I used to think the best thing about working on Saturday mornings was the peace and quiet so opposite the daily beehive of activity at the worldwide media HQ on Jefferson Street. Then I realized that I could spend hours and not hear the word impeachment one time.
So there I was, working happily away without a trace of a Pelosi or Schiff around. On this particular Saturday I was in the mood for one of my favorite musical genres and was listening to Stevie Wariner sing about a Crash Course in the Blues and Mitch Barker chilling with his Stone Cold Winter Blues. All I needed was my pork pie hat and sunglasses.
Just as Mitch was wailing about cashing that ticket and rollin’ out of town – and I was playing a mean air guitar – a giant ham of a hand smacked my door.
In retrospect, I’m sure my body was deciding on a coronary or just an accident. Fortunately, I was sitting at my desk so the outcome wasn’t really obvious.
“We live in a victim society,” the giant of a man known as John Hammer boomed. “We live in a me first society. We live in a blame society. We live in an attack society. We live in danged near anything but a civilized society. Timmons, do you get that?”
“What I get is that you are going to kill me some day when my heart gives out,” I almost yelled back at him – almost being the key word. After all, he is a lot bigger than I am.
Maybe it was the adrenaline, so I threw caution to the wind. “How the hell do you get in here on a Saturday anyways?” I asked. “This place is locked up tight.”
He didn’t even blink.
“Here’s part of the trouble, Timmons,” he growled in that voice that James Earl Jones would envy. “Too many people are trying to legislate ‘mean’ out of existence and you know what? That. Ain’t. Gonna. Happen. Kids – and way too many adults have been mean for a lot longer than you and I’ve been around. These folks who want to live in a perfect world where everybody gets along and everybody plays nice, well, they just don’t get it.”
“C’mon on, John,” I tried. “You can’t blame anyone for trying. They’re just-”
“Wrong!” he snapped. “When you try to do something that isn’t possible you aren’t helping. You’re just wasting time. Do you think we’re going to find a solution on how to keep kids safer in schools when we’re wasting time trying to figure out how to get everyone to sing kumbaya? Do you think we’re going to figure out how to cut down on cops being gunned down by trying to make everyone feel warm and fuzzy?
“Timmons, listen to me. We don’t live in a perfect world, and we’re not going to live in a perfect world anytime soon. Most parents are going to do a fine job raising their kids. But there’s going to be some that for one reason or another don’t. Maybe the system’s stacked against them. Maybe they caught a lousy break. It could be anything. We’re going to have folks in our world, in our society, who don’t value human life the way you and I do.
“What’s the answer for them? Hell, Timmons, I don’t know. But I do know that violence is getting worse, not better. There’s more shootings in schools, more cops being killed. All the while the folks in Washington, hell, even the folks in Indianapolis just talk and talk and talk. When are we going to start trying something other than talking? When are we going to start judging results and not just what sounds politically correct?”
With that he walked away – and stopped. He didn’t even turn around. “That’s two words that are killing us, Timmons. Politically correct.”
I couldn’t argue.

Two cents, which is about how much Timmons said his columns are worth, appears periodically in The Paper. Timmons is the publisher of The Paper and can be contacted at ttimmons@thepaper24-7.com.