So there’s that nerdy married couple I know. When they were dating, their idea of a sexy date was to go out to dinner and work on a puzzle together. Now that they’re married, they go to museums and all that, but they do it in other cities, so they have to stay in hotels… together! Born to be wild, eh?
Anyway, a few weeks ago they flew to the Midwest to do some married nerd stuff. It sounded like a vacation they had seen on a replay of Malcolm in the middle. They were about to return from Chicago when flights began to be canceled due to the upsurge in COVID cases involving the Delta variant. So they made a quick decision and hired a vehicle and decided to head back to Tucson. Considering the cost of renting cars these days, they could have used the money to buy a house in Chicago and live there until COVID passed.
They are very thoughtful people. They know not to bring me stuff like microwave side magnets or anything edible. Because they know what I like, they bring me newspapers.
I like newspapers; always have. One of my earliest memories is of my father, a high school student, sitting at the kitchen table, reading the Los Angeles Times back and forth. He was a voracious reader and the Los Angeles Times was then a prodigious enterprise. I remember an urban legend about Barbara Bain (an actor in the original Impossible mission TV series) bringing a huge lawsuit because her dog was killed by the Sunday LA Times who was thrown over her wall.
It was possible to trace their trip by the papers they brought to me (and the highlights there). First of all:
• From The Gazette (independent employee-owned newspaper in Eastern Iowa), there’s this. “A southern Minnesota motor racing announcer is out for the remainder of the season following a racist rant he made at a side concert in Iowa last month …”
Complaining about people who would not defend the national anthem, announcer Lon Oelke said (over the speaker) that he wanted to make a “public service announcement”. He then said, “I have four words for you. Find another country if you don’t want to (stand). Get the hell out of Dodge.
He went on to say that his remarks were “for these people I guess the skin color is darker. I’ll just say, black people. They want a different national anthem and the NFL is considering doing it. I’m just saying turn off the televisions and let them play in front of no one.
• From the first page of the Iowa City Press-Citizen, we learn that local author Rachel Yoder has sold her first novel. It’s called Night bitch.
According to the Random House website, the premise of the book is: “An artist turned stay-at-home mom is convinced that she’s becoming a dog. ”
What the hell, if people are willing to buy a book by venom-spitting Mark Levin on so-called Marxists in America (seriously ?!), there will likely be an audience for Night bitch.
One of the reasons I mentioned this is because Yoder has an MA in Fiction from the University of Arizona. But she also holds an MFA in non-fiction from the University of Iowa. Dude, make up your mind.
Also from the Gazette Word comes along that Cedar Rapids Prairie High lost heartbreakingly to Pleasant Valley in the state baseball semifinals. Due to the brutal weather, Iowa has always held their high school baseball seasons in the summer after graduation. It’s pretty cool.
• In Ellsworth County, Kansas, the IIndependent reporter tells us to “Czech take out our edition of the Czech festival”. The first page contains an article on how Larry and Donna Ptacek were selected as Grand Marshals for the Czech Festival Parade. At the beginning of the article, we are assured that Larry is “100% Czech”.
Larry and Donna own Mike’s Plumbing and Heating. Wait, who is Mike and what did you do with him?
• Then it was in Boise City, Oklahoma, which according to Google Maps is not close to anything.
Like I said, I love newspapers and want them to survive and thrive. But I don’t know how the City of Boise News go do it. In the upper left corner of the first page, in 40 point characters, it is written that the paper costs 0.75. How can they make money this way ?! And how do they make change for a penny?
At the bottom left of the first page, they have the Boise City senior menu. Wednesday was Italian baked fish, with coleslaw, potato wedges and strawberry shortcake. Thursday was the Pimento cheese sandwich with tomato soup and coconut cream pie.
Then it says “Closed on Friday”. What the hell?!
If they haven’t passed out of hunger, they can return on Monday for Meatloaf with Brown Gravy.
• The New Mexican of Santa Fe had a front-page editorial on how the woman who becomes the acting majority leader of the state House of Representatives should not take the job because she is married to a high-profile lobbyist. The reason it is moving is because the person in the job is suspected of stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars from Albuquerque public schools.
Ah, traditional politics.