Thursday, July 31, 2014

Let’s talk about something else

Posted on Nov. 18, 2012 at 12:00 a.m.

Richard Leib

I wanted to write about the David Petraeus affair and try to give some shape and form to its complicated and confusing twists and turns. But I soon realized that was foolish. The story keeps growing side plots and spin-offs of record-setting complexity.

It’s become a pop culture soap drama with dark overtones. At some point it will become a movie or a graphic novel, but for now it must run its course via daily voyeuristic updates. “So let it be,” I tell myself.

Where all this intrigue will lead is for speculators to speculate and theorizers to theorize upon. As for me, I can find other stuff to cogitate. After all, my guy lost. President Romney is not to be. Nuts.

Now I must endure a period of gloating, pontificating, and arrogant advice from those pundits on the left who won. I must listen to old white guys like Bill Maher, Harry Reid and Chris Matthews tell Republicans that the GOP must not be a party of old white guys. Sigh. There is irony therein.

And I must read, without whining, about election situations that stretch the boundaries of reason to, and beyond, the breaking point. Consider, if you would, some examples.

In 59 voting divisions in Philadelphia Romney didn’t get even one vote: 19,606–0. Zip. Zilch. That might be a record of some kind. Even harder to believe is that some precincts in Pennsylvania exceeded all expectations of turnout. In fact they defied reality. They recorded voting at more than 100 percent. Hmmm.

Some pundits are pointing out that in Pennsylvania dozens of Republican election workers were removed from the polls on Election Day. But those pundits are probably just being spoilsports.

Perhaps it was an effort to get North Carolina over 100 percent that drove a voter in that state to vote four times. At least, he posted on his Facebook page that he did. And he said he planned to vote once more.

I don’t know which candidate that enthusiastic North Carolina fellow was voting for. Left-wing writers are also screaming about Republicans who were caught voting more than once.

Frankly I’m tired of hearing about the election. It’s over. My guy lost. I think I’ll have a beer.

Let me tell you a story, apropos of nothing electoral, about 22-year-old Illinois resident Niles Gammons. It’s a story of bad behavior and record-making results.

Two weeks ago, Niles was arrested twice for two separate alcohol-related offences in two different parts of town. The thing that makes it unique is that even though the arrests were for separate offences in widely different locations, they both happened at exactly the same time. Impossible? Read on.

Niles was first pulled over for driving the wrong way in an alley at 1:08 a.m. Nov. 4. When the officer tried to give him a Breathalyzer test, he noticed that Niles’s mouth was full of pennies. “The pennies thing is a myth,” he was told. “It won’t help you pass a Breathalyzer test.”

So hapless Niles was tested, failed the test, was cited, and was “released as an adult.”

One hour later, the same officer was almost sideswiped by a drunk driver. Yep, it was Niles. He explained that no one would pick him up and take him home, so he decided to drive himself. “Because,” he said, “I was afraid of getting arrested for public intoxication.”

Niles was arrested again.

The twist is that because of daylight saving time and the 2 a.m. time change, both citations at the Champaign Municipal Court carry the same date and time: Nov. 4 at 1:08 a.m.

This news cycle, it seems, is full of bizarreness of one kind or another.

Former Elkhart furniture store owner Richard Leib has served on planning committees in several industries. An avid auto fan, he raced in the 1972 coast-to-coast Cannonball Run. He has written on a wide range of subjects.