Don Locke: Looking Through Bifocals
Someone said there ought to be a special place in Heaven for people who do NOT have a telephone answering machine. A-MEN-BROTHER-BEN. They are a pain in the keister; besides that, people don't pay much attention to them because they seldom call back. Some days ago I called a house which I knew had at least 3 phones . . .maybe four. I got the proverbial, "please leave name and number . . . we'll get back to you." Did they? Naw . . . not yet.
However, sometimes I break down and try. While back I looked out and saw a bunch of cattle in my yard. I recognized them as belonging to my neighbor. I called him. I don't know why, but when I get an answering machine I always come-off sounding like a blithering idiot. I got, "please leave a message." When the little blip sounded, I said something to the effect of "Your cows are out. They are just standing there. They are in my yard. They may go somewhere . . . they haven't gone anywhere yet . . . they are not doing bad to hurt anything . . . they may go somewhere . . . goodnight." I don't know why I said goodnight. It was high noon and the sun was bright.
It's sort of like the first time I remember talking on the telephone. My mother was talking to somebody; I was five or six. She handed the phone to me and told me to say something to the person on the line. I stood on my toes, pulled the mouthpiece down, and said, "Hidy." My older sister was standing there; she said, "You're supposed to say 'hello' silly."
I understand there is a school in one of the large southern cities for natives who want to learn how NOT TO TALK SOUTHERN. A bunch of Yankees came up with this . . . some Yankee company. They decided their employees would fair better if they didn't speak with a southern accident. They thought southern accents sounded ignorant. Makes me want to cuss . . . if I thought my mother wouldn't hear me and come back from Heaven and give me a thrashing.
Anyway, maybe somebody should start a school on how to talk to answering machines, especially for those who at times can't say anything but, "DOG."
Moving on. You may or may not have need to know this, but it is against the federal law in the United States to sell whale "droppings." This sounds like some more of the crazy ideas from the environmental crackpots . . . how gathering whale droppings from the bottom of the sea could hurt the environment beats me. I can't call up the species of whale now, but there is one from whose droppings they extract a chemical compound that goes into the making of a very expensive perfume. I learned this from my first (and present) wife Bett.
So, if you're thinking of renting a scuba outfit and a shovel. Forget it. They will lock you up. Come to think of it, they will probably establish another federal regulatory agency to control this. Wonder what they would call the head of this new agency. I could think of some names . . . but they would not be in keeping with good propriety. I must keep reminding, we have over 640 U.S. regulatory agencies now that tell us what we can and can't do.
Strange isn't it? You can grow "weed" in California (which is against Federal Law). BUT YOU CAN'T DUNK FOR DROPPINGS.
Federal regulatory agencies come up with their own laws and rules. To them, as far as Congress goes in making laws, "Congress can all go play with their toys in their sandbox." Once President Nixon told one of his White House aides to come up with a list of 10 regulatory agencies that could be done again. Next morning the aide laid it on the President's desk. Nobody ever heard from it again. All Presidents pay lip service to this, especially during campaigns. But nothing ever comes of it; they just keep adding more. A friend of mine wanted to build a new nursing home in Drakesboro. The Federal Area Developmental Agency told him it would cost him $100,000 before he could turn the first spade of dirt.
Always try to drink up-stream of the herd--however their may be a Federal refulation against that.
Kindest regards . . .