2018-07-07 / Viewpoints

The Old Timer

By Howard ‘Mac’ McDonald

Do you ever pay attention to who is doing most of the advertising on TV?

The drug manufacturing companies lead the charge in spending millions and millions of dollars hawking their wares. They expect us regular people to tell the doctors how to do their jobs, just because we saw some slick commercial on TV.

They are just like the old snake oil sales­men and carnival barkers. They offer medi­cines that will make the warts on a warthog go away. They also try to sell drugs that will send you to the Promised Land. Beware of the medications that will get you hooked.

Next on my list are the insurance compa­nies. All of those commercials never let you see the fine print. They make me want to tell my doctor to prescribe one of those amazing new drugs to relieve the pain they give me in the butt.

Also on my list are the car dealers. They make it sound like they will pay you money if you’ll take a car off their hands.

People are complaining about the heat. I figure, if you live in Arizona then you really should expect it to be hot.

In 1990, Tom Alexon and I were on a roof in Scottsdale, Ariz., changing a compressor in an air conditioning unit. We knew it was a hot day, but we did not know that it was 122 degrees and the hottest day in Arizona his­tory. We wore gloves because our tools were too hot to pick up with our bare hands.

At the airport in Phoenix, the airlines were all grounded, as the heat would rob their engine of power during takeoff.

That was one day for the record books. We two cats on a hot tin roof could confirm it.

Our immigration problems are dominating the news. I believe the rest of the world is enjoying our dog and pony show.

If a foreign army invaded our homeland, I believe there would be a harsh response. When civilians from another country ignore our laws and invade us, some people want to turn a blind eye.

As I write this, there are predictions of monsoons here.

I remember going through a typhoon when I was stationed in Taiwan. We sat in the hallway and rode it out. We lived pretty high up, so we didn’t need to worry about flooding, but some of the people below us were hit with high water.

We had a lot of windows in our house and I took masking tape and made a big X on the glass. None of them broke. The last I saw of my bamboo fence, it looked like a giant snake as it headed up Green Mountain.

I moved my car out of my carport. It was the oldest one on our street and I figured it would be destroyed. It ended up being the only one on our street that survived. They just don’t build things these days like they used to.

Our tour in Taiwan was a good one, ex­cept for the three typhoons that hit while we were there.

I am neither a Republican nor a Democrat. When I register to vote, it will be hard for me to ride the donkey again.

It is a different party than it used to be when I was a proud member. I wonder what Bud Hause and Elizabeth Griffith would think of the BS that the Democrats stand for today. They were honorable and compassionate folks. Too many of today’s donkey-riders bury their heads in the sand and ignore the serious problems we have in this country.

If you look through the classified ads in any newspaper, you will see all kinds list­ings under the category “Help Wanted.”

If you look out on the streets of your town on any day of the week, you will see people hang­ing out and still finding a way to fill their bellies and meet all of their basic needs.

What is wrong with this picture? We have made it too easy for people to loaf. Some of them work the system and qualify for Social Security disability payments, even though there is plenty of work they could do.

Pride is one of the character attributes that is falling fast in our country, right along with patriotism and volunteerism for your community.

I have a hard time swallowing the fact that yesterday is dead and gone. It just makes me sad to witness this decline in a great coun­try that offers so much to people if they are willing to work for it.

Sometimes I think we should change our national bird to the ostrich. We are burying our heads in the sand and letting so many problems get worse.

The mental health crisis is what’s on my mind. Congress doesn’t take it seriously and the legal system is way behind the times. If you look at what is at the root of mass shootings, it is always a mental health prob­lem that was ignored and untreated.

After the tragedy, everybody has 20/20 hindsight and people start pointing fingers.

The great newscaster, Walter Winchell, used to come on the air with the catchy, “Good evening, Mr. and Mrs. America, and all the ships at sea.” You could hear Morse code and a teletype machine running to make it sound like he was reading breaking news to you.

Today, the newscasters use videos to point out the highlights of their stories. I am not a journalist, but I am an opinionated old man who has no tools of the trade to emphasize a point I may be trying to make.

People can watch the TV news 24/7 if they want, but what most of them lack today is a history lesson. War and politics have a terrible track record in this country when they get mixed up. We never learn.

These two half-wits were digging this ditch and they got to wondering why they were working their tails off while the fore­man stood up above them in his white pants just watching.

The one laborer climbed out of the ditch and asked the guy why he gets to just stand there all day.

“Intelligence,” the foreman responded. “Grab that shovel there and I’ll give you an example.”

The foreman walked over to a telephone pole, spread his hand out on the pole and told the laborer, “Go ahead, swing that shovel and hit my hand.” Just as the shovel was about the strike, he pulled back his hand and the shovel banged against the pole.

“That’s intelligence,” he explained.

The man returned to the ditch and his friend asked him, “What did you find out?”

“It’s intelligence,” he replied. “Pick up that shovel and I’ll show you.”

The laborer looked around for a telephone pole but couldn’t find one, so he held his hand in front of his face and said, “Go ahead and hit my hand.”

Read your history books and keep your powder dry.

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