MAIN STREET by Roger Allen, publisher

Good news, bad news

Roger Allen, publisher.

Uprisings in the Middle East have driven almost everything else off the screen. Egyptians were over the moon when they got rid of Hosni Mubarak as their leader. He had led them into poverty and hopelessness. Mubarak’s gone, and that’s good news. Now, however, the power and money are up for grabs. Dozens of factions, some of them bad news crooks, are bound to try to control the Egyptian government.

We can expect much of the same in Libya if protesters drive out the despotic and weird Muammar Gaddafi. (Weird? He’s afraid to fly over water, feels safe only on the ground floor, and kept his blonde Ukrainian nurse close by until she recently abandoned Libya for the Ukraine.) Gaddafi has left no government in place, just his own will. What happens next could be good news or bad news for the Libyan people. Fingers crossed.

Meanwhile, in Madison…

The battle goes on. Unions versus the deficit? It seems pretty clear that more than Wisconsin’s deficit motivates Governor Walker. Denying collective bargaining to unions will weaken them: Members of labor unions tend to vote for Democrats. I’m old-fashioned, I guess, but here’s what I think: A governor’s job is to administer affairs to benefit the citizens, not to provide votes for his or her own political party.

Sad day

A woman awakens during the night and her husband isn’t in their bed. She goes downstairs. He’s sitting at the kitchen table, just staring at the wall, with a cup of coffee in front of him. She watches as he wipes a tear from his eye.

“What’s the matter, dear?” she asks.

The husband looks at her sadly. “Do you remember years ago when you were 16 and we were dating?”

“Yes, I do,” she replies.

The husband pauses. The words weren’t coming easily. “Do you remember when your father caught us in the back seat of my car?”

“Yes, I remember,” says the wife, taking the chair beside him and covering his hand with hers.

“Do you remember,” continued the husband, “when your dad shoved the shotgun in my face and said, ‘Either you marry my daughter or I’ll send you to jail for twenty years?’”

“I remember that, too,” she replies softly.

The husband wipes another tear from his cheek and says, “I would have gotten out today.”

Miscellaneous

• I find television very educating. Every time somebody turns on the set, I go into the other room and read a book. (Groucho Marx)

• Did I ever tell you about the student who began

his Middle Ages story with: “He was a dark and stormy knight…”?

• In a survey several years ago, all incoming freshmen at MIT were asked if they expected to graduate in the top half of their class. Ninety-seven percent responded that they did.

• Which reminds me—you realize, don’t you, that

half the people you’ll ever meet in your life are below average?

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