2017-03-18 / Viewpoints

The Old Timer

BY HOWARD ‘MAC’ MCDONALD

Kite-flying season will soon be here. I don’t think that the kids of today know what a kite is. Kiting was a source of great enjoyment when I was a youngster. Later, our sons were involved in kite-flying competitions when they were Boy Scouts. Many things have changed over the years. Modern conveniences are nice, but I believe most of the changes have been for the worst.

College athletics is now a major business and you rarely hear one word mentioned about why we actually have colleges. They have turned college into a money pit. Admission standards have slipped. As long as you will bury yourself in debt for the rest of your life those greedy universities will roll out the red carpet for you.

Our son Howard works at a hardware store here in Apache Junction and is in charge of the gun department. Last Friday night, some crooks broke into the store and stole every gun they had. Investigators think this could be connected to the Mexican cartels. Drugs and guns are their lifeblood. I was going to call into the tip line and suggest that they check into Eric Holder. He’s the former Attorney General who was the brainchild of the terrible Fast and Furious plan to give guns to the bad guys. That cost the life of a border guard from Phoenix.

Everyone has his own taste for music. I try to give everything a chance. However, some of the sound that passes for music these days is way off the charts for me. What is appealing about a herd of old tomcats screeching or fingernails on a chalkboard? Maybe the thumping and repetitious bass and drum beats are music to somebody’s ears. To each his own. Our American culture has lost a lot of class over the years. I remember the great music of the Tonight Show Band with Doc Severinsen. Most of the sound they call music today could not hold a candle to those guys. Another sign of a degrading culture are these reality TV shows. Watching the back-stabbers on the CBS show, Survivor, is about as interesting as watching a den of snakes. Those singing and dancing contests are just as awful. Bring back the great variety shows that had some real entertainers. The old Major Bowes Amateur Hour was a classic compared to the reality shows of today. I wish I had a gong so I could send these jokers back to their dens.

If my column seems like it is all over the road this week, you are correct. Once again, this black box swallowed everything I wrote. After a long troubleshooting session and a cleaning of the keyboard, I am back in business. This was another reminder that as my life marches on I am having a harder time keeping in step. It gets even more complicated when you live in Arizona during Daylight Saving Time. That has its roots in giving farmers more daylight and saving more electricity. That was a long time ago and there is still just as much daylight in a day, whether you turn your clock ahead or smash it and put it out with the trash. It has no impact in the Hundred-Year War. I called it that at least a decade ago and my prediction is coming true.

Making terroristic threats is a crime in any jurisdiction, but it is a hard thing to define. I was thinking back to the day that I was hit with a $233 fine for getting into a discussion with the parking meter attendant in Emporium. It was very close to 5 pm, which is when a person does not need to pay for parking.

I asked her to consider that fact. She would not give an inch. Things were still calm until she laughed at me. Then I did go off my rocker and tell her I wanted to roll her down the street like a bowling ball.

I paid my fine and apologized by writing a letter to the editor. Maybe I should have contested it. Those in law enforcement and other public positions should use a little common sense. If the parking meter rule expires at 5 pm, perhaps cutting off the enforcement at 4:55 should be the rule.

One thing that reminded me of this was the quote by Arnold Schwarzenegger, who said he would like to smash the President in the face. If that isn’t a terroristic threat, then how come I was charged?

Casey got hit with a bucket of crap and the band played on. He opened the door and got hit with some more and the band played on. His pants were so loaded they nearly exploded and the poor boy shook with alarm. He turned on the news and then got the blues and the band played on. I hope some of you were singing the waltz in your mind about Casey and the strawberry blond. Young folks will be at a loss trying to figure out what that is about, but maybe some of the senior citizens will remember those lines. I came up with those lyrics as I was thinking about how sad the news is these days. There is so much hate and bitterness that it makes you want to throw up. It reminds me of the North and South after the Civil War. That battle still goes on. If you are in the deep South and have a northern license plate, you will probably be insulted by the officer if you get stopped. Keep your cool or you will have more tickets than you can handle. Just an observation. Been there and done that.

The sports world is deep into the NCAA basketball tournament. The Final Four is going to be played here and the area is getting ready for the influx of people. Some folks are renting out their homes and they are not cheap. You know the old saying, “Make hay while the sun shines.” Maybe the federal government should have a sporting event to wipe out the national debt. Sports fans are loyal to their teams, yet these same people will try and beat Uncle Sugar out of his tax money. I guess that is human nature. If you want to know how to beat the government, just run for Congress. If you make it for one term, you are set for life. They don’t worry about the funds for Social Security running out because one term in Congress cements your pension.

Three priests were killed in an auto accident and when they got to the Pearly Gates, St. Peter said to them, “Boys, with all the tornadoes and earthquakes, I am a little jammed up and you will have to wait before I get to you. I can send you back for six months, but not as priests. You can pick whatever you want to be when you go back.” One said he wanted to be an NFL quarterback. The second said he wanted to be a rock star. The third priest asked to be sent back as a stud. When it was time to return to heaven, only two showed up. They asked St. Peter where Father Paul was and he answered, “We can’t find him. Last we heard, he was still on a tire back in Pennsylvania.” Be sure you speak clearly when you have your talk with St. Pete. You probably won’t have any need for your musket and dry powder by then.

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