Potpourri for the fall season

Published 7:37 pm Saturday, November 29, 2014

By Frank Roberts

As they say in the Heinz 57 factory, it’s time to “ketch up,” so I went through a bunch of notes and old files for this “potpourri” column, which begins with some tales of why taxpayers might want to get “up in arms.”

I call it a small indication of how much trouble our country is in. It’s based on some frightening revelations from a Washington, D.C., airport ticket agent. So, fellow taxpayers, check these examples of how our money is spent:

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A Vermont congressman called in anger about a Florida package. “I asked what was wrong with the vacation in Orlando, and he said he was expecting an ocean-view room. I tried to explain that’s not possible, since Orlando is in the middle of the state. He said, “Don’t lie to me. I looked on the map, and Florida is a very thin state.” The agent got a call from a lawmaker’s wife, who asked, “Is it possible to see England from Canada?” I said no, and she said, “They look so close on the map.”

An Illinois congressman called and said she needed to know how it was possible that her flight from Detroit left at 8:30 a.m. and got to Chicago at 8:33 a.m. “I explained that Michigan was an hour ahead of Illinois, but she couldn’t understand the concept of time zones. Finally, I told her the plane went fast, and she bought that.”

An aide to Sen. John Kerry inquired about a trip package to Hawaii. After going over all the cost info, she asked, “Would it be cheaper to fly to California, and then take the train to Hawaii?”

Switching now from stupid to scary, the question is this: Are you an organ donor? Do you sweetly check that little box on your license for that purpose? Get in line — you’re right behind Ronald Phillips of Ohio, a convicted child killer. He was scheduled for execution on death row. First though, he wanted to donate his organs to his mom and sis, but he said if there was no match with them, he at least wanted to do some good for someone. Is it possible for a man on death row for raping and killing a 3-year-old to do some good?

To lighten the mood: When God sneezed, I didn’t know what to say. The secret of a happy marriage, remains a secret. Just got back from a pleasure trip. I took my mother-in-law to the airport.

A gent named Alfred North Whitehead had this to say: “If a dog jumps into your lap it is because he is fond of you, but if a cat does the same, it is because your lap is warm.”

Along that line, this thought: “Dogs are miracles with paws.” I’m neutral — we have raised Irish setters and Siamese cats.

A friend of mine, now living in Indiana, is a former Suffolk resident. She mentioned that she once dated Phil Crosby, one of Bing’s twin sons. I wrote, earlier, about my stint as a mud wrestler. The lovely lady, Paula Tabor, served as my manager.

If you’ve been wed for a spell, you might appreciate this: “Before marriage the three little words are “I love you.” After marriage, they are, “Let’s eat out.”

Give your troubles to God; He will be up all night anyway.

This is a goodie: Children are like mimics — they act like their parents in spite of every attempt to teach them good manners. John 13:15 helps with the explanation.

During a 60-year career spanning newspapers, radio and television, Frank Roberts has been there and done that. Today, he’s doing it in retirement from North Carolina, but he continues to keep an eye set on Suffolk and an ear cocked on country music. Email him at froberts73@embarqmail.com.