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In the Catbird Seat/Joe Kirkish

Sweeping dust under the rug

August 25, 2011
The Daily Mining Gazette

It's human nature - trying to get away with something, to sweep things under the rug.

You go to the bazaar at Gay (from noon to 3 p.m., incidentally, on Aug. 27 and Sept. 5), for a grand time, where you can sample homemade foods and drinks in the back of the Community Center and then look over all the clothes on the racks., where one person's castaways are another person's treasure. You're a bit disappointed. Your size small is almost nonexistent; you find nothing but large sizes and up. Hmmm, you think. Maybe what they've been telling us all along; if this is any indication, we're a nation of overweight people and so what. But doctors and dieticians care. They fear that lugging all that blubber around is not only unsightly, but weighs us down, bringing on a whole line of ailments from diabetes and hypertension to heart and pulmonary diseases. Obesity also cuts our life expectancies by at least five years.

So what, we shrug. We can just sweep those warnings under the rug, slack off on exercise and continue to shovel down the three killers: salt, sugar, fat, without wondering why we spend so much time in the physician's office.

Another thing: We nearly all have cell phones. Despite the suspicion that using them so frequently so close to the brain could cause eventual, permanent damage, we sweep the warnings under the rug, saying, "Well, they haven't proved it to me yet." And we use those cell phones with the same unconcern as 16-year-old driving Pop's car down a dirt road at high speed.

Whoa, wait a minute. What about those 10 commandments for cell phone users?

1 - Thou shalt not subject defenseless bystanders to cell phone conversations.

2 - Thou shalt not set thy ringer to play "La Cucaracha" or the Bee Gees' "Stayin' Alive," or any other melody that becomes teeth grinding with repetition.

3 - Thou shalt turn thy cell phone off during any public performances or on special dates.

4 - Thou shalt not wear more than two wireless devices on thy belt. Techno-jockeys are not cool.

5 - Thou shalt not dial or talk while driving, especially in heavy traffic or at high speeds.

6 - Nor shalt thou wear thy earpiece in the presence of thy friends and co-workers. Like wearing CD player headphones, it's just rude.

7 - Thou shalt not speak louder on thy cell phone than thou wouldst on any other phone.

8 - Thou shalt not grow too attached to thy cell phone. It's an addiction that's not healthy. Give it a rest.

9 - Thou shalt not display thy cell phone on a restaurant table, waiting for it to ring, like a gunslinger with ready pistol.

10 - Thou shalt not attempt to impress with thy mobile phone. Not only is it no longer impressive, using it ostentatiously to impress identifies you as a jerk.

And then there's the economy to hide under the rug. Sure, it's not easy to cut back on all those luxuries we think of as necessities - tooling around in gas guzzlers and driving a few blocks when a good walk would be better, buying all those expensive ready-packaged foods to save a few minutes in meal preparation, thinking nothing of splurging on unnecessary doodads for in and around the house. And all this time the economy's so bad that we joke about it:

- Motel Six won't leave the light on anymore.

- A picture now is only worth 200 words.

- Exxon-Mobil laid off 25 Congressmen.

- When Bill and Hillary travel together, they now have to share a room.

Another example, equally serious. Elections are coming up. You are tired of the bombardment of one-sided reasons why so-and-so should be elected. You throw up your hands and either vote emotionally rather than with earnest examination or you simply don't vote at all.

Now, where's that dust pan?

Rotten tomato averages: "Spy Kids," C-, "The Change-Up," D+, "Fright Night,"C+

For Wednesdays at 6:30 p.m. drop in on the Drs. Co open house for light drinks, snacks, and an exceptional foreign movie (308 Cooper, Hancock).



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