This is part two of my THANKS and NO THANKS to the people, places and things that sparked ideas for my weekly newspaper columns in 2016.
THANKS to Sam’s Club and Costco for offering a plump, perfectly cooked rotisserie chicken for five bucks. While in one of the stores last month to purchase one for dinner, I picked up a new iPad, some printer ink and two cases of imported beer. “How can they possibly afford to sell an entire cooked chicken for only $4.95?” I asked the lady at the check-out.
“Got me,” she said. “Your total is $352.00. Enjoy your dinner.”
NO THANKS to my 100-bucks-an-hour tech nerd, Kevin, who has come to my house on more than one occasion to solve a computer issue, simply to point out that the cord had come out of the outlet. I was frustrated recently because the power button wouldn’t turn off the computer so I told Kevin on the phone I was just going to yank out the plug. “Good,” he said. “I can use the money.”
THANKS to the investigators who went back in the scientific literature to determine the real benefits of exercise. The first study was in 1906 when a scientist divided people into two groups to compare their relative health. Half the people exercised daily. All those people are dead now. So, there you go.
THANKS to Whole Foods, my wife’s favorite grocery store. I bought a bar of organic green soap wrapped in clear shrink-wrap. When I got out of the shower the next morning, I told my wife I didn’t think it lathered very well. “Is it because it’s organic?” I asked Mary Ellen. “No, it’s because you just washed yourself with a wedge of cheese.”
THANKS to the researchers at Archeology magazine for uncovering what might be the world’s first musical instrument. It looked like a kazoo and was found next to a 500,000-year-old skeleton of a Neanderthal man. His body was isolated many miles from the rest of his tribe. Scientists are not sure why this man was left alone to die. I have a pretty good idea.
NO THANKS to my wife for visiting her friend in Florida without teaching me how to use all the remotes in the house. We have one for Apple TV, one for the DVR, one for the Blu-ray and one for regular TV. “Did you successfully change the channels?” asked Mary Ellen the first night she called. “No, but I opened and closed the garage door eleven times.”
Finally, my friend Betty Weesner passed away this year at age 90. She was editor and publisher of the weekly newspaper The Republican out of Danville, where she had worked in one capacity or another since she was in grade school. She told me she wouldn’t print my column in her publication for the same reason her father (the previous editor) didn’t mention Lindbergh’s transatlantic journey 90 years ago. “You have to be born in Hendricks County, work here, live here, or die here,” she told me. “Or you could get arrested here, Dick. There’s still plenty of time to make the next edition.”