It takes a brain

Published 12:00 am Thursday, October 17, 2002

They say that skate boarders are fearless and wear no protective equipment because to do so would reflect negatively upon their &uot;manhood.&uot; It’s OK with me that they find stitches and scabs decorative and broken bones cool as long as the idiots don’t run into me on the sidewalk. The medical profession recently pointed out that the accident rate for such morons has soared and emergency rooms in many cities see more of these dunces than Saturday night domestic gunshot victims. And they find that it is the brains of these young boys that receive the greatest damage from falls as low as six feet off steel hand-rails or misjudged jumps over park benches. It’s my contention that their brains were addled long before the accident.

I asked a friend who once lived in my neighborhood up in Michigan why he left his beautiful home and moved to south Florida. &uot;My wife wanted to get out of the cold,&uot; he said. So I asked how he could stand that blistering heat in the summertime down there when it’s always over a hundred degrees. He said that they never go outdoors when it’s hot. So I suggested he move back to Michigan and when it gets cold don’t go outdoors. He pondered that awhile then told his wife to start packing. When the Michigan permanent residents of southern Florida figure that out there will be an exodus and Disney will be building a new theme park just outside Detroit.

Both pro and con letters appeared in the News-Herald concerning the Confederate Flag carried proudly in the Peanut Fest Parade. Yankees couldn’t care less, but many African- Americans consider it a jab in the ribs. Others, from an assortment of colors, find it in bad taste but understand the underlying motive. Were there Black Panthers in the parade? Were there sons and daughters of other wars in the parade? How about sons and daughters of Japanese or Germans who fought bravely against us in 1944? Would there have been letters to the editors if they had marched? Is it still that old &uot;slave&uot; thing with the African-Americans, and perhaps that old &uot;yankee&uot; thing with the Sons and Daughters of the Confederate Veterans? Southern adults tell me that Civil War was not over slavery, but that the north wanted to steal the wealth of the South. That’s not the way it was written in my American history books but I was raised in Michigan. I find the whole thing interesting but find it wise to maintain a goodly distance from the battle.

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I did a little time at the Shrimp Feast and will admit I could eat no more of the pink devils and could find no room for the other stuff and still do a little quaffing. One or the other had to suffer so I picked the liquids only because that’s where shrimp like it best. It looked like a dam had burst somewhere and people came flooding in at a steady rate until there was hardly room to stand and eat. They couldn’t have all come from Suffolk. The Feast was as tightly arranged as an army payday and as I passed through the narrow food lines I almost expected to be dipped like a sheep or branded like a steer. It was no place for a bout of claustrophobia. I have one serious complaint; I have one of those blue plastic handicap cards and there was no way to use it. I’m good for a few hundred feet but it was half a mile from the car to the gate and another quarter mile to the Feast. I won’t return, surely they will miss my $20, until they run shuttles for the handicapped. It appears to me to be the only thing the Suffolk Ruritans don’t do right.

Robert Pocklington is a resident of Suffolk and a regular columnist of the Suffolk News-Herald.