Courier columns – Rollin’ on the River with Mark Taylor

“The Bermuda Triangle got tired of warm weather. It moved to Alaska. Now Santa Claus is missing” – Steven Wright

I want to say that in no way am I criticizing or making fun of anybody in this first point because I am probably as guilty as the next person. It’s those people who just have to ask, “Hot enough for ya?” They are the same people who would walk into a building when it’s -30 degrees Celsius outside but + 35 degrees Celsius inside and say, “It’s some nice in here!” Couldn’t please ‘em if you beat ‘em with a new stick.

I am puzzled a lot by the headlines that news sources use to get their message out. We’ve all seen ones like, “Man accused of killing lawyer attorney receives a new attorney.” The ones that seem to get me going are the ones where the person’s occupation is revealed. I read one recently where a Greek pilot is accused of killing his wife. Unless he ran over her with the plane, why does it matter what he does for a living? Hey, I get it that if a chef poisoned his wife or a beautician poked somebody’s eyes out, then maybe it’s newsworthy.

I always get that sometimes people make mistakes when reporting the news. I did it once when I said I was wrong about something but come to find out, I was right. There was a story I read about years ago on this very topic that to this day, cannot see how it even happened. It was a retraction that was printed about a 38-year-old woman who had been reported as being fined for prostitution. The charge should have been “failure to stop at a railroad crossing.” Of course, they apologized for their error which I’m sure caused this poor lady some hard times.

I recently read a story about a mouse that has appeared after being called extinct for more than 150 years. They found them alive and well on an island off the coast of Western Australia. Hey, I’m no animal expert, but it appears that somebody jumped the gun on this one. I suspect that in the 1870s, things could actually happen without somebody taking a picture or video of it and if a rodent went into hiding, it could go unreported. Let’s see you try this one in this day and age. Maybe all these poor critters wanted was to be left alone.

It reminded me of a story that I heard the late John Prine tell about a guy telling him that Jesus was missing from the age 12 to 29 and nobody knew where he was. John thought it was curious that perhaps the most influential man in the history of mankind could just vanish for that long period of time. John said he once snuck away on a fishing trip with a waitress in Nashville for the weekend one time and by the time they got back, everybody knew where they were.

Just to prove that I didn’t sleep through school all the time, I’m throwing out a big term to prove it – homophones. Homophones are words that sound the same but are different in meaning or spelling. One simple example that comes to mind are brake and break. Still, I thought there are probably some that we use in Charlotte County that probably nobody else uses. One that came to mind was Ozynol.

Obviously, it can be used a remedy for cuts and burns and it’s probably the most well-known use. Another way it is used is when you’re trying to watch a hockey game and somebody turns on a vacuum cleaner. “If you don’t turn that thing off, I’m gonna drive it Ozynol where the sun don’t shine!” Another one I thought was Odyssey and every fan of the Simpsons will know this one. It seems that The Odyssey is one of two major ancient Greek epic poems attributed to Homer which I must confess I didn’t know. “You Odyssey the thermometer at the old man’s place. It’s so hot his chickens are laying hard-boiled eggs.”

Mark Taylor is a long time Courier columnist whose views on life and living are usually unconventional and definitely outside of the box. He’s a true Charlotte County boy who has the right to remain silent, but not the ability.