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Tag Archive | "Roger on Main St."

roger on main streetArmageddon

Don’t know why, but the political convention season always makes me think about Armageddon. And, speaking of that…

Time after time, various folks have predicted the end of the world. The Millennium was one of the biggies, prediction-wise. Oops…not even the world’s computer programs came to an end. (Remember all those so-called “millennium bugs”?) So far, every day has gone by with a tomorrow to follow.

The latest prediction I’ve personally heard about is for December 21, 2012. Give credit for this one to the ancient Mayans and some imaginative moderns.

It goes like this: Events of 2012 are based on the ending date of the ancient Mayan Long Count Calendar. This is thought to end on December 21, 2012, signaling, of course, the end of days for real. Predictions of devastation and destruction abound. Some believe it wise to prepare for doomsday.

Considering the record of past predictions, I suggest planning on a cup of coffee and a good TV rerun show on December 21. If we’re wrong, all of us will be in the same boat, anyway. In my opinion, it’s likely to be just another ho-hum.

Just to make sure we don’t get too bored, the Mayan calendar worked in another end-of-times possibility 25,000 years from now.

Cure story

A man goes into a drug store and asks the pharmacist if he can give him something for the hiccups. The pharmacist promptly reaches out and slaps the man’s face.

“What the heck did you do that for?” yells the man.

“Well, you don’t have the hiccups anymore do you?” answers the pharmacist.

The man says, “No, I don’t, you dummy… But my wife out in the car still does!”

Taste story

When the store manager returned from lunch, he noticed his clerk’s hand was bandaged, but before he could ask about the bandage, the clerk had some very good news for him.

“Guess what, sir?” said the clerk. “I finally sold that terrible, ugly suit we’ve had so long!”

“Do you mean that repulsive pink-and-blue double-breasted thing?” asked the manager.

“That’s the one!”

“ Well, great!” said the manager. “I thought we’d never get rid of that monstrosity. It had to be the ugliest suit we’ve ever had. But tell me, why is your hand bandaged?”

“Oh,” the clerk replied, “after I sold the guy that suit, his seeing-eye dog bit me.”

Court story

A prospective juror in a Dallas District Court was surprised by the definition of voluntary manslaughter the judge gave the panel: “An intentional killing that occurs while the defendant is under the immediate influence of sudden passion arising from an adequate cause, such as when a spouse’s mate is found in a compromising position.”

During her interview, the jury candidate remarked, “During my first marriage, I came in and found my husband compromising with our next-door neighbor. All I did was divorce him. I had no idea that I could have shot him.”

She wasn’t selected for the jury.


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Roger on the Road

Some words on words

rogerheader“Teen-agers” is becoming a passé term. More and more I hear this age group referred to as “young adults.” Doesn’t seem like a good substitute to me. Shouldn’t  “young adults” be out making a living? I can remember when “young adults” held down serious jobs, got married, and began raising families.

I’m not grumbling about this. It’s the nature of language to change with changes in society’s perception. It wasn’t so long ago when being “gay” meant you were cheerful and friendly.

However, I’m not so happy with the term “senior citizen.” I stuck with describing myself as “middle-aged” for a long time. When people began laughing about it openly I finally stopped. Since then I’ve been looking for something a little more complimentary, something that recognizes not just the creaky movements and the white hair, but the wisdom acquired in a lifetime. The best I’ve come up with so far is “experienced citizen.”  On the other hand, it would probably be contracted to “ex-cit.” And that sounds too much like “exit.”

I’m open to suggestions.

Hang in there!

A group of senior citizens were sitting around talking about their ailments. “My arms are so weak I can hardly hold this cup of coffee,” said one. “Yes, I know,” said another. “My cataracts are so fuzzy I can’t even see the coffee.”

“I can’t turn my head because of the arthritis in my neck,” said a third, to which several nodded in agreement.

“My blood pressure pills make me dizzy,” another went on.

“I guess that’s the price we pay for getting old,” observed an old man. There was a short moment of silence.

“Well, it’s not totally bad,” said one woman cheerfully. “At least we can still drive!”


A burglar broke into a house one night. He pointed his flashlight around, looking for valuables. When he picked up a CD player to place in his sack, a strange, disembodied voice echoed from out of the dark: “Jesus is watching you,” it said.

The burglar nearly jumped out of his skin. He clicked his flashlight off and froze. After a bit, when he heard nothing more, he shook his head and continued. Just as he pulled the stereo out so he could disconnect the wires, he heard again, clear as a bell, “Jesus is watching you.”

