11/2/2005 – Editorials



By Richard Peterson

I told you last week about my cat, Sammy, and how he had taught himself to iron my shirts. It’s not a bad deal for me, although I have to spend quite a bit of time monitoring his efforts and hanging up the shirts after he’s done ironing them. He gets quite a bit of cat hair on the shirts, but that’s no big deal because I’m generally covered with cat hair anyway.
The thought came to me that if he can iron shirts, maybe he could take up some of the other chores around the house. I put him up on the sink and attempted to teach him how to wash dishes, but he wouldn’t have anything to do with getting his paws wet. If a cat decides he isn’t going to do something, you might as well accept that decision and move on.
He’s a pretty smart cat, so I decided to teach him how to drive. I wrapped the steering wheel with old socks and taped them to the wheel. I put him in the driver’s seat, and he had no trouble standing there on his hind legs.
His paws rested on the steering wheel and sure enough, his claws sank into the tape, thus enabling him to turn the steering wheel. I started the car so the power steering would kick in and told him to turn to the left. I reached over and cranked the wheel to the left to show him. Then I told him to turn to the right, reached over and cranked the wheel to the right. Then I centered the steering wheel and told him to turn to the left. By golly, he did! Then I told him to turn to the right and it was like he had been doing it his whole life. He cranked it to the left and then the right and then did it over again and again. A huge grin broke over his face as he realized he was actually steering the car.
I figured he was ready, so I reached over and put the car in drive. "Give it some gas," I said. He turned his head to look at me with a blank stare, wondering what to do next.
The whole project fell through when I realized he wasn’t big enough to run the steering wheel and the accelerator at the same time. I guess it’s just as well because he couldn’t reach the brakes, either. Besides, I doubt he could get a driver’s license because he’s only four years old.
I don’t think I’m going to teach him to cook because I don’t trust him to run the stove burners or the oven. He might try cooking something when I’m not around to supervise and end up burning down the house. Besides, he’d probably be sampling the food every time my back was turned. No, we’re not going to go there.
He won’t have anything to do with water, so washing clothing and dishes, cleaning the toilets, scrubbing the floors and washing windows is out. Wife Hollys will just have to do that.
He’s too small to manhandle a dust mop. I guess he could do some dusting with a dustrag. He could even shake the dustrag if he gripped it with his teeth, but he showed no inclination to dust even after I showed him how. He kept running to the ironing board and meowing for more shirts to iron.
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Isabel native Roger Smith of Minot has come to the conclusion that UND should change the nickname of its sports teams from the "Fighting Sioux"
which is opposed by many. He figures the UND Medical School might like the "Fighting Flu" or "Fighting Sinew." How about the "Fighting Few?" Animal lovers might go for the "Fighting Gnu" or the "Fighting Shrew" or the "Fighting Ewe." Plant lovers might like the "Fighting Kudzu," "Fighting Cashew" or "Fighting Bamboo." Frat guys would like the "Fighting Brew."
Maddock native David Hvinden asks, "Why not just change the spelling to the Fighting Soo, that way all the Bison fans could spell it too!"
Another Maddock native, Dean Aanderud, replies to Hvinden, "Why not Fighting Bison II? It does kind of rhyme and fits with the same general pattern of being a cheap imitation of what they have in Fargo."
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More on sports: A Minnesota Vikings’ practice last week was delayed for nearly two hours after a player reported finding an unknown white powdery substance on the practice field. Head coach Mike Tice immediately suspended practice while local police and federal agents conducted an investigation.
After a complete analysis, FBI forensic experts determined that the white substance unknown to the Vikings’ players and coaches was the goal line.
Practice resumed after special agents determined that the team was unlikely to encounter the substance again.

Sammy was disappointed when he failed his driving test.


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