By Richard Peterson
I don’t have much inspiration to write anything this week. Oh, I could write reams about the deceit and incompetence of the Constitution-trampler George W. Bush, but I think the majority of people have come to realize that this man will surely go down in history as the worst president ever.
So I guess there’s no point in beating a lame duck. He can’t damage us much more because the voters took away his rubber stamp Congress.
So instead of bashing Bush, I went back 20 years and found things which were printed in this column in 1986 that still arouse my interest:
What was the best news story of 1985? Len Ganeway of The County Press at Lapeer, Mich. said it’s this:
In Canada, when a robber told his victim to hand over his money, the robbee said he didn’t have any cash. The untrusting robber ordered him to empty his pockets. The fellow complied, proving he had told the truth. He had no cash. But he did have a checkbook, showing a balance of $258.34.
The robber ordered the victim to write him a check for that amount, helpfully spelling his name. The robber was arrested later at the bank when he tried to cash the check. As the erstwhile villain was being led away, he told police, "You can’t trust nobody."
Another item from Len Ganeway’s column:
A man in a Gaylord, Mich. restaurant ordered a steak and a baked potato. When his plate arrived, the potato didn’t smell right to him, so he called over the waitress and said, "This potato is bad."
The waitress picked up the potato, slapped it a couple times and said, "Bad potato! Bad potato!" Then she put it back on the plate.
"Let me know if it gives you any more trouble," she said brightly as she walked away.
Sam Goldwyn, the movie mogul, was well known as a man who could massacre the English language.
Goldwyn uttered some hilarious phrases. Here are a few of them:
When asked to participate in a dubious business venture, Goldwyn said, "Include me out."
"Verbal contracts are not worth the paper they are printed on,"
Goldwyn was heard to utter one day.
"Anybody who would go to a psychiatrist ought to have his head examined."
"The next time I take you anywhere, you’ll stay home."
"If Harold Ross were alive today, he’d be turning over, in his grave."
Newspaper people hate to see mistakes in their own papers, but howl with glee when they see mistakes in other newspapers. I practically rolled on the floor with laughter when I read a report in Editor & Publisher magazine which told of a catastrophic error in the Camden
It seems there were two pictures on the same page. One picture was of seven sheep and lambs looking alertly at the camera and the other was of six members of the city council in a Monday night session.
You guessed it. The captions on the photos got transposed. Under the photo of the town council were the words, "Naive and vulnerable, they huddle for security against the uncertainties of the outside world."
The sign in a business place in a neighboring town said, "Our cash register is broke, so please have patients."
Yeah, if I were a doctor I could treat them while waiting for my change.
And it might be a long wait. Especially if the cash register is broke financially rather than mechanically. A long wait would serve a doctor right.
You don’t suppose they meant patience, do you?
Then there was that sign I saw at Lakota last fall during the middle of goose hunting season. It said, "Foul Dressing, $2."
I don’t know who would want disgusting, stinking, dirty, putrid, rotten dressing. I have a feeling that the signmaker misspelled the word "fowl" and that what the sign really meant was that the individual would rip the guts out of geese and ducks for those who are plenty brave enough to slaughter the birds, but don’t have the stomach to clean them.
Along those lines I recall a wonderful cartoon which showed a man standing on a sailboat at a dock. A sign on the boat said, "Sale boat for sail."
Another man standing on the dock asked the man on the boat, "Why do you want to cell her?"
Words can be great fun. I remember the true story about the Esmond area farmer who stood up at a Farmers Union meeting and said, "Before I say anything, I’d like to speak a few words."