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.