Cumberland Times-News

Jim Goldsworthy - Anything and Everything

June 1, 2014

Coming soon to a highway near you?

People say to me, “Goldy? Can I ask you a stupid question?”



In theory — and theory only — the correct response is: “The only stupid question is the one you don’t ask.” Not so much. There ARE stupid questions, some of them so stupid that to call them stupid is to damn them with faint praise. Other questions are — on the face of it — legitimate questions, but shouldn’t be treated as such ... not if you subscribe to the same philosophy that I do: Free entertainment is everywhere; all you have to do is wait, and it will come to you.



One of my co-workers said, “Goldy? Can I ask you two questions?”



“Sure,” I replied. “What’s the other one?”



She took the next two or three minutes to call me everything but what I am, and I enjoyed every bit of it. Genius deserves to be rewarded.



Sometimes, people ask me questions I can’t answer, at least not right off. A fellow I know recently asked me, “So what don’t you like about those roundabouts on Route 220?”



That stopped me in my tracks. It left me standing there, as we say in my family, with my teeth in my mouth.



He might as well have asked Hugh Hefner why he likes girls or Dick Butkus why he liked to play football. I had no answer, smart-(beast of burden)ed or otherwise, and mumbled something about how he should ask the truck drivers or anyone else who has to weave through them like the Titanic should have been doing in that ice field.



We’ve belabored the stupid-about and the question mark-about enough, haven’t we? If this fellow has read sufficiently of our discussions to know that I don’t like them, he ought to know my reasons.



I have on occasion — while going (zig to the left, zig to the right, stand up, sit down, fightfight- fight) southbound through the question mark-about — seen cars backed up almost to the bottom of the hill, waiting to their turn to go through the northbound stupid-about, where the lead driver must wait to see if he will have to yield the right-of-way to someone who is cutting in front of him after coming through the question mark-about.



Never in half a century of driving to Cumberland from Keyser did I see such backed-up traffic there until the advent of the -abouts.



Compared to what’s been deposited upon motorists elsewhere, what we have here is nothing more than a mild exercise of your brakes and steering.



The Congressman’s Lookalike Son and I went to Morgantown a while back for a Civil War symposium at West Virginia University (where I found and had a wonderful conversation with Mister A, one of my all-time mostbeloved college professors, who’s still sharper than his students were.) My friend knows the new Morgantown as well as I knew the old Morgantown and was driving. Suddenly, we were going through what seemed to a relative rookie like me to be
the roundabout from hell.



We were surrounded by cars that were flashing in front of us, behind us and past us in the opposite direction at what seemed an unreasonable speed. I could almost hear Rod Serling doing the intro to The Twilight Zone:
“You're traveling through another dimension, a dimension not only of sight and sound but of mind ... .”

Text Only
Jim Goldsworthy - Anything and Everything
  • He was here long before Duck Dynasty

    July 27, 2014

  • He means well, and this time they spared his life

    Our pal Phil is the only re-enactor certified in writing by both the Lee and Custis families to portray Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee (whose wife was Mary Anna Custis Lee). When he’s in uniform, he generally stops at the bottom of the path that leads to the summit of Little Round Top, salutes Capt. Gary and First Sgt. Goldy and asks permission to join us. (Get it? Generally ... General Lee?) We always return his salute and grant him permission, in part because he’s our friend and also because the real Lee never got to see what it really looks like from up there. (Get it? Grant ... Grant? U.S. Grant? Real Lee ... really? OK. I hear you. That’s enough. Seriouslee.) Phil gets a kick out of being able to sneak up on us while we’re distracted by tourists.

    July 20, 2014

  • They’d have fallen like Autumn leaves

    So there we were, minding our own business (at least momentarily), leaning against the cannon at Little Round Top.

    July 13, 2014

  • Better read that french fry before you eat it

    People give me otherwise-insignificant items they hope will amuse or inspire me. I appreciate this. I’m always glad for free entertainment, which as Goldy’s Rule 33 says is everywhere. All you have to do is wait and it will come to you. Also, I have been writing columns for 37 years and embrace inspiration anywhere I can find it.

    July 6, 2014

  • The moose is loose, and it’s coming for you

    So how would you like to look out your kitchen door window onto your porch and see a moose looking back at you from close range?

    June 28, 2014

  • There are some debts you can never repay

    Today’s column will be relatively short, as my columns go, for reasons that should become apparent, and I thought long and hard before writing it.

    June 21, 2014

  • It could have saved the county a lot of money

    Random thoughts sometimes occur to me when I least expect it, usually when my brain has become tired.
    When I voice these thoughts at work or in other places, people may tell me, “Goldy? It’s time for you to go home.” Yes, ma’am.
    Here are two random thoughts of recent vintage:
    • If Bugs Bunny were an Emergency Medical Technician, would that make him a MedicHare?
    • If Daisy Duck got a job driving for United Parcel Service, would she be an UPS-a-Daisy?
    I wouldn’t blame you if you think that sounds Goofy — or Daffy.

    June 15, 2014

  • These two were part of the Not Top Ten

    Occasionally, at this time of year, I see reference to a “class orator” or a “class speaker.”

    Nothing wrong with that — people can call such things whatever they want, as far as I’m concerned — but it makes me wonder. Have “valedictorian” and “salutatorian” become politically incorrect, and I didn’t notice? It may come as a surprise to you, but I really have not kept up with what is politically correct or incorrect. That’s what people tell me, anyway. With some of them, it actually seems to be a compliment.

    June 8, 2014

  • Coming soon to a highway near you?

    People say to me, “Goldy? Can I ask you a stupid question?”

    In theory — and theory only — the correct response is: “The only stupid question is the one you don’t ask.” Not so much. There ARE stupid questions, some of them so stupid that to call them stupid is to damn them with faint praise. Other questions are — on the face of it — legitimate questions, but shouldn’t be treated as such ... not if you subscribe to the same philosophy that I do: Free entertainment is everywhere; all you have to do is wait, and it will come to you.

    June 1, 2014

  • This was a skill that proved very useful

    The Belmont Park stewards have decided to let California Chrome wear his nasal strip during the Run for the Carnations. Nasal strips usually are worn by people who snore and may have saved numerous marriages. It helps the Triple Crown hopeful to breathe, and some twolegged athletes wear nasal strips for the same reason. In this case, Chrome’s nasal strip may keep him from (wait for it) ... losing by a nose.

    May 25, 2014

Latest news
Facebook
Must Read
House Ads