The Rant 

With all due respect to my friends who are avid football fans:
really? Really, the leading news item this week was the play the replacement referee called during the Packers-Seahawks game? (I'm writing this far in advance so it may all be old news by the time this issue of the paper comes out.) The Cheeseheads are all but rioting over a football play? I guess passion is a good thing, but, really?

And others are just as angry over the new iPhone 5's charger change? I guess these are the same people who camped out and slept on the sidewalk for a week at the Apple stores to be the first to get them. And now they are seething. Did they not know in advance that they would need a new charger? Are they living in a cave when they are not sleeping on the sidewalk for a week to get a new phone? It was all over the news when Apple launched it, well before it actually became available.

I don't understand people. And, at the risk of being one of those people with a "Mean People Suck" bumper sticker on my car, I don't understand why people can be so hateful, hate-filled, and angry. Look at that poor high school girl in Texas, who was paddled so harshly by a male vice principal that she had red whelps on her body days after the beating. I guess if good could come out of that one, it would be that a lot of people, me included, didn't realize that 19 states still allow the beating of students.

And Texas is trying to expand the rules to allow male faculty members to beat female students. It was technically against the rules for that vice principal to do so, and I'm sure since it's Texas he won't be reprimanded. No, instead they are trying to make it okay. What the hell? What could a kid in school possibly do to deserve a beating? And she was actually given the option of being suspended. Hmm. Let's see ... get beaten or miss school and fall behind. Brilliant options. Don't you think it might have made just a little more sense to have her stay after school, do community service, do something productive to learn a lesson? I don't get it. I think if we have 19 states where it is okay to beat children then we better not say anything critical about any other country or culture.

Now, what makes me mad is this: I get an email every single day from Barack or Michelle Obama or Beyoncé or George Clooney or Sarah Jessica Parker or someone else asking me to donate money to the president's reelection campaign. Doing so enters me into a contest to have the White House fly me to Washington, D.C., put me up in a nice hotel, and have dinner with Mr. President. I donate almost every day and I WANT TO HAVE THAT DINNER WITH THE PRESIDENT. I don't care about Beyoncé or Sarah Jessica Parker. (Why the long face? Okay, that was mean, and I take it back.) Or George Clooney. I WANT TO HAVE THAT DINNER WITH THE PRESIDENT. I almost got to ride in a limousine with Bill Clinton once and got robbed of that opportunity by some other opportunists. So I WANT TO HAVE THAT DINNER WITH PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA. I don't want to talk with him about the Mideast or the economy or same-sex marriage or Mitt Romney or education or health care or the defense budget or any of those kinds of issues. I just want to hang out and smoke cigarettes (even though he says he quit) and talk about movies and music and his kids and their dog and what it was like growing up and who he dated before Michelle and, well, just normal things to lighten his load. I also want to give him a big bear hug. So, Mr. President, PULL MY NAME OUT OF THAT HAT. I WANT TO HAVE THAT DINNER WITH YOU.

But I don't want to fly to Washington, D.C., and there is no need for me to stay in a nice hotel. I want him to come have dinner with me in Memphis and let me show him around. I would love to kick it with him at Itta Bena above B.B. King's listening to Di Anne Price at dinner and then take him to Wild Bill's. Can you imagine hanging out with President Barack Obama at Wild Bill's and him sitting there sipping on a 40-ounce? I would get him up to the microphone, too, and have him sing the entire Al Green song. Yes, he can.


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