Confehr: Droll, but humorous, on ethics, gratitude

Friday, July 16, 2010

Amid the rush to deliver something worthwhile to read and provide our sponsors a valuable audience, there come funny moments, and times to appreciate.

Recent examples include:

> If elected governor, Mike McWherter could send Tennessee National Guardsmen to secure our border with Mexico. If we can secure the border between two Koreas, then we can do this.

That's a paraphrase. So is this.

How should it be done? Since they've been successful elsewhere (such as finding enemies in Afghanistan) I suggest we use predator drones to find "coyotes" leading illegal immigrants to a remote border crossing into Arizona.

"Wouldn't that be expensive?" Mike asks.

Unmanned aircraft with cameras cost a lot, I agree, but they might make border patrols more efficient.

"Oh," says Mike. "I thought you were talking about hockey players with expensive sports contracts."

Later, a newsroom colleague suggests that America dig a moat along the border, instead of a wall. Then, freeze the water so Predators could skate really fast east and west to keep an eye on the border.

> Then there's the one about two building inspectors and a reporter going to lunch at the new restaurant.

One explains they red-flagged the place during major renovations because bathrooms weren't accessible for people in wheelchairs.

The owner grumbled. A wheelchair was produced and the owner was asked to use the commode accessed from the wheelchair. The owner bumped around the little room that's now much bigger.

Wednesday, as the three asked that their luncheon bill be split three ways, they were told the owner took care of it. No charge.

Nobody wanted to delay other customers. Furthermore, the cashier was stuck between her employer and customers.

"This just doesn't feel right," one said as they talked about the ethical situation while walking to their trucks. They went back and paid.

> And it was gratifying to receive compliments about what we're told was the first real political debate in Marshall County. Firsts are usually hard to prove, although, it would be easy to prove the date of the first landing of Air Force One at Ellington Airport, or even Air Force Two. Perhaps the Rev. Derryberry could pray for such a milestone.

When the Tribune first took debate reservations, there was a trickle of folks who wanted to be assured of a seat. Then, nothing. Subsequently, a concerted effort explained how reservations were accepted and then 100 seats were requested.

Ultimately, there were about 140 people in the old Dixie Theater at the Marshall County Tribune Candidates Debate a week ago today.

It was a learning experience in theater staging. Some seemingly simple things will be done better if there's another such event.

So far, it seems the audience concluded the debate offered a worthwhile exchange between candidates on a stage where they had to talk with someone who guides a discussion to inform voters.

We're grateful that it worked out.