Stepping On Toes

 Posted by at 12:41 am  Nick's Blog
Mar 282020

Back in my small town newspaper days many editors and publishers, myself included, had a sign or plaque in their office that said some variation of, “The duty of the press is to print the truth and raise hell.” I have heard that phrase attributed to everyone from Mark Twain to a number of well known journalists, and I really can’t tell you where it originated from. But I always believed it was true, and I still do.

Miss Terry tells people all the time that one of the reasons she fell in love with me was because I was so outspoken and didn’t mind stepping on toes with my editorials. Quite often those toes belonged to politicians on the city, county, or state level. A lot of times people didn’t appreciate that very much. That’s one reason I can’t breathe very well through my nose and have little sense of smell. That happens when you get it broken a time or two.

Not only did I get punched out more than once by someone who was irate about something I put in the paper, I also had the mayor of a town in Washington state spit on me at a town council meeting, had my car vandalized a time or two, and somewhere in my desk I still have a tape recording of a county sheriff standing in my office telling me that some night he was going to pull me over and shoot me, and that his deputies would be the ones that investigated it and not a damn thing would happen.

Four nights later a carload of skinheads showed up at our house in the middle of the night, trying to break through two different doors. I put Terry on the floor on the far side of the bed with a .38 revolver and told her to shoot anybody who came to the bedroom door that wasn’t me. Then my 12 gauge riot gun and huge pissed off German Shepherd helped me get the message through that they were not welcome. Terry had dialed 911 saying that our home was being broken into, and three days later a deputy wandered by to take a report and casually mentioned that I must have made somebody mad. I guess that’s what happens when you step on toes.

Apparently, I stepped on some toes with yesterday’s blog saying that I didn’t want to hear any foolishness from people saying the coronavirus is not a big deal. Five people unsubscribed from the blog and told me that was why they did it. Depending on which of those five you want to believe, the mortality rate is either 3% or less than 2%. Okay, here’s an idea. Let me hand you a bowl of 100 M&Ms, plain or peanut, your choice. The only problem is that two or three of those M&Ms are poisoned and they will kill you. How many are you going to eat?

I mentioned in yesterday’s blog that I have two different friends in different parts of the country who tested positive for coronavirus. One of them died early yesterday morning. Bill was two weeks shy of his 47th birthday and leaves behind a wife and three kids, one of whom is serving overseas with the military. But what the hell, he’s just a statistic, right?

Okay, off my soapbox for now, but I reserve the right to get back up on it again. If you feel you don’t want to read it, you certainly don’t have to.

In other news, apparently it was a bad reaction to the new pain medication the doctor put me on, because taking just one Wednesday night left me feeling terrible all day and evening Thursday. The doctor told me to stop taking them immediately and I did, and when I woke up yesterday I felt fine. Thanks to everybody who sent messages and emails of concern.

We needed some fresh air, so yesterday we went down to our community’s private fishing pier and sat for a while watching the birds flying and the boats passing by. It was pretty windy and we had it all to ourselves. We did not see any dolphins, which seldom happens because they’re usually out frolicking in the water. Most of the manatees have left by now, so we won’t see them until it cools down again. Or maybe they are all practicing social distancing, too.

Be sure to enter our latest Free Drawing. This week’s prize is an audiobook of Cops and Writers: From the Academy to the Street by my friend Patrick J. O’Donnell. Patrick recently retired from the Milwaukee, Wisconsin Police Department, and runs the Cops and Writers Facebook page, which is a valuable resource for anyone writing mysteries or crime thrillers. If you have ever wondered what it’s like to be a police officer, this is the book that tells you how it all gets started, from basic training at the police academy to hitting the streets as a rookie patrol officer working with a Field Training Officer (FTO), along with a lot of other information about things like arrest techniques, different types of police assignments, and stories from Patrick’s own experiences in the trenches. Even if you’re not a writer, this is a book you will enjoy. To enter, click on this Free Drawing link or the tab at the top of this page and enter your name (first and last) in the comments section at the bottom of that page (not this one). Only one entry per person per drawing please, and you must enter with your real name. To prevent spam or multiple entries, the names of cartoon or movie characters are not allowed. The winner will be drawn Sunday evening.

