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Texas : Features : Columns : Letters From North America :

Looking forward to
November the fifth

by Peary Perry
Peary Perry

I must be weirdÖ

Wait, donít answer that. I already know the answer.

Last week I was sitting in the lobby at my dentist. His office has two entrances. If you come in the back door, there is a sign that directs you to the lobby by turning either left or right.

I have never given it much thought on which way I should turn. It doesnít really matter to me one way or the other. Sometimes I go left, sometimes I go right. It depends on how I feel that day. I have no set pattern. Both ways are the same distance so either one of them will get you to the lobby in the same amount of time.

So, while Iím waiting, this lady comes to the reception desk and is clearly frustrated. She wants an answer as to which way she should turn when she enters the offices. Should she go left or should she go right? She says that she is confused and wants to make certain she is doing the proper thing.

The receptionist tells her that it really doesnít make any difference, but she keeps going on and on about how difficult she finds the rear entrance to be. I want to tell her to just come in the front door and save herself all of the grief. But the better part of me tells me to just keep my mouth shut and let well enough alone. Personally I think the lady has too much time on her hands to be worried over something so trivial.

But then, thatís my opinion.

At the same time, my wife and I went to a funeral last week and as a result endured another of my pet peeves. You probably will think this is funny, but it always seems strange to me to see folks you only see at funerals and you greet each other with ďItís so good to see you again.Ē

Isnít there something better you could say besides this? I wish Emily Post were still around so I could ask her. Perhaps she would be able to come up with some sort of substitution. But then again, maybe Iím a little bit strange and worried about things that donít really matter, much like the lady at the dentistís office. Does it really matter how we greet people at a funeral? Does this bother anyone else?

I donít know, but it just sounds odd to me to be Ďhappyí or Ďgoodí to see someone you havenít seen in a long time at a sad occasion. What do you think?

If you can read a note of sarcasm in this weekís effort, you would be astute. I am up to my ears hearing about the election and watching the warring ads for either side blaze across the television screen each evening. The economy is in the dumpster and no one seems to have a clue as to how it might be fixed. You can turn off the television, not pick up your papers and listen to music on the radio rather than the talking heads for a solid week and you wonít miss a thing.

If we go to war with anyone or are about to be attacked, you can always catch up on whatís going on by grabbing one of those so-called Ďmagazinesí at the checkout counter at the grocery store. They seem to have all of the latest news including which presidential candidate is really an alien from the planet Zenon. Or better yet, which candidates actually have eight toes on their left foot. Stuff we can all easily check out for ourselves. Iím beginning to believe they have about as much truthful information as what I see on regular television or read in the national papers. And I think I should tell you that I am also beginning to believe that televised wrestling is real.

I mean, come onÖI overheard several people at the funeral talking about a match they had seen the other week. They thought it was real. Why would they lie?

Come to think of it the lady at the dentists office had on a ĎHulk Hoganí tee shirt. That should have told me something.

I need a vacation. I donít know about you, but Iím really looking forward to November the fifth. It canít come too soon to suit me.

© Peary Perry
September 23, 2008 column
More Letters From North America
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Comments go to pperry@austin.rr.com

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