One of the fans of my columns, probably one of the few, asked me a couple of weeks ago if something was wrong with my hands.
When he utters this I know what he’s talking about — I haven’t written a column or editorial lately.
And, yes, he would be right, the last one being in May when I wrote the elephant in the room piece about the need for Roanoke Rapids City Council to address the tax rate since they’ve been talking about stuff that will require a tax increase — namely getting salaries up to speed.
I still stand by that editorial because if I didn’t I wouldn’t have written it in the first place.
I sort of follow the Quaker mantra when it comes to columns anyway — I write them when the spirit moves me and that’s not making fun of the Quakers because I find their religion quite interesting and their take on civil rights inspiring.
I’ve attended a Quaker wedding and found its peace and quiet to be soothing, that is until someone decides it is time to speak and their talk is a rambling mishmash of stuff I still don’t understand.
Since the elephant editorial my Google Docs file has bits and pieces of columns or editorials I’ve started but as rational thought hit me during the process I thought better of moving forward because I would just be viewed as misanthropic since I’ve wanted for a long time to skewer social media, which I’ve really come to hold in much disdain because, frankly, people have just become mean, nasty, and snide if a certain article doesn’t fit their own political narrative.
For the longest time I’ve wanted to do a column about driving while license revoked and how if you’re gonna take that risk at least do it without trafficking amounts of fentanyl and meth thrown in your vehicle. Make sure your headlights, brake lights, blinkers, license plate lights and whatever other lights you may have on your vehicle are correct. Make sure you are getting your notifications from DMV on renewing your tags, get your vehicle inspected because you have to and make sure you’ve paid your vehicle taxes. It all sounds pretty complicated, I know, but it’s actually fairly easy because otherwise you’re gonna get nabbed.
Oh, and you probably, Cheech and Chong style, shouldn’t be cruising down the avenue smoking a fatty because it is still illegal in the state of North Carolina.
I thought better of that column as it would be the start of a textbook on how to get away with committing criminal acts.
My theory and I should get this copyrighted is that “marijuana isn’t the gateway drug, driving while license revoked is” but when my better senses kicked in I thought should I really be writing a how-to piece on how to illegally drive your vehicle down Tenth Street as the pungent smell of pot wafts into the atmosphere?
I must say I like how this column is going because in writing it I’m saying the things I’ve been wanting to say without really saying them but saying them nonetheless.
It’s kind of like REM’s Dead Letter Office album of years ago where they slapped together a bunch of B-sides including a rather drunken version of Roger Miller’s King of the Road. The CD version of this album is often accompanied by their Chronic Town EP, which is a gem in my estimation.
Then I thought wouldn’t it be funny if I did a column on how I got a lecture from my mom, me being a grown man, on the purpose of top sheets. I don’t use them, don’t like them and wish I could find a store that only sells the pillowcases and fitted sheets.
The purpose, she explained as I patiently listened, is to protect the comforter or blanket and I said I understood and while I respected her observations, I politely told her that doesn’t change my mind and I will continue to discard or at least keep them in a safe place until I can find a purpose for them or ditch the website and open up a Fitted and Cased bedding store which only sells the pillowcases and fitted sheets.
That whole conversation came up as I discussed the deep-cleaning I undertook last week.
One of the things I found in this cleaning fit was an old Kinston Indians T-shirt and, man, people wonder why there’s been a move to abandon such garish caricatures in the sports world. That was really rough and it’s probably in a landfill somewhere by now.
I don’t know that I could manage an entire column on my disdain of top sheets without going into some of my other eccentricities, like the way I open my files after booting up the Mac in the morning.
Business email first, personal second, website admin third, website fourth, Google Docs fifth and Facebook last.
Another quirk is when the clock strikes 5 Facebook is the first of the windows to collapse while the others remain open.
It all goes back to my disdain of the state of social media these days. It used to be OK until as I’ve heard say the so-called grown-ups took over and slapped me in the face with their politics, their religion, or simply their fake news shares.
And for those who might be keeping score at home there was a time when I was fairly share-happy until I started getting slapped in the face with politics, religion, or fake news shares.
My whole philosophy these days centers on live free — don’t join.
Which brings up another topic of how I love voting at the Neighborhood Resource Center on Jackson Street because I can park on the side of the street, walk to the entrance without entering the snake pit of campaign workers trying to fill my pockets with pre-marked ballots, cards or whatever other paraphernalia they might have to convince me to vote for their respective candidate when I’ve studied ahead of time who I’m going to vote for — even if sometimes it comes down to writing my own name in.
Maybe deep down inside I am a misanthrope or perhaps I just needed to get some things off my chest and close the Dead Letter Office for now if only to prove there’s nothing wrong with my hands, except for the poison ivy that’s finally clearing up — Lance Martin