Totally freaked out, the burglar frantically aimed his light around the room, looking for the source of the voice. Finally, in the corner of the room, his beam came to rest on a parrot. “Did you say that?” he hissed at the parrot.

“Yes,” the parrot squawked, “ but I’m just trying to warn you.”

The burglar relaxed. “Hah. Warn me, huh? Who in the world are you?”

“Moses,” replied the bird.

“Moses?” the burglar laughed. “What kind of people would name their bird Moses?”

“The same kind of people who would name their pit bull Jesus.”

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Roger on the Road

rogerheaderSomber anniversary

We’ve just come through the eighth anniversary of 9/11. Osama Bin Laden is still at large and the war in Afghanistan goes on. Hope springs eternal: maybe the coming year will bring good news.

Poor value?

The President’s speech to Congress this week on his plan for health care reform contained many specifics. We needed that, but what will happen now?

Over the centuries, our two-party system has worked. Too bad the health care debate has gone so far off track. The issue is extremely complicated; the number of people who really understand it would probably fit on the head of a pin. That makes exaggerations and outright lies easier to pull off.

The one thing that seems easy to understand is the need for change. As it is, the U.S. has the highest-priced health care system in the world. Despite this, according to the World Health Organization, 27 nations have a better healthy life expectancy than we do.

How can this be? Is it inefficiency? Greed in the American health care industry? Something else?

I wish we had more facts and less partisan rhetoric about such an important issue.

“Doctor will see you now”

Continued from last week: More (supposedly) actual notes in patients’ hospital records:

  1. She is numb from her toes down.
  2. While in ER, she was examined, x-rated and sent home.
  3. Skin: somewhat pale but present.
  4. Rectal examination revealed a normal size thyroid.
  5. The lab test indicated abnormal lover function.
  6. I saw your patient today, who is still under our car for physical therapy.
  7. The skin was moist and dry.
  8. Occasional, constant infrequent headaches.
  9. Patient had waffles for breakfast and anorexia for lunch.
  10. Patient has two teenage children, but no other abnormalities.


A second grade teacher introduced a career unit to her class by asking students what their parents did for a living. “Tim, you go first,” she said. “What does your mother do all day?”

Tim stood up and proudly said, “She’s a doctor.”

“Thank you, Tim,” said the teacher. “How about you, Amy?”

Amy shyly stood up and said, “My father is a mailman.”

“That’s wonderful, Amy,” said the teacher. “What about your father, Billy?”

Billy proudly announced, “My dad murders people, steals from them, and burns down houses.”

The teacher was aghast and promptly changed the subject to geography. Later that day she went to Billy’s house and rang the bell. Billy’s father answered the door. The teacher explained what his son had said and asked if there might be some logical explanation.

Billy’s father said, “I’m actually an attorney. But how can I explain a thing like that to a seven-year-old?

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Roger on the Road

The President’s health insurance initiative seems to have foundered on vociferous protest from those who resist change. In retrospect, the plan probably should have been called Medicare for All—no ifs, ands, or buts. Medicare and Social Security have been well accepted and have done a good job. Simply expanding Medicare into universal health care might have gone over.

Medicare has money problems because our population is aging and we have more money going out. Growth in the working population has not kept up so we have less money going in. The result is a foregone conclusion, which has nothing to do with politics. It isn’t rocket science to know we will have to cut benefits, raise taxes, or cut costs of the program.

The hundreds of private medical insurance companies, most of them “for-profit,” each has its own bureaucracy to support. Seems to me, eliminating multiple insurance bureaucracies would help cut costs of medical care.

The fantasies about government “death panels” would actually be funny if so many people didn’t take them seriously. Those of us who have private medical insurance are already at the mercy of our insurance companies. Their expensive lobbying to kill the President’s initiative tells us a lot.

And one more thing: we taxpayers already are paying the medical costs of many of the poor, particularly uninsured sick children. Is that “socialized medicine”? Let’s get organized and not allow the shouters to sabotage our opportunity to bring America’s healthcare delivery system into the 21st century.

Doctor will see you now

Supposedly, these are actual hospital notes in patient records. A little reform might be in order.

