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local editorial


From: Patricia Nelson (nelsonpatriciav_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Mon Nov 12 2001 - 20:50:43 PST

  Patricia Nelson <> wrote:
Thought I would share this editorial from our local paper--

Horsin' Around by Don Coldsmith

"On The Other Hand..."

Over the years, I've developed a lot of habits, some better than others, as my long-suffering spouse will testify. Among these, I clip short items from a wide variety of publications. I have several file folders with labels such as Christmas/Santa Clause, various historical topics, Potential Columns, Silly Stuff and Goofs in Print.

Don't let this give the impression that I'm neatly organized. Far from it. My "study" is basically off limits to all but immediate family, who don't want to go there, and a couple of inspectors from the EPA, who are considering a toxic wast classification. In my own defense, I know a few other writers who use a sinilar system of apparent chaos, which we alone understand. So be it.

Occcasionally, however, it seems appropriate to make some effort at organization. In doing so, I often run across stuff I've forgotten. Usually, very short items, not really long enough to use as a column, but too good to discard. The Goofs in Print file is like that. What can I do for instance, with this newspaper clipping from November 1995? It's a display ad, two columns wide and 2 inches deep:


The following area banks will be closed Thursday, Nov. 23 in observance of New Years.

There follows a list of banks who names I won't mention, nor will I reveal the name of the newspaper.

Many of the choice items in my Silly Stuff file are one-liners. One such collection is phrased in questions:

How did a fool and his money get together?

What was the best thing before sliced bread?

Why do drive-up ATMs have braille keys?

Do they sterilize needles for lethal injections

How do they get deer to cross at those signs?

How do you know it's time to tune your bagpipe?

How do they package Styrofoam for shipping?

For some time, I've suspected that some of the best writing today is being published in small newspapers. Rural weeklies sometimes have an edge on this. I appreciate one salty old columnist for his odd approach.

Example: The Grand Canyon, to an archaeologist is a "wonder of science." A clergyman views it as "One of the glories of God." A cowboy, however, may think of it as a helluva place to lose a cow."

The same columnist sprinkles in an assortment of wisdom, just tossed in at random: "Considering what experience costs, it had better be the best teacher...a committee takes hours to put into minutes what can be done in seconds...when you don't know what to do, walk fast and look worried."

"Something to ponder," he continues: "Some get lost in thought because it's unfamiliar territory..nothing is foolproof to a sufficiently talented can't have everything; where would you put it? A fine is a tax for doing wrong; a tax is a fine for doing well."

"Light travels faster than sound. This is why some people appear bright until they speak. Never argue with an idiot. They drag you down to their level and beat you with experience. The things that come to those who wait are usually the things left by those who got there first."

These are culled from columns over a period of time, but occasionally he works with a single theme. He wasn't home-schooled, he says, but he learned a lot from his mother:

Logic: "You fall off that swing and break your neck, you can't go to the store with me."

Medicine: "If you don't stop crossing your eyes, they'll freeze that way!"

Intuition: "Put a sweater on! Don't you think I know when you're cold?"

Humor: "When that lawn mower cuts off your toes, don't come running to me!"

Genetics: "You're just like your father!"

Anticipation: "Just wait till your father gets home!"

Roots: "Do you think you were born in a barn?"

On meeting a challenge: "What were you thinking? Answer me when I talk to you...Don"t talk back to me!"

Wisdom of age: "When you get to be my age you'll understand."

Justice: "Someday you'll have kids, and I hope they turn out just like you. Then you'll see..."

"On the other hand," he confides, "you have different fingers!"

See you down the road.

A bit of Kansas Sunshine to brighten your day.NPV

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A bit of Kansas Sunshine to brighten your day.NPV

Do You Yahoo!?
Find the one for you at Yahoo! Personals.