LESS IS MORE
Today’s post is going to be short and sweet, just a little something to get through those last few hours before the weekend begins. Next week I’ll be back in full force with more hard-hitting posts but for today, I hope you enjoy this offering…
SHORT AND SWEET
WHO WANTS A TV WATCH?
I have a group of friends that I have known since kindergarten, some of them even longer than that, and I must say, having life-long friends is a wonderful thing. They have been with me through the good times, and the bad. I consider them to be more like my brothers and sisters than friends. I love them all dearly. There is one small drawback; I am still not able to live-down things I did as a small child. Example? You want an example? I’ll give you an example! When I was in 2nd grade I accompanied my mother to a department store one Saturday afternoon. I don’t remember much about the day but I can assure you it was just as exciting as it sounds. What I do remember, is that the store was holding one of those raffles where you fill out your name, address, and phone number on a little slip of paper and stuff it into the box. First prize? A wrist watch with a small television built into it. Not too thrilling by today’s standards but twenty-some odd years ago, it was borderline futuristic. I was too young to enter the contest myself but asked my mother to do so on my behalf. The seed had been planted. News flash: a young kid with an outlandish (and unchecked) imagination can sometimes be a bad thing. By the time Monday arrived and I boarded the bus to school my brain had transformed the entry for the TV watch raffle into a definite win. Not only had I “won” the raffle, but the prize was no longer just one TV watch, it was several. While I have nothing but faith at this point in my life that my friends adore me, I was fairly uncertain of my peer’s feelings at a younger age. I figured that if I offered some of my imaginary TV watches to my classmates, that they would be sure to love me. Unfortunately, I managed to leave out the imaginary part. Over the next few weeks I promised TV watches to many different people. I was even offered items in exchange for a TV watch (G.I. Joe figures, snack foods, etc) that I collected on. Whenever the issue of the watch came up, I assured people that my mother was at home guarding them and they would be brought to school and distributed at the right time (although I don’t recall making these statements about my mother my friends still assure me that I did). Enjoying my new found fortune and fame, I milked the phony TV watches for as long as possible. I don’t recall exactly when my farce came to an end but eventually I could keep up the lie no longer; I had no TV watches. The lie was eventually forgiven, or was it? It was certainly never forgotten. Throughout the rest of my time in elementary school I was constantly bombarded with the phrase: “Where’s my TV watch?” It did not stop there. Throughout middle school, high-school, and college, whenever I bumped into an old classmate the incident was somehow raised. Where was their TV watch? For the kids I remained very close with, it remained a common theme too. It was written into the sign-in book at my wedding, and brought up several times at a fifteen year elementary school reunion. Whoever thought that the most talked about moment in their first twenty-eight years of life could be summed up by the two words: TV watch? I have often said that if I won the lottery the first thing I would do is to send a television watch to each of my 2nd grade classmates. Maybe then (and only then) will the legend of D. Jacob Miller and the TV watches finally end its’ twenty year run in syndication. As for my friends, I happily endure their gentle teasing. For all the good they have brought (and continue to bring) into my life, it is a small price to pay.
NO I DON’T NEED A RIDE, I’LL WALK
On Wednesday, lawmakers in Ohio said that they want to force convicted sex offenders to use fluorescent-green license plates on their cars so they can be easily identified. A bi-partisan group in the state legislature has joined forces to propose the law. The measure echoes those in several U.S. states that require convicted drunk drivers to use a yellow, pink, or red plate on their cars. You can rest assured that if this law is passed, that quite a few Ohioans won’t be getting many requests to loan out their car.
“Hey neighbor, do you think I could borrow your car for a few minutes? I just have to run these DVDs back to the video-store before…oh…I didn’t notice that new license plate you have. Fluorescent-green, eh? On second thought, I think I’ll just walk the seven miles”. With my luck I’d borrow someone’s car and not notice the new green-plate and bump into several people I know. Then, mysteriously, they’d stop answering my phone calls or letting their children play with mine (this is hypothetical, I have no children, yet). I could beg and swear that it wasn’t my car, I was only borrowing it, but the damage would have been done. This possible scenario reminded me of an uncomfortable moment I once had on an airline (although I’m sure it could happen anywhere). I got up out of my seat to use the bathroom and when I got there they were both occupied. No one else was waiting so I figured it wouldn’t be long. I waited for about two minutes before one of the restrooms became available. When I entered the restroom the putrid smell struck me sharply in the face. My god! What had the man before me done in here? I quickly relieved my bladder, washed my hands, and unlocked the door. I had only been in there for a minute, tops. I quickly opened the door and on the other side stood a very attractive young woman. I smiled at her, she smiled back. Then, the smell drifted out past me and hit her like a ton of bricks. I was mortified. I knew instantly that I could kick and scream until I was blue in the face but no amount of pleading would convince her that I was not the source of the foul odor. The flawless logic of, “whoever smelt it, dealt it” would not save me now. I accepted my fate, and returned to my seat, cursing my luck and the man with the obscene bowels, and thinking about what could have been. The green license plates would do the same. They would alert police, neighbors, school officials, parents, and children that the car was owned by a sex offender, but not that it was driven by one. Is that sweet little old lady in the Buick with the green plate really a sex offender, or did she just borrow her son’s car (her only means of running errands)? Most states (perhaps all of them) already require sex offenders to register themselves with local police and live at least 1,000 feet from any school. Cars are often driven by people other than those who own them and the stigma that will become attached to these people (who might have no choice but to drive the sex-offender’s vehicle) is too great to risk. If Ohio really wants to make a splash, why not just dye sex offenders themselves bright green before releasing them from prison? They might want to wait until after St. Patty’s Day to avoid confusion. I wouldn’t want anyone mistaking Leprechauns for sex offenders.
I’d like to wish a quick happy birthday to my friend Rob who will be celebrating in NYC this weekend. Have fun Rob! Sorry I can’t make it. I’d also like to wish a very happy birthday to my father who has a birthday on Sunday (Dad, you’re the best, I love you) as well as my Aunt Donna who shares the same birth date.
The injuries are still nagging me, up next is the MRI. I’ll keep you all posted on how that goes. Everyone have a great weekend and I’ll see you back here next week for another Spoon, Full of Truth.