Shades of Grey: More Odds and Ends

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My title for this piece reminded me of the story about two young doctors, a psychiatrist and a proctologist, who were just beginning their practices. Since money was tight for both of them, they decided to rent an office together. They also decided to pay for one sign with minimum lettering to hang outside. It had two lines: Dr. Smith & Dr. Jones, Odds & Ends.

Anyway, here are some scraps - some odds and ends - that have accumulated in my writing file.

A while back I was visiting a friend in the hospital. At that point, he still had a trach tube in along with several others and could not talk very well. However, after a period of silence he said, "You know, just lying here I have a lot of time to think. Today I've been thinking about rats and mice. They have done such a service to mankind through medical experiments that I think we should do something for them. I think we should allow them to retire and live out the rest of their lives in peace."

"Sort of like the elephant sanctuary at Hohenwald," I commented.

"That's right. But, of course, it wouldn't require nearly that much space. Maybe it should be a practice or a law that they only have to be subjected to a certain number of experiments and then if they survive, put them out to pasture and a life of ease until they die. It would be the right thing to do."

It is, indeed, something to think about and just goes to show that you can't keep a good thinker down.

* * *

When the last Miss Universe contest was held, I happened to catch a little of it on TV. It appeared that most of the contestants were from Earth. I couldn't help but wonder what would happen if a contestant showed up from Saturn or Mercury or maybe from some distant planet in another galaxy. Wouldn't they have to let them compete? They might have four legs and three eyes, but they'd be from this universe. Of course, there'd probably be grounds for rejecting someone from Pluto since it's been down classified. But just think what such openness would do for our concept of beauty. It would bring home the truth that beauty really is in the eye of the beholder. Of course, we already know this. As proof, just go to the mall most any weekend.

And while we're on the subject of "over-touted contests," what about the World Series? Even though it's the WORLD Series, both teams are from the U.S. Baseball is played in a number of other countries, but only U.S. National and American League teams will be playing. Now, the Little League World Series is really a WORLD series with teams from around the globe. And soccer's World Cup is really a WORLD cup. Seems like U.S. baseball should let some other teams in or change the name of its championship.

* * *

I ran across a blurb a while back about a 35-year-old male, unmarried, pop star who wants to adopt children to create a "family of many colors." He said he wanted to adopt a child from each continent. His aim seems to be admirable, but his geography is weak. I couldn't help but wonder what the one from Antarctica might look like.

* * *

Why would anyone name a five-foot-boa constrictor Fluffy? A woman from Memphis did so that "people would be less fearful of him." Who is she kidding? Apparently, she was unfamiliar with what Shakespeare said about a rose. Nevertheless, she described him as a very affectionate snake that likes to snuggle and stand up on his tail and watch traffic go by. Aw, come on. Anyway, she let Fluffy out to play in the backyard, and he ran (crawled) away. Question: If he was so danged affectionate, why would he run away from a place where he got so much love and a rat ever so often? She was offering a $300 reward for its return and was imploring people not to hurt Fluffy. It's been a while now, and I've not read of the crawly prodigal's return. I suspect he's gone to that big snake house in the sky. Maybe she should get a cat.

* * *

A fellow I know who is a big kidder and joker had to go in for some surgery. As a nurse was getting him ready, he asked her, "Is it true what I hear about you nurses?"

"What's that?"

"That when you get us men in there, you all look up under our gowns?"

The nurse denied the accusation, and they both had a good laugh about it. After the operation and as he was getting ready to leave recovery, the same nurse came in. Their eyes met. "You came through just fine, Shorty," she said.

"You looked! You looked!" he exclaimed. She just left the room laughing.

Somebody asked me the other day where I get this odd stuff I write about. I just quoted Yogi Berra. "You can observe a lot just by looking."

Lucas G. "Luke" Boyd's career spans 48 years in the field of education, retiring after serving as principal of Battle Ground Academy in Franklin for 19 years. He has published two books, eight short stories and an article in "Tennessee Encyclopedia of History and Culture." He may be contacted at coondogspress@bellsouth.net.

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