More highlights from my new mini-blog

More highlights from my new mini-blog,


I’m all in favor of letting people die with the verb of their choosing.

If you want your obituary to say you “passed away,” that’s fine. If you prefer to have “gone to meet Jesus,” I still get the point. I’m even okay with you being “ingested by a chipper” if you and your family wish to be that specific.

But you need to make it clear that you have died, and I shouldn’t expect to run into you at the grocery store.

A recent obituary in our local paper claimed that Gus Johnson had “gone home.” To me, that’s a little vague. Has Gus taken a drive to New Jersey? Had he been playing in the park till his mom called him in for dinner? Had he scored a run from third base?

To say he had “gone home” implies a little more warmth and coziness than I’m guessing actually occurred.

When the time comes for me, as it must eventually come for us all, I plan to either “kick the bucket,” “buy the farm” or “head out to that big roundup in the sky.” I don’t plan on “going home” unless it’s to frighten ungrateful survivors as one of the living dead.


Struggling to compete in the new low-cost niche of the fast-food market, Wendy’s began a series of nationwide ads yesterday promoting their new “9 cent menu”.

“We recognize that our customers are watching every penny they spend, and we’ve responded to that,” said Wendy’s vice-president Aaron Rubin. “Now, you can get a hearty meal at Wendy’s and not empty your wallet.”

Included on the new menu, called the “Niner Diner,” are the following, all available for only nine cents each:

  • Three french fries
  • Half a bun
  • Pickles discarded into the trash by previous customers
  • Ketchup packet
  • A napkin
  • Yesterday’s newspaper (mayonnaise stained)
  • The cherry from the top of our ice cream parfait
  • A visit to our restroom
  • The words “we look forward to serving you at the next window”
  • Grease from the burger grill
  • An unidentified pill
  • Some hair



Two newly elected Congressional Republicans missed the official swearing-in ceremonies last week while attending a party with supporters.

But they watched it on TV and, when the time came to take the formal oath, they recited the oath to the television, thinking that would suffice.

Unfortunately, the Constitution barely mentions TV, and instead requires members to be sworn in “within proximity of the Speaker.” So they met later in the week with new House leader John Boehner to clean up the procedural mess they had created.

A series of early votes cast by Rep. Pete Sessions of Texas and Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick of Pennsylvania had to be scratched from the record. However, their support for convening a committee to consider repeal of the new health care law, which they consider unconstitutional, will stand.

The misunderstanding occurred only one day after the new Republican majority in the House conducted a first-ever reading of the Constitution in the chamber. Republicans who swept to victory in November elections had made a strict interpretation of this nation’s founding document a basis for their campaigns.


A man who lost his voice yet still resides in a beautiful home caught the nation’s imagination yesterday when a video of his story went viral on YouTube.

Only days after a similar case, in which a homeless man demonstrated his smooth broadcast voice to passing motorists, Ed Williams told of how he awoke Thursday morning in his suburban mansion with a bad case of laryngitis and had been unable to speak above a croak ever since.

“Help me please,” read a hand-lettered sign Williams held as he stood near a busy Cleveland intersection. “My throat is really sore and I’m almost out of cough drops. God bless you.”

Williams, no relation to Ted Williams, the so-called “Homeless Man With the Golden Voice,” recounted to reporters how he spent years using his voice to make casual conversation, speak with loved ones, and achieve a successful career in real estate. It’s through that career that he was able to afford a 4,000-square-foot Tudor home with four bathrooms and a three-car garage.

“Now, after all that talking, I can barely communicate above a squeak,” Ed Williams pantomimed at an impromptu press conference. “I lost it all. Well, not the house and the cars and the cash and the great job, but I can hardly talk thanks to this awful cold.”

When news of the story spread, donations of lozenges, gum and cough syrup began pouring in from around the country. By Friday afternoon, Williams said he was feeling better.

“My heart is warmed by this show of support,” Williams whispered with a still-fragile voice. “I think I’ll go home now and lie down for a while.”

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