  1. The patient refused autopsy.
  2. The patient has no previous history of suicides.
  3. Patient has left white blood cells at another hospital.
  4. She has no rigors or shaking chills, but her husband states she was very hot in bed last night.
  5. Patient has chest pain if she lies on her left side for over a year.
  6. On the second day the knee was better, and on the third day it disappeared.
  7. The patient is tearful and crying constantly. She also appears to be depressed.
  8. The patient has been depressed since she began seeing me in 1993.
  9. Discharge status: Alive but without permission.
  10. Healthy appearing decrepit 69-year old male, mentally alert but forgetful.

Health tip

For bird flu you need tweetment and for swine flu you need oinkment.

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Roger on the Road

The good news

With all the bad news in the world, I’m happy to see that we’re getting off the gasoline kick. Crude oil was formed from living things buried under prehistoric seas and eventually it will all be used up. The automobile made use of cheap petroleum but, a century later, it’s not so cheap anymore. One look at the Interstate and you can see the results of supply and demand.

Transportation has drastically changed our lives and we can’t easily give it up. But it looks like the human race is getting serious about exchanging gasoline for renewable-source electricity. (Thank you, Thomas Edison!) We’re on our way to an oil-free future. That’s good news!


Not us! Charles Darwin, in postulating the theory of evolution, noted that plants and animals best adapted to the environment were the ones who survived. He never figured on the changes humans could make on the environment. We have species disappearing because humans are taking away their habitat. You know what happened to the passenger pigeon, the bison, the great auk, and many others too small to notice. Humans are the worst enemy of lots of plants, birds, and animals. We hunt them, eat them, and change them by breeding. We have to live, too.  About all we can do is keep a few samples around to remind us. I guess that’s what zoos are for.

Health Insurance confusion

There’s too much misinformation floating around to figure out what’s going on with the 3-5 bills in Congress. It’s too much to cover in one fell swoop. Medicare has been a successful program, although expensive. It can be expanded and made less expensive. Congress should concentrate on “Medicare for all.” Frankly, I trust the government more than the competing, for-profit insurance companies.

Abby strikes out

Dear Abby admitted she was at a loss to answer the following:

Dear Abby,

A couple of women moved in across the hall from me. One is a middle-aged gym teacher and the other is a social worker in her mid twenties. These two women go everywhere together and I’ve never seen a man go into or leave their apartment. Do you think they could be Lebanese?


Dear Abby,

What can I do about all the sex, nudity, foul language and violence on my VCR?


Dear Abby,

My forty-year-old son has been paying a psychiatrist $100.00 an hour, every week, for two-and-a-half years. He must be crazy.

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Roger on the Road

rogerheaderDog Days

This poem comes from seventh-grader Lauren Pratt in Rockford. “The dog days of summer” seem like the right time for it.
We got him in a little town called Bath.
He would walk down a little path.
I taught him how to shake.
We made him birthday cakes.
If he could talk then he’d bug us
Till we took him for a walk.
I know I’m being a bragger,
But he’s just a tail wagger.
I love my dog Jagger.

According to The Book of Common Prayer (1552), the dog days are from July 6 to August 17. They’re named after the Dog Star, Sirius, which used to rise at sunrise. The story was that these days were evil and caused the seas to boil. That’s hot, all right.

Another dog

I pulled into the crowded parking lot at the shopping center and rolled down the car window to make sure my Labrador retriever pup had fresh air. She was stretched full-out on the back seat and I wanted to impress on her that she must remain there.

I walked to the curb backwards, pointing my finger at the car and saying emphatically, “Now you stay. Do you hear me? Stay! Stay!”

The driver of a nearby car gave me a strange look and said, “Why don’t you just put it in Park?” (Thanks to Carol Dionne.)

Why women prefer dogs

1) Dogs go to the beach to swim, not for the chance to ogle girls in bikinis.
2) A dog is a pack animal. A man is a six-pack animal.
3) You can train a dog in obedience.
4) A man will roll over and play dead only if you ask him to get up and make coffee.

Last dog

Who’s your best friend? Put your dog and your wife in the trunk of the car for an hour.  When you open the trunk, see which one is really happy to see you.

Late Bullet-in

A recent news story reported on a church pastor who was urging the congregation to bring guns to church. If you’re in that church and the pastor says, “Let us pray,” you better start!

In Colorado, a legislator was promoting a law making it legal to bring a gun to a bar or saloon. A local barkeep said he was thinking of opening a funeral parlor.

In Missouri, a truck dealer offered a free AK-47 to anybody who buys a new truck.

It’s a slippery slope. How long before kids routinely bring guns to high school?  But we definitely have to keep them out of pre-school. Those kids are too little to properly aim heavy weapons.

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