- Teachers used to make sardonic observations about the various “consultants” who conducted the “in-service workshops” we were required to attend. A typical one went like this: “I’m gonna get my thirty in, take my pension, get me a briefcase, a couple of hours’ worth of jokes and anecdotes, and go fifty miles from home. Then I’ll be an expert, and I can get a consulting gig.”
In that spirit, I’m getting a brief case and a couple dozen business cards. I am going to be an ethics consultant. I will cut special deals for small towns with big city aspirations who want an ethics study at bargain prices. References? Oh, sure, I have them, but unfortunately, they have requested confidentiality, you silly goose!
• Scuttlebutt has it that an Illinois fisherman was recently arrested at Grenada Lake and charged with several violations. Word has it that he was jailed, and had to post bond of more than $5,000.
Wow! Dudes from Illinois, Iowa, and Indiana came down here with Grant and Sherman, burned our barns, killed our livestock, stole our kitchen cutlery, busted our guitars and mandolins, and violated our women. We responded by pledging allegiance to their flag and volunteering for their army. But now, by golly, they done gone too far – they’re messing with our fish!
- President Truman often spoke of “striking a blow for liberty” when he was about to have a drink. I once thought the reference was to his Baptist Church’s temperance policy, but I learned that it was a reference to the Whiskey Rebellion and the Federalists’ suppression of the free-spirited frontiersmen of the upper Ohio Valley during the Washington Administration.
Tsk! All these years, and I’ve been speaking of my friends and kin as “bootleggers.” I should have been calling them “Freedom Fighters.”
n A speeding ticket in 1967 turned me into a “posted limit” driver. As you may expect, I’m often passed on our highways. The most memorable example was on a winding stretch of narrow-shouldered Highway 15, two lanes, uphill, and double yellow line. The young lady had the requisite cell phone to her ear, and a specialized license plate that read, “Choose Life.”
- If it develops that high ranking military officers are inept or cowards, they may resign their commissions, or be fired by the president. Enlisted men will be drafted during time of manpower shortages to be hewers of wood and drawers of water; dig latrines, foxholes, and fortifications; build, clean, and maintain buildings and bridges; perform as virtual body servants for their officers; and fill the ranks to spew lead toward the enemy and/or to absorb the worst of the punishment that the enemy can inflict. Did you ever hear of a private being allowed to resign?
n When I was young, my worldview was largely shaped by cold war articles in ‘The Reader’s Digest.” It was clear that “Red” China was a major threat to our security. Funny thing, though. Our forces stood in Japan, Korea, and the Philippines with targets pre-selected in China. Before the Second World War, we had sent troops to Peking and patrolled some Chinese rivers. Notwithstanding Will Rogers’ suggestion, however, the Chinese had never sent gunboats “up the Mississippi to protect their laundries in Memphis.”
n A working man in one of our “dry” counties decides to strike his own “blow for liberty.” He drives across the county line and buys a six-pack. (The U.S. subsidized it for him when he was a grunt in ‘Nam.) He’s stopped in a road block on his return, and his beer is confiscated. The judge who will fine him for possession drinks his blended whiskey in the sanctity of the country club in the same dry county.
- If our ex-GI decides to open his own muffler shop, he’ll have to negotiate with property owners to buy or lease a location. If a large corporation wants to build a steel mill or automobile assembly plant, it can whistle for local government officials, who will use eminent domain to seize property for them.
No wonder we will have to draft men to defend us when the Chinese decide to come collect what we owe them!
Contact community columnist Sonny Scott, a Chickasaw countian, at email@example.com.