Odds and Ends

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 3, 2003

Ninety nine percent of adult females would rather die than leave a warm bed at five in the morning to go fishing. But open the store doors for a pre-Christmas sale at that hour and look what happens. It’s well known that the merchants could sell the same amount of merchandise at a decent hour, but those who would not go fishing will rise to a bargain lure – the thought that what they want to buy will be snapped up by some fool. I have never seen my wife fully dressed at that hour before. Even getting a good seat at the Christian Women’s Club Brunch couldn’t motivate her that early. The last time I saw her putting on makeup at 6 a.m. was 55 years ago when the labor pains were 5 minutes apart.

What is the magic that merchants use to stir such early action? Prices? No, they will be lower still after Christmas. Are merchants apt to run out of the goods? No, merchants merely call the suppliers in Brazil or China who will pack a 747 and deliver overnight. Maybe it’s just because they will surely run into old friends and maybe have a cup of coffee with them after they dump the purchases in the car. Ah, sweet mystery of life.

I’ll tell you about a shopping incident at the local Lowes store. I managed to lift a 5- gallon bucket of paint into a shopping cart nearly rupturing myself. I knew I’d never get it out of that cart and into my car so I asked the checkout lady to locate a young clerk with strength to assist me. I checked out, followed her instructions to pull my car up front, and came back inside to show the muscled youth my car. The paint was gone. Some thief, who probably didn’t need five gallons of white paint, had wheeled it out the door when no one was paying attention. Of course I was a suspect and suggested they try to locate a 5-gallon bucket anywhere in my car. They couldn’t – a dilemma, what to do? Store employees held a discussion and generously agreed to replace it. Just then my friend our Sheriff walked in and I asked him to point out to them that I was a man to be trusted. His first words to the employee were, &uot;I’ll speak for him – we just let him out on our release program.&uot; True story, but the sheriff then grinned and I got the bucket of paint.


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It was great to see so many of our young citizens pictured in the News-Herald when the Pilot Club honored them for excellence in academic achievement. And they were all dressed sharp for the occasion. They represented Lakeland High School, Nansemond River High, and Nansemond-Suffolk Academy. How refreshing it is to learn about young students competing for honors, and at the same time assuring themselves a chance in the race for success. These are already a notch above the average and obviously headed in the right direction. We wish them continued success in life.

Then there is the developing argument about college academics and football players. Most feel that players should meet the same grade standards as other students, and give up sports if they can’t. But that is not necessarily how the alumni feel, especially those with lifetime season tickets to the games. If you have noticed the price of tickets lately you know where a lot of the college funds come from. More comes from the alumni who have achieved a measure of success and write checks to the alma mater, especially when used for player recruiters and coaches. The rest comes from tuition. If football is such a moneymaker how many fans care if the players, many hoping for a life in the pro leagues, know much about Shakespeare or calculus? A good many football teams in both north and the south field a majority of black players indicating that, athletically, discrimination is a thing of the past on campus and that’s good. And as it stands today players must still meet the necessary standards for graduation. I’m for keeping it that way even if some alumni differ. But I really would try to hold the player age limit to 35.

Robert Pocklington is a resident of Suffolk and a regular News-Herald columnist. He can be contacted via e-mail at robert.pocklington@suffolknewsherald.com