There are times when even the most-puffed-up newspaper editorialist is hungry, thirsty or late for an important date. At these times, they spin out 10 paragraphs about good or bad events that don’t merit a full-length exposition of their impeccable logic and unbridled ego.
They have a standing name for such columns with cute dualistic names, or at least names that someone at some dim time in human history may have considered cute.
A few such titles are “Hugs and Bugs,” “Kisses and Misses,” “Flowers and Glowers,” and “Tips of the Hats and Kicks in the Ass.”
I want to write a few about the Fourth of July weekend, but my cuteness tank is down to empty. So I’ve settled upon the title for the following column as “Goods and Bads.” Sorry. Next time I will watch cute kitten videos for inspiration.
Good: The U.S. women’s soccer team won a third World Cup by beating Japan 5-2 in the final. I am a casual soccer fan and prefer watching women play because they don’t flop and fake injury as much as rough-tough male players. In the first 16 minutes, the U.S. team scored four goals with an offensive burst only comparable to the New York Knicks on a good night.
Bad: There were so many unnecessary explosions of fireworks late into the night in my south Salinas neighborhood that our cat Gracie huddled under my bed for hours before I found her and used a broom to scoot her out from under there in case she needed to use the facilities. She didn’t and ran to another hiding place.
But the worst fireworks story came from Maine where a young man died instantly after using his head as a fireworks launch pad — once. I leave it to others to make tasteless wisecracks about this.
Bad: The reigning U.S. hot dog eating champ was defeated after gorging his way to nine straight previous championships. I find this “sport” to be disgusting and was dismayed to see there was a local contest held in Monterey. I say keep the pros out of over-eating. Amateurs have the sport well-covered.
Good: The skeleton of the original Grateful Dead played three sold-out shows that set attendance records at Chicago’s Soldier Field. Drummer Mickey Hart told the audience after the last freedom-loving song to “Please, be nice.”
That’s sweet, but is a far cry from the band’s origins in San Francisco’s hippie scene where “Turn on, tune in and let’s get naked and weird” were the watchwords. However, being nice certainly has its upside.
Bad: GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump kept beating his drum so loudly against Mexico that unofficial reports had his people feeling out a possible deal for a piece of the exploding Mexican market for Donald Trump piñatas. They would be made in China and spill droplets of bile when cracked open.
Good: Vice President Biden went to Vancouver, B.C., to watch the World Cup championship match and didn’t get caught in another one of those overly affectionate poses with any women who happened within 15 feet of his devilish grin.
The most memorable display of affection came when U.S. veteran star Abby Wambach ran to the stands and hugged and kissed her wife moments after the final whistle — a touching moment.
For hours afterward, Wambach embrace videos were posted and reposted by people trying to score political points about LGBT rights. For heaven’s sake, there were seven –SEVEN! — points scored in the games. Isn’t that enough points for one day?
Bad: A friend, feeling inspired on a visit to the Lincoln Memorial, posted on social media his dismay at a father proudly telling his son that the subject of the memorial wrote the Constitution.
That’s really dumb, of course. But then I thought the father may have been:
— Testing his son’s knowledge or Wikipedia-look-up speed,
— Telling him a good-natured fib like the Dad always did in “Calvin and Hobbes” comic strips,
— Taking pre-emptive action to keep his son from growing up to be one of those annoying know-it-alls who write columns entitled “Cherries and Raspberries” or “Winners and Losers Who Throw Up During Hot Dog-Eating Contests.”