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1/21/2009 – Editorials

By Richard Peterson

We’ve had some mighty chilly weather here lately.

It was 32 below zero one morning last week.

It seems to me that in the crevasses of my memory I experienced 44 degrees below zero. It was in the late 1940’s or sometime prior to March of 1951 that it was 44 below zero at Fessenden. It was so cold that day my dad walked with me to school, three blocks away.

No, they didn’t close the school because of the cold. I know it had to be prior to March of 1951 because that’s when we moved to Dad’s home town of Minnewaukan.


To tell the truth, once the thermometer hits 20 below, anything colder doesn’t seem to be terribly different to a well-bundled up human. I doubt that anyone could feel a significant difference between 20 below and 40 below.

Machines, of course, are adversely affected the colder it gets.

As everyone who lives here knows, wind is the deciding factor of adversity for humans.


Speaking of adversity, the Bush catastrophe has ended. He leaves a horrible mess, even worse than the mess Franklin D. Roosevelt faced.

Bush says history will be his judge. That is one of his rare correct assumptions.

He will rank somewhere below Herbert Hoover, Calvin Cooledge and Warren G. Harding as the worst president in the history of this nation.

But at least those three, who, like Bush, were ideologically chained to conservatism, didn’t lead us into an unnecessary war and prosecute it incompetently.


Anything labeled "New" and or "Improved" really isn’t. The label means the price went up. The label "All New," "Completely New" or "Great New"

means the price really went up.

• A real person has two reasons for doing anything . . . a good reason and the real reason.

• All true wisdom is found on T-shirts.

• Always listen to experts. They’ll tell what can’t be done and why. Then go ahead and do it anyway.

• Always try to stop talking before people stop listening.

• Asking dumb questions is easier than correcting dumb mistakes.


A teenager was constantly asking his father if he could borrow the family car. Finally, the father asked his son why he thought God had given him two feet.

Without hesitation the son replied, "That’s easy.

One is for the clutch and the other is for the accelerator."


Here’s how to maintain a healthy level of insanity:

1. At lunch time, sit in your parked car with sunglasses on and point a hair dryer at passing cars. See if they slow down.

2. Page yourself over the intercom. Don’t disguise your voice!

3. Every time someone asks you to do something, ask if they want fries with that.

4. Put decaf in the coffee maker for three weeks.

Once everyone has gotten over their caffeine addictions, switch to espresso.

5. In the memo field of all your checks, write "For Marijuana."

6. Skip down the hall rather than walk and see how many looks you get.

7. With a serious face, order a diet water whenever you go out to eat.

8. Specify that your drive-through order is "To Go."

9. Sing along at the opera.

10. Five days in advance, tell your friends you can’t attend their party because you have a headache.

11. When the money comes out of the ATM, scream "I Won! I Won!"

12. When leaving the zoo, start running toward the parking lot, yelling "Run for your lives! They’re loose!"


Words that don’t exist:

Carperpetuation — The act, when vacuuming, of running over a piece of string at least a dozen times, reaching over and picking it up, examining it, then putting it back down to give the vacuum one more chance.

Disconfect — To sterilize the piece of candy you dropped on the floor by blowing on it, assuming this will somehow remove all the germs.

Dopeler effect — The tendency of stupid ideas to seem smarter when they come at you rapidly.

Frust — The small line of debris that refuses to be swept onto the dust pan and keeps backing a person across the room until he finally decides to give up and sweep it under the rug.

Giraffiti — Vandalism spray painted very, very high.

Intaxication — Euphoria at getting a tax refund, which lasts until you realize that it was your money to start with.

Phonesia — The affliction of dialing a phone number and forgetting whom you were calling just as the person answers.

Pupkus — The moist residue left on a window after a dog presses its nose to it.

Reintarnation — Coming back to life as a hillbilly.

Sarchasm — The gulf between the author of sarcastic wit and the person who doesn’t get it.


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