Recently a caller asked what I was smoking or drinking when I write my columns. Well, I don’t really smoke. I do chew a good cigar occasionally. Sometimes it will last me three days, depending on how much I grind my teeth. As for drinking, it could be coffee, tea or Dr. Pepper. I write most of my columns at the office so Jack Daniels can’t help.
I’m supposing that the caller was suggesting that I smoke pot when I write because of my subject matter and my style of writing. Nope, I don’t. In fact, I’ve never tried pot. I was afraid I would like it. I tried smoking a pipe when I was studying philosophy in college, but I kept burning holes in my shirts and ties. Not only that, pipe smoke gives me a headache.
So when my professor asked the ultimate philosophical question, “who am I and what am I doing here?” well, I was trying to cut a firebreak to keep my burning tie from reaching my double-knit slacks. I realize that is not of the Plato and Socrates proportions, but to embrace another philosophical comment, I had to “seize the moment.”
Now when I said I’ve never tried pot, I was at a concert once sitting up in the pigeon roost at the old Omni in Atlanta. There was so much pot being smoked around me, I was getting a bit dizzy just from the second-hand factor. I realized I was getting in trouble when I suggested to my wife that I was going to fly down and get us a couple of Cokes. Fortunately, she insisted that we weren’t thirsty. And she knew I didn’t have my cape with me.
Like I said, I’m guessing the fellow was referring to the fact that I typically write about ordinary stuff. And yes, it gets a little off the wall by some interpretations. But if I wrote about politics all the time like the other columnists on the opinion page, I might start smoking pot to diminish the depression.
There are plenty of simple subjects all around us that should be written about.
Example: The other day I was pumping gas, and while I was looking at the price per gallon I got to dwelling on the fact that all gas prices use the 9/10 of a cent posting. That day I was paying $2.68 and 9/10 cents for gas. But have you ever noticed that your bill is always in round numbers? No fractions.
Now I realize that we don’t have coins less than a penny and even if we did, we would choose to forfeit that fraction because it’s difficult enough to pay up now, given the people buying scratch-off tickets.
I took this observation back to the breakfast club at the Downtown Deli and you would have thought I had found an extra paragraph in that 2,000-page health care bill. Even my friend Clem Weldon was sidetracked from his tirade about Nancy Pelosi.
Then came the question, why do they always “round up” instead of “rounding down”? Well, I pointed out that no one rounds down unless they are weighing themselves. And I pointed out for clarification that one’s desired weight is the one printed on his or her drivers’ license. I don’t know if they “round up” or “round down” the numbers on a breathalyzer test.
Like I said, stuff is all around us ... to the left and to the right. And sometimes we step in it. It happens.
(Dwain Walden is editor/publisher of The Moultrie Observer, 985-4545. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org)