Moultrie Observer

January 26, 2013

Common sense, wherefore art thou?

Dwain Walden
The Moultrie Observer

MOULTRIE — Way back when Moses had that bad hair day on the mountain and broke the commandment tablets, I’m thinking when he put them all back together there was an 11th one missing. And it said, “Thou shalt use a little common sense.”

I have no archaeological evidence nor theological speculation to back my theory, but I do have observations.

I can give you examples that did not involve me personally such as the  battle of the Alamo where someone (Col. Travis) could not look out at 5,000 enemy soldiers and factor that superior force against his 149. Common sense should have dictated a retreat until greater forces could be summoned. It wasn’t like there wasn’t opportunity or space to do that. Texas is a big place.

But let me get personal with this line of discourse.

One day I became a victim of identity theft. Someone up in Ohio was using my Social Security number to apply for credit. So I went to the Social Security office seeking help.

At the service window I began explaining my issue. The young man in that office interrupted me and told me I would have to “take a number.”

 I paused and looked around. I was the only person in the waiting room. I pointed that out to the young man, and he said I would still have to take a number. That was the rule, he said.

So I took a number.

In a few minutes he called my number. He could have just motioned for me or said, “Okay, I can talk to you now.” But he called my number.

I said, “Bingo!”

Then there was the time that I was having trouble getting a registration for my  jon boat.

 I had sent the Department of Natural Resources a check for the registration, but a couple of months had gone by and I had no registration.

I called a couple of times and finally DNR told me that they had new procedures, and I would have to send them my hull number. I couldn’t find but one set of numbers on the boat, and it didn’t have enough digits for the form.

But I sent those numbers. DNR told me they were not valid. And again I told DNR that these were the only numbers I could find. Eventually they told me they would assign me a hull number. Three months later, I still had no registration.

I kept calling until one day a DNR ranger from Thomasville called and told me they had my assigned hull number. I told him I would be over the next day to pick it up. And he said that he would come and install it himself.

I had never thought of placing a number on my boat as “installing.” I thought of it as “sticking it own.” Even though I explained that I had to travel to Thomasville anyway, he insisted he would come and “install” it.

So the next day at lunch, two DNR rangers showed up at my house and put numbers on my boat. They put two sets of numbers, one on the front and one on the back.  I just supposed that this was why they sent two rangers. One was a front-end specialist and one was a back-end specialist.  They were very cordial and efficient. The numbers have not fallen off.

Now none of my personal adventures in this venue compare with the disaster at the Alamo. Keep in mind that this is where we lost Davy Crockett and Jim Bowie. While the people who have portrayed these two bigger-than-life frontiersmen in the movies have always been around for the sequels, in real life 5,000 against 149 is not going to favor the smaller number. It’s almost in the same futility classification of a Midwestern football team playing the Southeastern Conference for a national title.

“Common sense, wherefore art thou?”

(Dwain Walden is editor/publisher of The Moultrie Observer. Email: