Columnists
  • I've been reading The Ultimate Book of Jokes, and it has reminded me of that period in my adolescence when I was amused by jokes that I now recognize as silly at best and at worst, sick humor that was not even funny. Iím remembering knock knock jokes and nonsensical stories about little morons, blind people, lawyers and such. No race or ethnic group has been left out, no profession or hobby or character flaw escaped the limelight. That's the politically correct negative view of jokes.
  • Getting my cowboy husband to take me to the symphony required (a) finding an orchestra in Cowtown (Fort Worth), (b) tempting him with a Blackened Buffalo Rib-Eye steak at Reata Restaurant, and (c) letting him wear his boots and Wranglers.
  • Since I grew up on a farm in a rural area during the 40s and 50s, I am familiar with a good many home remedies. That is why a small book entitled Home Remedies: Trustworthy Treatments for Everyday Health Problems, published by Reader's Digest, caught my eye. I thought it would be interesting to see a broad-based compilation of remedies and compare them with the ones I remembered from my childhood.
  • Valentine's Day is a perfect time for a homemade sweet treat for the sweetheart in your life. Iím making Danger Pudding for Lanny this year. For the uninitiated, Danger Pudding is made with a can of sweetened condensed milk. I donít know about you, but I can get happy just thinking about eating an entire can of Eagle Brand, just as it is, right out of the can. When I was little, my mother used to give me a whole can of sweetened condensed milk to eat, all by myself, on my birthday; it was basically what I lived for every year.
  • The year was 1973. Secretariat wins the Triple Crown. The Watergate cover-up is slowly bringing down Nixon. Jim Croce's plane crashes on the way to Sherman for a concert at Austin College. And Kathy Williams was the reigning Bonham High School Homecoming Queen.
  • For weeks now we have heard from men accused of sexual harassment, and quite a few of them have acknowledged their transgressions and apologized. However, most of the apologies have been lackluster at best.
  • Why would you fritter away your hard-earned money on a second honeymoon or a flat-screen TV the size of New Jersey when you could enjoy a dental implant (thatís where they ram a steel post through your jaw and plunge it to your clavicle with a molly bolt), complete with a new tooth made of the same material as a toilet bowl?
  • Readers of this column know that I'm fond of humor and satire, and today that leads me to memorialize a writer named H. L. Mencken. It was 100 years ago that he deliberately wrote a piece of "fake news" and was shocked to discover that most of his readers took it seriously. I am indebted to Baton Rouge Advocate columnist Danny Heitman for bringing this interesting bit of history to my attention.
  • I've mentioned before about how most small towns have unusual characters who are disrespected and mocked as an embarrassment to the community. Like folklore legends, these outcast individuals are remembered for their strange behavior while it's hardly ever mentioned about who they really are.
  • Once again, I skipped my annual flu shot since the flu vaccine has been in short supply, except for at-risk groups such as stockbrokers and professional baseball players.

  • The end of a calendar year is the proper occasion for taking stock and recognizing those who have made outstanding contributions. Nominees for the 90th Academy Awards in film have been made, and we will find out the winners on March 4. There are numerous other annual awards, however, and one set I find especially interesting is the Darwin awards, named in honor of Charles Darwin, the father of evolution. They memorialize individuals who improved the human gene poll by removing themselves from it in ways that exemplify exceptionally stupid behavior.
  • A cold house of my childhood could be converted into a warm home with a pot of hot soup. It was an inexpensive type of central heating, and the varieties were infinite. I am a survivor of Mama's molten-lava treatment. One spoonful of her soup and I became a dragon, puffing smoke, some of it through my ears.