8th 2005
That's Life # 9

Posted under That's Life Columns

Good point Bill

Talked to a long time friend, Bill Schroeder, last week and he had an observation I need to address. He said the rural, and probably a lot of the new folks, got most of what I wrote and they even LOL. He said not knowing about city politics the rural folks don’t really understand the inside jokes about things like “Mikey and Merry Ann.”
Good point Bill and my fault for not being as bright as I thought I was. So for all of you rural folks, the new comers and those who just plain don’t give a good rat’s patoot here goes:
Merry Ann is the current Dixon Mayor running for re-election. Her nemesis and constant antagonist, “Mikey” is running against her. Mikey had a column for years in this space (where he weekly, unmercifully crucified the mayor and city council) but when he decided to run for mayor he had to give up the column until after the election. Mikey and the publisher of this newspaper approached me (because of my past professional journalism background) and asked if I would occupy this space until Mikey returns. There are no limitations placed on what I write except to remember this is a “family type newspaper and no swearing.” I don’t use either candidate’s last name and try to show no favoritism by picking on them equally.
Mikey told me at a public function someone referred to him as a nut and I said with his shaved head he looked more like an acorn; hence “Mikey the Acorn.” Whew! Glad that’s out of the way.

Let me Know

If anyone knows why a duck’s quack doesn’t echo please let me know. I thought is was my hearing.

With answers or questions please email me at: thickman@onramp113.org (Don’t for get your “glitches, gripes, etc. will be accepted here.”)

From emails: A lesson to make you think about the way we treat people.

By a pickup in the rain one night, at 11.30 p.m., was an older African American woman standing on the side of an Alabama highway trying to endure a lashing rainstorm. Her car had broken down and she desperately needed a ride. Soaking wet, she decided to flag down the next car. A young white man stopped to help her, generally unheard of in those conflict-filled 1960s.
The man took her to safety, helped her get assistance and put her into a taxicab. She seemed to be in a big hurry, but wrote down his address and thanked him. Seven days went by and a knock came on the man’s door. To his surprise, a giant console color TV was delivered to his home. A special note was attached. It read: “Thank you so much for assisting me on the highway the other night. Not only my clothes were drenched but also my spirits. Then you came along.
Because of you, I was able to make it to my dying husband’s bedside just before
he passed away. God bless you for helping me and unselfishly serving others.
Mrs. Nat King Cole. (True or urban legend? Who cares?)


“Hey Ted want some tickets to the big evening performance of the Ringling Brothers Circus at Arco?” My first reaction was, “Hey that would be great we could take our youngest son Joel, daughter-in-law Lindsey and two granddaughters Kaylee, four and Kendal, two.”
I’ve caused myself grief in the past acting on first instincts. You’d think I would learn.
Visualize this if you can. Go get fitted for a 30-day trial with two new digital hearing aids, which allow you to hear things you, haven’t heard in years ( like birds singing, leaves crunching). Then make a commitment to go to the “Greatest Show on Earth” with thousands (not hundreds) of excited, high pierced, yelling and screaming children. Pretty bright huh?
The worst thing about the new, sophisticated, digital do dads (besides the price) is that you can’t control the volume. They are actually little computers that do that for you. I found out after a while, (it took over an hour for it to dawn on me) I could block out the loud music, PA system and excited little angels. I just turned the darned things off. Duh, am I the sharpest knife in the drawer or what? I’m not deaf; I just can’t hear some things.
By the way the circus was really a great show and a wonderful place the take the family for an evening’s entertainment. Hint: If you’re taking young children go the matinee. Before the two and one-half hour show was over 68 % of the young ones were really restless and the remainder fell asleep, noise and all.
The hearing loss came about mostly from a lot of unprotected exposure to gunfire. The main hearing loss just happens to be in the range where ducks, geese, rattlesnakes and most women’s voices fall. If you look hard enough at any bleak situation there’s always a bright spot I guess. My first wife Linda’s voice doesn’t happen to fall in that area, and I hear almost everything she says.

Do Not Call

If you’re not on the “do not call list” you should be, unless you like all of those stupid solicitors calling you during dinner, or worse yet during a re-run of Lassie. We got on it when it was first available we were warned we might think our phone was out of order. It was hard to get used to. Instead of three or four calls a night during dinner we got NONE. It’s great, and if an unwanted call does slip through I just say, “Could I have your name and number we’re on the do not call list.” We could get $2,500 if we can catch them. They say, “Sorry we will have you removed from our list immediately,” and quickly hang up. It’s beautiful. The government does work for us sometimes.
Mikey said, “You know this is just another Democratic roadblock to the free enterprise system. That stupid law should be repealed immediately. If it wasn’t for telephone solicitors I wouldn’t get any calls at all.”
Merry Ann said, “I think it’s lovely the powers to be would listen to us and stop those darn calls. I used to miss a lot of the Lassie re-runs but no more. I did sign up for the “do not call list” though, like a good citizen. I get enough local calls during dinner anyway thank you very much.”

Make a Difference?

Does anyone, including me, think anything I write will make a difference? I don’t think so. The universe as we know it will not change one iota (I always wanted to use that word) based on anything we say or do here. If we can bring a smile (or perhaps just a little grin) into the lives of our readers then we have preformed a valuable human service. If there’s one thing we need more of world wide it’s smiles, don’t you think?
Oh boy, here we go: Mikey said, “Smiles are for idiots who don’t have anything better to do. It’s a waste of facial mussels even though it take less of them to smile than it does to frown.” We can always count on Mikey for his rare insight.
Merry Ann just smiled and said, “I think smiling is very important and I try to do it a lot each and every day. I like to smile. Come on smile along with me!” We can always count on Merry Ann.
You too can smile now if you wish!

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