?”

And some poignant questions from Dr. Weaver: “Why do drugstores make the sick walk all the way to the back of the store to get their prescriptions while healthy people can buy cigarettes up front? Why do we buy hot dogs in packages of ten and buns in packages of eight? Why don’t you ever see the headline ‘Psychic Wins Lottery’? Why is ‘abbreviated’ such a long word? Why is it that doctors call what they do ‘practice’?

“Why is the person who invests your money called a ‘broker’? Why is the time of day with the slowest traffic called rush hour? If flying is so safe, why do they call the airport the terminal and if the black box in airplanes is so indestructible, why don’t they make the whole plane out of that stuff?” And finally: “If ‘con’ is the opposite of ‘pro,’ then is Congress the opposite of progress?”  I think we all know the answer to that one.

I’m not sure where they got their material, but I am glad they passed it along for me to share with you. It was a good respite from watching a Russian nutcase trying to justify the killing of innocent people and the blathering of the pro-vaccination vs. the no-vaccination crowd.

It also gave me a week to rest my weary brain and not have to come up with my usual high-minded pontifications. But, rest assured, I’m not going to make this a habit. The editors just might discover that my readers are funnier than I am and will work a lot cheaper. I may be an idiot, but I’m not dumb.