I don’t really have a specific topic for this week’s column. Sometimes, it’s hard to come up with something each week. As mentioned before, I don’t have a surplus of columns that I can reach into and pull out a gem when I don’t have anything fresh. Most of the time, it’s written on the fly. I kinda like the rush of writing something at the last minute. I keep thinking I will be able to yell “stop the presses” at some point, but I don’t have an office or even a desk at the newspaper. I don’t even think the presses themselves are in the same building. Being a columnist means I don’t actually have to go to the office to write the column. I get to write it and e-mail it to the editors. This week, please indulge me as I have a small collection of random thoughts and not one single topic.
First, a personal note. Last weekend I found out that my wife and I are going to be grandparents for the second time. We are looking forward to every moment of having a baby in our lives again. Those of you who read this column regularly, please remind me of this when I am wondering what the heck I was thinking when I said that. When I am changing a diaper for the first time in years, and wondering what that horrid smell is, remind me I mentioned in this very column I was looking forward to it. When I visit my daughter and she and her husband run out the door like marathon finalists because the babysitters have shown up, remind me I was looking forward to this. It’s been a while since we had a little one around and we truly are looking forward to it.
In regard to the last column and the current weather. It’s the heat AND the humidity. None of us signed on for this apparent level of Hell we are enduring now. Forget that column. It was satire, but hot is hot. And humid. Feel free to join me for a glass of cold ice tea. I have a pitcher right next to the big plate of crow. I would give you a report of the current temperatures at my house, but my outdoor thermometer melted the day before yesterday.
We went shopping at the local Walmart and discovered that school supply lists are already in the stores. According to the folks at Walmart, they have been there for two weeks. Target already has the back corner of the store set up with school supplies and such. That department was set up in late June. I imagine it has to be set up that early so they can take it down to get the Christmas decorations in the store by September.
In most parts of the state, gas prices have come down. And gone up. And come down. There doesn’t seem to be any rhyme or reason for the ups and downs. I had a theory that the gas prices go up when the outside temperatures go down. No one wants to be outside when it is a thousand degrees. Raise the prices when people actually want to go somewhere. Before some of you economists jump on me for this, I don’t claim to be an economist anymore than I am a meteorologist. This is just the theory of a guy who writes goofy stuff in the paper.
On a marginally related automotive note, it was reported on the radio this morning that the rural roads of North Carolina are some of the most deadly in the nation. The roads themselves aren’t so much the issue, but the people on them. I have a 40-mile commute one way to work and I have seen more than my share of ridiculous things while driving. Besides the usual culprits texting or what have you, I have seen folks putting on full faces of makeup, curling hair, getting dressed and eating full breakfasts complete with knife and fork. If I’m involved in an accident while driving, I don’t want my family finding out it was because some guy was eating Frosted Flakes behind the wheel of a car going 60 miles per hour.
My final note is this — be nice. That’s it. Be nice. We all have bad days and a lot of the time we are bothered by things that we have no control of. Be nice. It doesn’t take that much effort. If you just can’t be nice, feel free to comment on one of my columns. I’m used to it.
Baltimore native Joe Weaver is a husband, father, pawnbroker and gun collector. From his home in New Bern, he writes on the lighter side of family life.