Tuesday, October 11, 2005


(or Why I'm Not A Reporter)

I've been putting off getting back to this. In fact I really didn't want to come back at all. Because I knew I would have to acknowledge an error. I hate doing that.

It turns out that the lady in the previous post did NOT accept the FEMA card as payment. I wondered about that. I wondered if that would even be legal. I asked questions and tried to get all the pieces right when the story was being told. And I still got it wrong. Which is why I should stick to writing only from personal experience... because every retelling introduces the possibility of distortion. You know--the old story whispered around a circle thing? Where it comes back to the original teller unrecognizable? Somehow I must have undergone a brain fade. As far as I'm concerned this makes the story better and it's how I wanted it to be the first time. But I was trying to get it right.

I had some more wanderings for today. I wanted to say something about how all of a sudden you see the car makers advertising their 30-mpg models. Which, except for the fact that my 350ci 1/2-ton beast does half of that, means very little to me. We could do 40+ years ago. Does this whole thing with the major price hikes and rush to fuel-efficient vehicles seem familiar to you. Or are you old enough? Which is not to say I don't believe that our resources are finite. I've felt that we've needed to manage these better for years (the fact that I'm driving under V8 power is accidental--ask anyone, I'm an old tree-huggin' fool). It just seems funny is all. There's always ways for our largest corporations to thrive when everything seems to be going south.

Like I said, I had more "telling" to do today. But this apology just took everything out of me...

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Where's My Damn Discount?

My lady stopped by the liquor store on her way home from work, a local little store run by some of the nicest folk you'll ever hope to meet. We are recognized there and usually pass a few friendly words back and forth. The owner's wife frequently works behind the counter; a pretty, slight woman who always has a smile and kind words. Today she says "I wish you would have come in ten minutes earlier".

It seems three young men put a $55 bottle of Patron on the counter. And proceed to demand a discount. You see, they are displaced New Orleans evacuees. Many local businesses and eateries have signs out advertising discounts for victims of Katrina. Therefore, it goes, the discounts should apply everywhere. Our friend explains that discounts generally apply to those things we regard as necessities such as food and shelter; to her mind expensive liquor is not something you 'need' but something you 'want'. The men become abusive, cursing and calling her names. They scare her so badly that she locks the doors after they leave, opening it only for familiar customers.

If you've watched the media coverage at all you are jumping to conclusions. Don't. These guys were white The other thing I should mention: they paid for their purchase with a Red Cross debit card. Meanwhile, our friend is standing true to her words. When my lady laughingly asks if she's going to get a discount she says "Do you want me to tell you?"