When You’re In A Hurry

They should change “express lanes” to “lanes for the mathematically challenged.”

Today I ended up in the eight-items-or-less lane behind a woman who bought almost $70 worth of groceries. And it wasn’t eight cans of caviar, believe me.

That gave me plenty of time to ponder why the sign on the lane reads “or less” when it should read “or fewer.” Grammar as anger-management.

Since grocery stores don’t seem to have the guts to enforce their lane limits, maybe they could hand out gift certificates for Kumon courses to those who blatantly overdo it.

There’s Nothing to Do

Obama might want to grab a can of spray paint and graffiti “Bored” on somebody’s building but I’m complaining there’s too much happening in Sault Ste. Marie this week.

 (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Shadows of the Mind Film Festival opens Monday, offering a couple of dozen films including Oscar nominees. Some admissions are by donation; others you pay.

In Your Eyes Projects presents Girl in the Goldfish Bowl at Algoma University Wednesday to Saturday nights.

Sault Theatre Workshop presents Hilda’s Yard, a Norm Foster comedy and STW’s entry into the Quonta Festival, Wednesday to Sunday.

The Debaters, CBC’s popular comedy show, comes to the Community Theatre Centre Sunday.

The YMCA has a dinner dance Friday at the Delta featuring Mobile Dueling Pianos. Saw that sort of act in Vegas and it’s a hoot.

Soo Greyhounds are at home at the Essar Centre Friday night and Sunday afternoon.

Lots of bars have lots of live entertainment.

The hinterland is alive with the sound of snowmachines and ice augers and happy kiddie voices.


Gunfight at the OK Elementary School

(As will quickly become obvious, this post falls outside “humour” category.)

It’s never a surprise, especially in the Donald Trump era, to see government policy constructed on myths created by television and the movies. But Trump is far from the only one to suggest a Grade 3 teacher with a handgun could take down an armed invader before any serious damage is done.

It’s not widely known that Trump was chosen for his role on The Apprentice partly on the strength of his earlier portrayal of Yosemite Sam.

Even those who argue against it don’t seem to question the premise that this rescue scenario is both possible and probable. And it might be, but only in a movie about a school shooting that was thwarted by an open-carrying faculty member.

With its plethora of arms, many of them borne legally, how many mass shootings in the U.S. have been brought to an early end by a “good guy with a gun?”

Reality tells us that the would-be school hero would be as likely to hit a colleague or a few kids as take down an armed assailant. And in the unlikely event that the Grade 3 teacher succeeded, he or she, pistol in hand, might then be gunned down by the SWAT team.

In the real Wild West, no one calmly pulled a six-shooter and shot  a gun out of an opponent’s hand while gunfire blazed. Gunfighters got as close as they could, sometimes close enough that the barrel discharge set fire to their target’s clothes. Guns were reasonable accurate; shooters were not, especially in the heat of the moment.

“Given the frenzy and confusion of a real gunfight, the participants involved were doing well if they even hit their opponent at all, let alone . . . in a fatal spot,” says Jeremy Agnew in The Old West in Fact and Film: History Versus Hollywood.

“It was not unusual for innocent bystanders to be killed or wounded.”

Agnew notes that in Wild West shows performers shooting at glass balls thrown in the air used cartridges that sprayed lead shot instead of bullets.

Trump, whose near-fatal heel spurs kept him out of the armed forces, would have no experience with modern-day “friendly fire.” Yet it’s estimated that almost one-quarter of U.S. battle deaths in the Gulf War were due to friendly fire. That’s what happens when soldiers for whom guns are almost parts of their bodies get involved in chaotic conflict.

So sure, let’s train Ms. Smith and Mr. Jones on the target range and then expect them to win a gun battle in the hallowed halls of education.

“That’ll learn ‘im,” exclaims Ms. Smith, standing over the fallen teenager and his AR-15.

Roll credits.