Selling Myself Short

 

Legendary Texas sportswriter Blackie Sherrod used to open his column in the Sunday paper with, “Scattershooting while wondering whatever happened to ____…”, fill in the blank with the name of some famous person, sports related or not, who hadn’t been heard from lately, then regale his readers with short, but brilliant, observations on a variety of topics.

So, in tribute to him, and because I don’t seem to be able craft any narrative much longer than a paragraph lately, here are a few short takes. Here goes:

 

Scattershooting while wondering whatever happened to Kellyanne Conway…

I’m so happy for the Houston Astros, who just won their very first World Series, and are now the reigning champions of Major League Baseball. ⚾️

It couldn’t have happened at a better time for the beleaguered people of Houston, whose recovery from the devastation left behind by hurricane Harvey is ongoing. They had something to rally around, to cheer for and finally, to celebrate. So, at least for awhile, Houstonians had a chance to forget all the troubles that still beset them, and party their Astros off. 🎉🎉

 

It’s come to this, I guess.

The New York City Marathon took place Sunday, mere days after a terrorist killed eight people in Manhattan by running over them in a truck. Several people participating in the race were understandably worried about such a thing happening again during the marathon, so the city and the police took the following precautions:

From the Associated Press:

“The security detail will include hundreds of extra uniformed patrol and plainclothes officers, roving teams of counterterrorism commandos armed with heavy weapons, bomb-sniffing dogs and rooftop snipers poised to shoot if a threat emerges.”

This was for a footrace, folks. I mean, good grief!

Fortunately, there were no incidents. Congratulations to the women’s winner, America’s Shalane Flanagan, and the men’s winner, Kenya’s Geoffrey Kamworor, and to everyone else who participated. And to New York’s Finest for keeping them safe.

You people are masochists, though, running that far. Just sayin’.

 

Well, the floodgates have opened, haven’t they? As predicted, Harvey Weinstein was just the beginning. We’re hearing story after story of men in positions of power abusing that power with women. Women are discovering strength in numbers, and speaking up about instances of harassment and abuse from powerful men, instances they previously stayed silent about for fear of reprisal.

I just read about former and current women in Congress being harassed by certain men in Congress, some of whom still serve. (Nobody was named specifically.)

Actions have consequences, even for powerful men. Time for all this hideous behavior to be called out and punished. Ladies, I salute your courage. Gentlemen, it’s time you were truly gentlemen. Way past time.

And that goes for you, too, Kevin Spacey.

 

donald trump has actually changed my opinion of him. He’s reinforced it. Exponentially.

 

Some people just…shouldn’t… be…parents.

Courtesy of CBS News:

“SAUKVILLE, Wis. — A Wisconsin woman is facing charges after her 9-year-old son was tied to the roof of their minivan to help hold down a plastic pool.

“Prosecutors allege (the woman) had her son hold down the molded pool they’d just picked up because it wouldn’t fit inside the van. CBS affiliate WDJT reports a driver called police after seeing the incident on Sept. 9 in Saukville, about 20 miles north of Milwaukee.”

She later explained to police, she thought it was okay, because her dad used to let her do that all the time. Proof positive that stupid is hereditary.

 

These are certainly different times we live in. I recall a time when the thought never even entered my mind that I might go to school, or to the mall, or to church, and wind up getting shot. There truly is no safe place left anymore. That’s a terrible feeling.

I guess no one is gonna get off their ass and do something about all the gun violence in this country until every single citizen ends up shot. Apparently, that’s what it will take.

 

Model Chrissy Teigen left a waitress in Ohio a $1,000 tip recently.

I know it’s too much to wish for, but I hope she catches a ride on my shuttle sometime.

Later, y’all.

 

 

 

I Feel, I Think, I Clam Up

 

The popular saying is, “Opinions are like noses; everybody has one.” I’ve heard a few variations, but you get the point. Each of us has his (or her) own thoughts and feelings about any given subject.

It’s pretty hard not to. Neutrality is almost impossible; chances are, we will have an opinion. We either like someone, or we don’t. We either like a movie, song, or show, or we don’t. We either stand for or against something or someone.

It’s one of our main daily activities, really: forming and developing opinions.

And, at some point, we will express those opinions. We’ll say what we feel, or think.

And the people to whom we say them will either agree or disagree.

Counselor, is there a point to this narrative?

I’m getting there, Your Honor.

I often try not to have an opinion on things but, as I said, that’s pretty tough. I am, after all, a thinking, feeling human being.

What I try even harder to do is keep those opinions to myself, because if I express them, I may have to then defend them. And therein lies a source of great discomfort for me.

 

You ever walk into a gunfight with a pea-shooter?

That’s how I feel almost every time I get into a discussion with someone whose opinions differ from my own.

No matter how confident I may be about my ability to argue my position, I nearly always feel as though the other person can argue his better, thus sending me to a spectacular crash and burn.

I hate that.

Because, then I end up feeling like my opinion is the wrong one, even though I’ve been told many times, there is no wrong opinion. Facts are right and wrong (or even “alternative”). Opinions are simply opinions.

(You couldn’t prove that by the current political discourse in this country, though, but that’s another story.)

What’s worse, I worry the other person thinks I’m kinda on the stupid side for believing as I do. Mind you, this is all under the assumption the other person even cares what I think.

Which all serves to make me less likely to open my mouth next time around. 🤐

 

So, I wonder: does anybody else feel like that? Seriously.

If you do, how do you deal with that?

Because, in my opinion, I could use some tips.