Marty has been curiously silent. I'm worried.
He is my most faithful and reliable critic. He faithfully and reliably hates everything about me - including, as he puts it, "your nasally voice." He has been growling regularly into my voice mail for years. But not lately, and I'm tormented by the suspicion that he spends the winter somewhere else. Someplace warm.
Marty, you have no idea how nice the rest of The Enquirer's readers are being in your absence. It would just curl your hair.
For instance, when I advised loading up Thanksgiving plates with cranberries if you're on a diet because "they taste terrible and will bleed on the rest of your food" Ruth Billman of Batesville, Ind., wrote. Instead of blasting my ignorance, she sent a family recipe. Note to Ruth: A wonderful dish. Thanks. Nobody knew it contained cranberries.
Manda Hurdelbrink of Villa Hills passed along dietary advice she found on the Internet. "If you see carrot sticks on a holiday buffet table, leave immediately. Go next door where they're serving rum balls. As for mashed potatoes, always ask if they're made with skim or whole milk. If it's skim, pass. Why bother? It's like buying a sports car with an automatic transmission."
The stealth holiday
Retired mailman Tom McDonough of West Chester sent a Dec. 2 Enquirer clipping noting that the U.S. Postal Service would be meeting that day to "discuss initiatives to handle holiday mail." Tom observes, "Christmas sneaked up on them - again."
When readers heard the story of Pat McCollum, who adopted a young burn victim, there was a unanimous outpouring of admiration. (Really, Marty, you are letting your team down. Not a discouraging word was heard.)
"I've read a lot about burn injuries, and one thing stands out," writes Bill Banchy of Anderson Township. "It hurts like hell. To lose your limbs and hearing on top of all that pain is more than I can imagine. Surely there is a special place for (Pat) among the saints. I'll be lucky if I'm allowed to wash her feet."
Speculating in other heavenly matters, namely guessing "What would Jesus drive?" The Rev. Al Hamann of Fayetteville notes, "It seems clear from the Book of Acts that `the disciples were in one accord.' As a long-time Honda owner, that's good enough for me."
Heather McIntyre of Liberty Township says, "My grandfather was a minister. Not once did he tell me to eat my peas because Jesus would have." It makes her sad, she says, to see people enlist Jesus for their causes.
Ed Jones of Sycamore Township politely disagrees with speculation that Marge would try to sell Jesus a Buick. "More likely she would give him the car outright with a sign on either side with large letters reading "Jesus Saves." In slightly smaller letters underneath. . . `By shopping at Schott Buick.' "
Funny. And nice.
So, Marty, if you're just giving me the silent treatment, you might want to call and growl. Just to keep me in my place.
And if you're on a beach somewhere, I hope you get sand in your thong.
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