2010-01-09 / Viewpoints

Through An Old Timer’s Eye s

BY HOWARD ‘MAC’ MCDONALD

It is hard to believe that we are already a week into the year 2010. I am still wondering where 2009 went.

A lot of events came and went during the past year but, because of the bad economy, they will probably not be remembered.

President Obama had promised a lot of things, but has failed to bring many of them forward. He claimed he was going to bring the troops home. You and I know that is not going to happen. He now tells us 30,000 more are headed to the war zone, and for what purpose?

There is no end in sight and the Muslim extremists and America-haters have drawn us in like moths to a flame. The warring factions and religious extremists in the Middle East have been fighting for centuries and at this rate we will be doing the same thing. Another thing that occurred in 2009 was the federal stimulus money after the banks and auto manufacturers got their bailouts. Meanwhile, I got a letter from Uncle Sam saying for 2010 they are going to take $20 a month out of my Air Force retirement check to help pay back that money. I am not a happy camper over that move. If they take $20 out of every military retiree’s pension, they are going to get a bundle.

I also read where they were going to court martial any woman in the service who gets pregnant in the combat zone and court martial the man who was her partner. The military would not have this problem if they kept females out of combat. The he and she game has been going on since time began and a combat situation is not going to change that.

This equal opportunity thing sure has things messed up. If I were back in the service and a young man, I would say to hell with the fighting, just bring on the girls.

Last week at our breakfast table in the Cabin Kitchen, a ticklish situation was brought to the surface. Seems like one of our bunch had a birthday and they had a surprise party for him and the three older guys were not invited. Was this age discrimination, or was it just an oversight?

The older guys were a bit rebuffed but, after discussing the subject thoroughly, we decided to let it pass. The younger member of our group did not let his wife know how close we are to each other and we think that is why we were not on the guest list. Don’t worry, Matt, you are still welcome at our table and, by the way, happy birthday.

Speaking of birthdays, my wife just had hers on the second of January and she is now only 17 months younger than me. I hope she and Matt have several more.

“Stop, look and listen” is a road crossing slogan that has been around for a long time. Every railroad crossing, no matter how sparse the rail traffic, should be treated like a high-traffic area. My good buddy Sonny Abriatis found this out the hard way and, as I write this, he is fighting for his life in the Trauma Center at the Altoona Hospital. Sonny, everyone is praying for you.

I guess the Underwear Bomber who tried to blow up the airplane is going to be responsible for a new industry. The underwear manufacturing industry will be coming out with fireproof briefs so if the bomb fails to go off, you won’t scorch the private parts of your body. The big shoemaking companies missed the boat when the shoe bomber was making headlines.

Underwear made me think of this story. Two foreign guys were going to take the test for their citizenship. When the first guy came out of the room from being interviewed, his buddy asked, “How did you remember all those answers?”

The first guy answered, “I wrote all the answers on the elastic band in my underwear and when they asked me a question, I would bend my pants and underwear over far enough so I could read the answer.”

The second man asked if he could borrow his underwear and, not having much time, put them on backwards.

The first question the judge asked him was how many stars are on the American flag. He checked the waistband and answered, 32 to 34.

The next question was, what is the name of the national anthem. He checked the waistband again and answered, “Fruit of the Loom.”

The third question was, what is the color of the American flag?

The guy checked the waistband but didn’t see an answer, so he pulled the underwear out a little farther, looked down and answered, “White with brown spots.”

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