Thought For The Day – Sometimes all you can do is step on their toes until they get the message and get out of your way.

Nick Russell

World-Famous, New York Times Best Selling Author, and All-Around Nice Guy!

  14 Responses to “Stepping On Toes”

  1. My condolences on the death of your friend.

    As far as your blog, it is just that–YOUR blog and you have the right to write whatever you want. If people don’t like what you say, they can move on or be a grown-up and respect your right to your opinion, even if it doesn’t agree with theirs. (I doubt that there is anyone with whom I agree 100 percent of the time, but that doesn’t mean I cannot be friends with them.)

  2. I second the previous comment, and offer our deepest sympathy on the passing of your friend. Glad you and Terry are well. Stay that way! Best wishes, Norma

  3. Nick you continue being Nick saying it the way you do. That is why we all LOVE you and Terry!

  4. I think the real problem with the current crisis is not that people don’t take it seriously but that the Media is willing to report anything, no matter how outrageous, just to improve their ratings. I’ll give you a couple examples. A few days ago, I was watching the morning news on a TV station in Phoenix and they were talking about the growing concern about the increase in take-out business in the restaurant industry transferring the caronavirus thru the boxes and bags being handed to customers. They had a Doctor (expert) come on and say that’s not possible. Later that day I had an appointment with my PCP and mentioned that to him and he said BS. That it was possible.

    Another one I love is every time I see how to clean and sanitize your CELL PHONE !! What are you doing ?? Passing it around in a crowd ?? Or does the virus come as an attachment on a text or phone call ???

    Maybe if there was more Truth in Reporting and stop sensationalizing everything for ratings, the public would believe. Even you Nick have to admit that over the last decade the MSM can not be proud of what they’re doing if your honest with yourself !!!

  5. Last night we lost our second friend to this virus. Yes, it is REAL. Thank you for putting it out there. Shame on anyone who doesn’t understand. I pray they remain safe so they do not impact others if they continue to disbelieve.

  6. Nick, You ‘da MAN!!

  7. Hi Nick,
    I live in Green Valley, Az and as you know, it’s a retirement community. In the winter we have about 50-60,000 seniors. In mid-March, the GV Rec centers closed and all of the clubs and pools. The outrage some of the people displayed showed just how unaware and unwilling they were to educate themselves on the seriousness. Some said they would continue life as usual because this was way overblown. They refused to believe they could have the virus and infect others. Arizona has done a dismal job of informing people and instead posted the risk was low until a week ago when they finally changed it to moderate and then two days ago to widespread.
    The Pima County Health Dept. Dr. finally admitted this was going to get significantly worse and unfortunately we have almost no supplies because the suppliers are taking bids and only the highest bidders from the other states will get the supplies.
    As of yesterday Arizona’s Chief Medical Dr. will not do any testing because there’s no treatment so why bother? And, of course, we have very few test kits just like the rest of the country.
    As a country, we have a long road ahead with this pandemic and Arizona will be hard hit. Too bad we don’t have responsible state and federal leaders who should be doing much more to save lives instead of worrying about their stock.

  8. It’s strange how some figure that the law only applies to others or that someone who thinks they always know better then the experts.
    Keep stepping on toes Nick.
    Kathy also had a reaction after a single tablet of a new medication.
    Be Safe and Enjoy the fresh air and solitude.

    It’s about time.

