Things I Don’t Understand

Wow, this could be a long one.  But I promise not to get carried away – at least in length.  No promises on the topics.

First, a simple little matter, a stop light that doesn’t stay green when it should.  The light only exists because it is at the entrance of a government building.  The entrance is closed on weekends.  There is a massive gate that is closed and they even place traffic cones out by the intersection to ensure no one turns in.  And yet, the stop light turns red throughout the weekend.  I sit there frothing at the mouth.  In a technical age where we can watch Gone With The Wind on our wrist watch, why can’t we make an unnecessary stop light stay green?

Oh yes, the government building behind the closed gate is the Defense Threat Reduction Agency.  I guess they only reduce threat Monday through Friday.  Just another thing I don’t understand.  I don’t even want to go there.

I haven’t made many decisions in my life that I can point to that were done so that I could be healthier.  In fact, the only one I can think of is that 15 years ago I switched to skim milk.  I love milk and I drink a lot.  So I was pleased with my decision – a life decision to be more healthy.  Now, 15 years later, I’m being told that the joke was on  me.  I was stupid enough to believe the federal government’s Dietary Guidelines for Americans.  It turns out drinking whole milk (which is really 3.5% milk) would probably have been better for me.  And now that I have grown accustomed to skim milk, I don’t think I can go back.  Maybe I could try 1%.  But then again, maybe in 10 years it will turn out they were right about skim milk.

Maybe, just maybe, because I was giving up something to be healthy, it, in fact, made me more healthy.  Our high school football coach was Wirt Downing.  He was one of the more important men in my life.  As a football coach at East Side High, his record was 144, 18 and 7.  That’s right, they had tie games back then, AND that’s right, I’m a High School Harry.  We always had a team meeting the night before our games.  At one of those meeting, Coach Downing told us about when he was on a team, his coach told the team that they needed to give up dessert to be better players.  He was a farm boy and loved his desserts.  But he gave them up.  The message was if you are willing to give something up to be better, you will be better.  I’m trying to work through this and see if giving up whole milk made me healthier.  I doubt it, but Coach Downing would have been proud of me.

My last subject is concussions.  How many times in the past have you heard, “He got his bell rung.”?  Now, if a football player or baseball player or almost any athlete gets hit in the head, there are protocols to be followed.  It’s good that we understand the risks and take steps to protect our athletes.  Then, I asked myself what about boxing?  One of the goals of boxing is to knock out the opponent.  So I checked to see if professional boxing has protocols for head injuries.  Of course they don’t.  In the third round old Rocky gets knocked down, he gets up and the bell rings signaling  the end of the round.  They can’t take Rocky back to the locker room to do a protocol on him.  He has to answer the bell for the fourth round.

OK, OK, it’s a risk-reward type thing.  Then I asked myself, how can we justify youth boxing?  I checked and the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that doctors “vigorously oppose” youth boxing for the obvious reason of head injuries.  However, in my research I found that Arlington County (VA) has an Arlington Boxing Club.  Here is how they justify youth boxing.  “With the multi-cultural and ethnic make up of the Arlington community, the program also offers numerous opportunities for cross cultural interaction as well as team building.”

This is taking the politically correct “multi cultural” crap too far.  When some guy is unmercifully beating you about the head and shoulders, it’s hard to think about it as an opportunity for “cross cultural interaction.”  What a crock!  Just one of the things I don’t understand.

Written by PJ Rice at

Copyright 2015


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