Main Street

MAIN STREET by Roger Allen, publisher

May 31, 2012 // 0 Comments

Wisdom from Winston Sir Winston Churchill is almost as quotable as his fellow Brit William Shakespeare. An example from Churchill: “It has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except all the others that have been tried.” Currently, Egypt is trying to put that idea to the test. Countless lives were lost in Egypt’s public uprising and struggle toward democracy, but the run-off election is coming up soon. The fear is that the grim fanaticism left over from the deposed Hosni Mubarak will win. Let’s hope the Egyptian voters get it right. Another favorite Churchill quote: “A fanatic is one who can’t change his mind and won’t change the subject.” Speaking of Brits… An American visiting in England asked at the hotel for the elevator. The desk clerk looked a bit confused but smiled when he realized what the man wanted. “You must mean the lift,” he said. “No,” the American responded, “if I ask for the elevator, I mean the elevator.” “Well,” said the desk clerk, “over here we call them lifts.” “Well,” said the visitor, “it was an American who invented the elevator.” “Oh, right you are, sir,” the desk clerk said politely, “but someone here in England invented the language.” Internet wisdom I feel much more secure these days due to the many cautionary chain letters arriving in my mailbox. As a result, I no longer drink Coca Cola because it can remove toilet stains and it eats the paint off cars. I no longer drink Pepsi or Dr. Pepper, since the people who make these products are atheists who refuse to put “Under God” on their cans. I no longer use Saran wrap in the microwave because it causes cancer. I no longer use cancer-causing deodorants, even though I smell like a wet dog on a hot day. And I no longer go to shopping malls because someone will drug me with a perfume sample and rob me. Keep them coming. Diet Rules for Cheaters 1. If you eat something and no one sees you eat it, it has no calories. 2. If you drink diet pop with a candy bar, the calories in the candy bar are cancelled out by the diet pop. 3. Foods used for […]

MAIN STREET by Roger Allen, publisher

May 24, 2012 // 0 Comments

Computer vs. publisher: Publisher wins Last week’s column was a first draft. Sorry about that. My new Macintosh laptop sent it off to the paper without asking me. I’ve disciplined the Mac. We hope it now knows who’s boss. Following is the intended column, a week late. Not a lot is different. However, if you compare last week’s with this, you’ll see I refined thoughts, ditched one long joke but kept others, and stole a few short ones from other people. Focus, folks! It appears that our upcoming election results may hinge on the candidates’ views on marriage. Our nation faces a variety of other issues that seem more critical. How about Syria, North Korea, immigration, climate change, economic distress, and what to do about the banking industry that seems to have gone off the tracks? (JPMorgan Chase’s recent $2 billion gambling loss [revealed this week, $3 billion!] will trickle down, so let’s find out how our politicians stand on better regulation.) Personal opinions aside, the marriage issue affects only a few. The major problems may affect every one of us. And speaking of that Every few days Mitt Romney and Barack Obama accuse and criticize what the other has said or meant. They’re beginning to sound like they’re married to each other. Political joke A busload of politicians was traveling down a country road when suddenly the bus ran off the road and crashed into an old farmer’s barn. The old farmer got off his tractor and went to investigate, after which he dug a hole and buried the passengers. A few days later, the local sheriff came out, noticed the crashed bus, and asked the old farmer where all the politicians had gone. The old farmer said he’d buried them. “Lordy,” said the sheriff. “They ALL got killed?” “Well,” said the old farmer, “some of them said they didn’t, but you know how them crooked politicians lie.” Another political joke Two alligators were sitting at the side of the swamp near Washington. The smaller one turned to the bigger one and said, “I can’t understand how you kin be so much bigger ’n me. We’re the same age, we was the same size as kids. I just don’t get it.” “Well,” said the big […]

MAIN STREET by Roger Allen, publisher

May 10, 2012 // 0 Comments

Truth The side with the most arrows and the best horses wins the war. Nope, wrong century. New truth: The side with the most guns wins the war. Better truth: being smart about resolving conflict can avoid the gun solution. The gun solution seems to feed on itself and, more often than not, leads to more unnecessary conflict. Another new truth: The politician with the most money wins the election. We need to remember this when we vote for our representatives in Congress. Every poll shows they’re currently WAY down on Americans’ approval list. Sad truth: We elected all of them. Hopeful truth: In a democracy, voters must GET INFORMED and STAY INFORMED. Leaving the TV on one station all the time? Not enough. We need to expose ourselves to real information, and a variety of it. Politicians lie to us and they pay others to lie to us. They want to warp our opinions. Let’s prove we aren’t pushovers. More crooks Thieves robbed a bank. The chief of police ordered his sergeant to cover all exit points so that none of the robbers could get away. When the sergeant reported back that all the robbers had escaped, the chief went mad with anger. Pounding on the desk, he yelled, “Didn’t I tell you to cover all the exit points?” “I did,” defended the sergeant, “but they managed to escape through the entrance.” And another one The bank manager was down to two final applicants, one of whom would get the job as cashier. The first was from a small college in upstate New York. He was a nice young fellow but a bit timid. His interview went okay, but it was nothing special. Then the bank manager called for the other man: “Jim Johnson!” Up stepped a burley young man who seemed quite sure of himself. “He looks like he can take care of any situation,” thought the manager, and decided, there and then, to hire him. Turning to the first applicant, the manager said he could leave and they would let him know. Turning to Johnson, he said, “Now, Jim, I like the way you carry yourself. That’s an asset for the job as cashier. However, you must also be precise. I noticed […]