  9. I am right there with you, Nick. This IS a tremendously BIG DEAL, and we are only seeing the beginning. I am not spooked easily, and I think I have fair idea of how to anticipate stuff and prepare for the worst … hurricanes, blizzards and the like. This is totally tweaking my “Prepper” senses and I am happy to say that we are in good shape, with no additional shopping needed. I don’t want to stockpile. That is just RUDE.
    I have downloaded 2 patterns from the internet for face masks and I will be trying to produce useable items that I can send to nurses that I know. One, in Phila, is presently OK, but supplies may become low. The other, in West VA, is washing her own masks and currently unprotected. Their Governor is urging “prayer”, apparently. Prayer is fine … supplies are better. This quote from The Atlantic Monthly (Ed Yong) “Think of it this way: There are now only two groups of Americans. Group A includes everyone involved in the medical response, whether that’s treating patients, running tests, or manufacturing supplies. Group B includes everyone else, and their job is to buy Group A more time. Group B must now “flatten the curve” by physically isolating themselves from other people to cut off chains of transmission. Given the slow fuse of COVID-19, to forestall the future collapse of the health-care system, these seemingly drastic steps must be taken immediately, before they feel proportionate, and they must continue for several weeks.”
    Stay well, friend.

  10. While I don’t always agree with you, I like to read you anyway. If I tried to only read/talk to someone I agreed with on everything they said, I wouldn’t have many friends or much to read. Keep being your irascible self. We out here in cyper space enjoy your blog.

  11. Good for you, Nick! How boring the world would be if everyone agreed on everything.

    So sorry about your friend. My fear is that my husband or I will get sick, but the hospital won’t have the equipment to save our lives. This is a scary time.

    At the same time I worry about friends who are losing their livelihoods because of the economic consequences. I am glad I am not the one making the decisions in this horrifying balancing act.


  12. You get lucky & this virus passes you by, you get really unlucky you end up laying on the floor in a hospital corridor because that is the only flat spot left in the hospital while the virus does what it does.
    This is going to happen no matter who’s blog you read or stop reading…

    Wash your hands, stay away from crowds and think positive because there does not seem to be much else to do with the Kung flu.

    For a great many years of my life “May you live in interesting times” was touted as an old Chinese curse. The last time I gave China credit for something I was called a racist so I won’t mention it here but we sure are living in interesting times right now!

    I’d like to wish you and Terry “good luck” with the this over the next few months.

  13. Please keep at it Nick. My husband is in hospital with the virus and they have told me he won’t be coming home. I drove 35 miles to be there with him yesterday and they would only let me in the lobby. I was able to call his room and tell him how much I love him but I don’t know if he was aware enough to hear me and understand. When they told me they were shutting down the hospital I drove home to find that my 19 year old daughter had invited 7 friends over for a party and they were all drunk and acting like idiots. When I lost it with them her reply was that they are young and want to have fun not sit around like old people waiting to die. This with her three younger siblings ages 14, 11, and 9 there. I was so furious I threw them all out, including my daughter. She has already slipped out in the middle of the night twice to go partying and told me she has no plans to stop and I can’t make her. I know it sounds terrible to do that to my own daughter but I have to protect my other children.

  14. I made the tough decision to take down everything I have for sale on Facebook local marketplace, because even though I fully believe that I can sell an item safely, protecting both me and the person buying it, somehow it just felt WRONG to be so self assured. Because judging it wrong has such dire implications.

    All too often I’ve seen people sick with the flu out and about believing that somehow they aren’t spreading it. Or people with a sick family member, but themselves with no symptoms, believing that they aren’t spreading it. Or people 3 days after the last symptom passes, believing that they aren’t spreading it. And these are the same people that we’re supposed to trust NOT to spread Coronavirus — a virus whose live remnants have been found as long as 17 days later, living on surfaces. A virus that KILLS people, not just old people, but babies, and vibrant young people and middle aged people with no underlying health conditions. It kills indiscriminately.

    And then you’ve got those blankety blanks, and boy would I LOVE to fill in those blanks, out there INTENTIONALLY contaminating our food supply, licking and coughing in the grocery stores. I will not say it out loud what I wish for those folks, but knowing that our society has even PRODUCED them is heartbreaking.

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