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June 25, 2002

Tom Ridge Is Going To Get A Lot Of Letters

J. D. Hulse

"Short People ain't got no reason for living," or so said the song by Randy Newman of a few decades ago. Actually it's rude, self-serving, ego driven folk who need to get a grip on themselves.

You know who I mean.

The person in the 10 items or less line at the supermarket with 15 items, who waits until the last possible nanosecond to get the checkbook out and then realizes that their drivers license is somewhere else.

The people who don't return their cart to the "corral" and leave it in the next PARKING SPACE so you can dent your car.

I have walked down the street, in the mall, stood in line, making eye contact with people, smiling and have been met with stares, frowns and downright hostility.

I am tired of it.

I remember not too long ago, around the middle of September, when you couldn 't go anywhere without being bombarded with love, friendship, neighborliness, and the oh so important patriotism of "securing the homeland". What happened to that enthusiastic gang? That "love thy neighbor" bunch? Where is Lee Greenwood when we need him?

I have to admit I'm not all that comfortable with all this homeland security stuff.

Seems to me if given enough pressure, and possibly money, anyone would turn mole to save themselves.

Sounds to me like a time before in history (that sometimes you can mention and sometimes not), so let me just say "sorry Ku Klux Klan it DID happen).

Do I seem to be getting off track?

To me, no.

I guess what I'm trying to impress upon you is that by the simple act of being NICE to each other we are protecting the homeland.

A ton of clichés comes to mind, but the one that sticks out to me is "be happy."

Yes, we all lead busy lives, and maybe we should really be the first in line, the fast one, always. But, it doesn't work out that way, and you just have to let it go.

What happened to the gentile south that I moved to a few years ago?

I was brought up to believe you respected your elders (even if you didn't agree with them) and that a door opened was to be pulled back to let the ones behind you through.

You were supposed to say "thank you" and "excuse me."

You were to greet one another with a smile and simple good morning, afternoon, evening. It was the rule. Not the exception.

On a flight from the West Coast last year, I saw a movie called "Pay It Forward." The moral was basically to be kind to each other, help one another. If something good has happened to you because of someone else, GIVE ahead of time, don't wait for the goodness to stop by, become the goodness.

So, fair warning.

If you don't stop cutting people off on the highway, running red lights, talking on you cell phone while driving, stopping in the traffic lane to chat when a PARKING SPACE IS RIGHT THERE!!!!

If you don't stop treating sales people in stores like they are your personal servants.

If you don't stop refusing to walk single file even though the sidewalk may dictate that since others are coming the opposite way or parking along the yellow line in front of businesses to just "dash in" or wait for someone when PARKING SPACES are right there.

I am going to tell Tom Ridge on you.

Please don't make me call Randy Newman. If we sent a boombox filled with his little ditties, world peace would be over in a second.

We'd all start fighting for the stop button.

But isn't that what's going on now?

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