I was just thinking the other day about several things that I’ve become aware of recently that bother me. Nancie says I’m probably the only one who is concerned about things like this.

I became aware, through the news, that a school system in Colorado has decided to no longer recognize a valedictorian in graduating classes. My question is, since when is it no longer appropriate to reward excellence? It seems that their reasoning is, that creates too many losers. Can that not also be looked upon as an excellent motivational tool? I wonder, how far will this go?

Will athletic teams no longer have a most valuable player? Will there be no more All-Conference, All-County, All-City or even All-American-or All-Pro teams? Will we no longer keep score because that means someone will be a loser? Will we abandon horse racing, automobile racing or even eliminate track meets? This will mean no more Olympic Games.

All those things will result in a few winners and a lot of losers. Will coaches be required to give every player on the team the exact number of minutes of playing time and no longer have a “first string?” Will we no longer use ACT or SAT scores as they’ve been used? Will teachers no longer give grades because some will be higher than others? Will there no longer be right or wrong answers on an exam? The possibilities of this are frightening to me. This is another example of “political correctness” that, unless common sense prevails, will destroy us.

We are bombarded with commercials on radio and TV. We understand the reason for commercials. First of all, they pay for the time used by the programs we choose to watch. Their purpose is to grab our attention, cause us to desire to buy a product or to patronize a business of some kind. I wonder, am I the only one who is so irritated by some commercials that they cause me to decide I’ll never go there or buy that?

There is a fast food commercial that is, to me at least, utterly ridiculous, and to think that chain of restaurants paid an advertising agency a ton of money for it. In these ads, there are men wearing bright red wigs with long pigtails. These men appear in the most ridiculous and unlikely places and tout the burgers that chain sells. That is irritating to me. Am I the only one who feels that way?

A major food store chain, one which will soon come to Richmond, had ads on TV during the Thanksgiving and Christmas seasons, urging us to purchase our turkey with all the trimmings from their store. Their ad showed a very nice looking, well-dressed family at a table enjoying a holiday meal. Everyone had their mouths stuffed so full, their cheeks were bulging. They looked as if they would burst. Add to that, they were talking with their mouths so full. I couldn’t help but think about my mom. She would have said. “Don’t stuff your mouth so full, that is bad manners.” Then she would have added, “Don’t talk with your mouth full, if you do that again, I’ll make you leave the table.” I suppose their moms never taught them good table manners.

Several weeks ago, there was a water main break in my neighborhood. As luck would have it, the utility company had to dig up the corner of my yard. This is in the most visible part of my yard, on the corner of my street and the side street. To be very honest, it looks terrible. I saw my friend Roger Barger a day or two ago and he remarked to me, “I see you must have run out of money and had to dig up some you had buried.”

He was right about my running out of money, but I don’t have any stashed away.

Trivia answer

The U.S. state located east of the Mississippi that has the smallest population is Vermont.

Trivia question

What popular song did Marilyn Monroe sing to John F. Kennedy in Madison Square Garden on May 21, 1962?

Thought for the day

Our background and circumstances have influenced who we are, but we are responsible for who we become.

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