MAIN STREET — by Roger Allen, publisher

May 3, 2012 // 0 Comments

Too many? Although Western societies and China have cut back the average number of children per couple, other parts of the world overflow with babies. The growth of world population is astounding. In 10,000 B.C. there were about one million of us. By 1900 we were up to one-and-a-half billion. Then, at year 2000, our number was at six billion. The United States Census Bureau estimates that world population exceeded SEVEN BILLION on March 12, 2012. According to a separate estimate by the United Nations Population Fund, it reached that milestone on October 31, 2011. Human beings are using up the world at a tremendous rate. Much of the world is hungry. Global pollution isn’t under control. We are running out of clean water. Disease, starvation and war create misery but not a net decrease in population. The news is full of wars, protests, killings and revolutions. If it is part of the human condition that we can’t get along with each other, then this adds to an obvious truth: We humans have used Mother Nature’s gift of reproduction to excess. Arithmetic joke Tom was being questioned by the teacher during an arithmetic lesson. “If you had ten dollars,” said the teacher, “and I ask you for a loan of eight dollars, how much would you have left?” “Ten,” said Tom. “Ten?” the teacher said. “How do you make it ten?” “Well,” replied Tom, “you may ask for a loan of eight dollars, but that doesn’t mean you’ll get it.” This week’s lawyer A dog ran into a butcher shop and grabbed a roast off the counter. Fortunately, the butcher recognized the dog as belonging to his neighbor. The neighbor happened to be a lawyer. So the butcher called him and said, “Hey, if your dog stole a roast from my butcher shop, would you be liable for the cost of the meat?” The lawyer replied, “Of course, how much was the roast?” “$7.98.” A few days later the butcher received a check in the mail for $7.98. Attached to it was an invoice that read: Legal Consultation Service: $150. This week’s doctor Three doctors are in a duck blind and a bird flies overhead. The general practitioner looks up and says, “Looks like a […]

MAIN STREET by Roger Allen, publisher

April 26, 2012 // 0 Comments

Another brilliant idea Tourism is a big money-maker. Locally, we draw in a few tourists with the Red Flannel Festival, Start of Summer, Harvest Festival and miscellaneous other special events. Wildly creative promotion could bring us tourists by the truckload. Since nobody actually wears red flannels anymore, how about a Lingerie Festival? I’m envisioning models for ladies’ underwear, historical displays (such as Queen Victoria’s bloomers) and a contest for better design of men’s boxer shorts. But especially the models. And why has Rockford never had a Shoe Festival? Just imagine five-inch-heel foot races and shoelace knot-tying workshops. Rockford has been a shoe place for a hundred years, more or less. We need to make shoes fun enough to pull in the tourists. They’d sip their libations from high-heeled slippers in the beer tent… I’ll stop right there for now because brilliant thinking always tires me out. The olden days, Part I Henry was playing pretend-fight. This was back in the days before indoor plumbing. During his game, the boy knocked over the outhouse. Sure that he’d get a whooping, he ran into the woods. It was after dark when Henry sneaked back and, sure enough, his father was waiting. “Son, did you knock over the outhouse?” “No, Pappy.” “Well, let me tell you a story,” said the father. “Once, not that long ago, George Washington received a shiny new axe from his father. Excited, he tried it out. Too late he realized he had cut down his mother’s favorite cherry tree.” Henry’s father paused. “Just like you, he ran into the woods.” Henry felt his face turn red as his dad went on: “When George came back, his pappy asked, ‘Did you cut down the cherry tree?’ George looked his father in the eye and said, ‘I cannot tell a lie. Yes, I did it.’ George’s father said, ‘Since you were honest with me, I won’t punish you.’” Henry gulped. His father again asked, “Son, did you knock down the outhouse?” “Pappy,” said Henry, “I cannot lie. Yes, it was me that did it.” Then Henry’s father spanked him red, white and blue. “Pappy,” whimpered Henry, “I told the truth! Why did you whoop me?” “Because,” came the answer, “George Washington’s father wasn’t in the […]

1 3 4 5 6 7 33