Belleville News-Democrat columnist discusses multiple topics


In a month’s time it will be 2-2-22 – which is no wonder – but I think it’s pretty neat.

If you expand it, the date will be 02-02-2022 and at 8:20 p.m. that day it will be 02-02-2022 and 8:20 p.m.

It’s the kind of thing that occupies my mind most of the time. Sometimes it’s not really a spirit like when I put something right next to me and can’t find it two seconds later. Or forget what they just told me.

In other ways, he’s a sharp wit. These are, unfortunately, trivial ways and did not do me much good until I became a columnist where trivial and awkward serve me well.

In some ways, the world has become a place where spirits don’t matter so much. I don’t need to think about a bunch of bills these days. I still have them but they are automatically paid to my bank account. The money I receive for paying these bills is automatically put into my account. If I am overdrawn, the bank automatically lends me money and automatically takes it back with interest.

A pharmacy automatically renews prescriptions for me. My computer printer detects when ink cartridges are low and automatically sends new ones to me, which, when you think about it, seems a little brotherly. When I do crossword puzzles every day, there is an automatic feature that tells me when I’m wrong.

I love crossword puzzles because they’re supposed to cheat on you. Often times, to answer a clue, you need to be heading in a sideways direction rather than straight ahead. For example, in Wednesday’s New York Times Crossword Puzzle, one clue was, “It’s a little longer than a foot. After looking at some archaic distance measurements for a while, I realized what they wanted was something different. The answer was the shoe.

Likewise, “Where can the elbows collide?” Did I think about the metro? Bus? Crowded sidewalk? Mixed martial arts fights? But the answer was totally different. They wanted an armrest.

Either way, this is all a missed or rambling indication that I am almost 70 years old, after years of hearing so much how wonderful grandchildren are but having no experience of first hand, I suddenly have three – two pre-teens and a grandchild.

Everyone is right. How fantastic. And the best part is the game.

It was amazing how much nicer Christmas was this year – and how much more expensive.

Not only do the grandchildren go back to their parents every day as they say, but the grandmother is eager to do whatever she wants or needs. My job is to play and then take a nap.

And work on my crossword.


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