By Mike Wilcox
Writing this column is sometimes a chore. I awaken real early each week, when my thought process is usually at its best, to begin putting words on paper. Often words flow without much effort, but once in a while prose is hard to come by. This is one of those instances.
Why? Maybe because I’m approaching another birthday milestone. They say the older you get, the harder it is to write intelligently.
It doesn’t help today that my insides are coated with three types of cold medicine, yet I still feel like a zombie. It doesn’t help that it’s 5 a.m., I’ve already had a full pot of coffee and my hands are shaking to the point I have trouble finding the right letters on my keyboard.
What to write about? I looked at past columns; maybe one from a year ago would give me an idea. As I read a column from last January, I nearly fell out of my chair. The topic was the government shutdown, or at least threat of it. Here we are a year later and the same problem exists. I wondered if presidents and Congress will ever get along, then decided that topic isn’t what readers want to hear.
I heard yesterday one of my editors was having problems at home. He said it was pet problems. It seems the family dog killed two parrots and two bunnies his family had in their home. Occasionally his wife or daughter would let the parrots fly free and the bunnies wander portions of the house. The dog found them easy prey and soon dead prey.
The dog was sent elsewhere, so his wife and daughter replaced the dead animals with new parrots and bunnies. Now they worry about the family cat that is lurking near the new pets, maybe wanting a piece of an expensive parrot.
I think about the county workers in one of the jurisdictions my newspapers cover. They didn’t receive paychecks last week because of a computer glitch. From what I’m told the payroll computer had been down for several days. If I were in charge, I would have made sure those employees were paid, even if the paychecks had to be handwritten.
But so it goes in rural counties. The prosecutor in another county we cover complained that the federal shutdown didn’t allow her to receive a computer coming from Canada, so that they could begin an important grant program. Again I wonder if the government shutdown is simply an excuse for local government not having their ducks in a row.
We all make mistakes. Heck, yesterday one of my employees was chewed out royally for an error I had made. I had not published a Notice to Creditors that had been emailed by an attorney. Four months later, he noticed it had not been published, and boy did he have some choice words for the employee who unfortunately answered the phone.
If it appears I’m rambling, I guess I am. It happens when old age besets you. Did I tell you this topsy-turvy weather has made me feel like my head is going to explode at any minute?
Even the off-the-shelf various medicines I pour down my throat are having little effect. My head might as well be a bowling ball rolling down the alley towards a strike, or in my case a split.
As soon as the ball hits those pins you hear the exploding sound. It’s an awesome sound when all 10 pins drop, but when is your head, ugh, you just want to curl up and fall in to a deep sleep.
But hey, I only have 10 more hours before work is done. I can do this, or so my mind is telling me. How much you wanna bet I’m home in bed before the clock strikes 12?