(Reprinted from The Times and The News-Star, March 14)
Reason 402 Why You're Smarter Than I Am: I have
never had good luck with raincoats. When I was 8,
Momma bought me a yellow one.
During a Noah-like storm in 1968 in Dillon County,
I refused to wear it to get on the bus to ride to third
grade. Not my style. This thing stuck to me like a
Sweetly, my precious mother told my sisters to go
on to school, that I could stay home, and she
coaxed me inside with the promise of a free day.
Women. ... I didn't have to wear the raincoat, but the
whipping I took about 7:35 that morning was
legendary and deserved. (As you have at this point
surmised, I still haven't let that go.)
Scarred, I went most of the next five decades without
a raincoat. (With my hair, it's not that big a deal, but
still...) Then in December, I forked over 50-plus
bucks for the raincoat of my dreams. Hidden
pockets. A hood. Depth at the zipper position.
Waterproof like you wouldn't believe. I'd have even
worn this baby to school.
So Tuesday morning when I stepped outside a little
after 6, met with rain like the proverbial cow weeing
on the literal flat rock, I stepped back inside to get
my raincoat. My mother would have smiled.
Except I couldn't find it. Owned it a short three
months before losing it. My mother should have
whipped me again. Sometimes you just can't win.
Looked in the trunk of the car. Under the bed. At a
couple of restaurants. My Sunday school classroom.
The gym and the gun club. (Just joking about those
last two.) Dry run.
In the middle of this Holy Grail-like search,
someone asked me, "Where's the last place you had
it?" I hate when people say that. I sneered but didn't
cuss. I just continued to get wet all day.
You don't ever do that, do you? Lose stuff. Misplace
stuff. Or, in my case, clean up too good. Because
Tuesday night before bed, I started to swing my
closet door shut and there it was, my Lost Raincoat,
neatly hung on the back of the door, where I'd
placed it in a wild and uncharacteristic streak of
neatness over the weekend. Turns out, that's the last
place I'd had it. What are the odds? ...
Throw it back: Thoughts on the killer whale
involved in the tragic accident at the Florida water
park recently. As you know, I was raised by the sea
and am pro aquatics.
My question: This whale had already been involved
in two human deaths, so what is the number of
deaths sea park bosses have to reach until they'd
retire a rogue whale? It's not three, because the
whale is still "working." Is it five? Eight? 102?
I have a friend who wants to be a whale trainer, but I
don't know. Killer whales are really big and need to
be in the ocean. Even white sharks don't bother
The adjective in front of "whale" should tell you
something. True, I can't even keep up with my
raincoat, but even I know that. ...
The end is in sight, unfortunately: There was a live
colonoscopy on the early morning television news
this week. (You probably can find it on Youtube,
which is basically what the doctor does during a
I like reporter Harry Smith but had to pass on seeing
his anatomy, though I appreciate his in-depth
reporting, etc. And I'm sure he has a nice colon and I
'm glad he has one. They tell me Katie Couric has
one, too. Again, thrilled. I am. I even like mine. (It's
easier to keep up with than my raincoat.)
But I'm not due for my first at-bat until my annual
checkup in October, so I'm going to wait to see one
then. I'm really looking forward to it, which, in the
colon world, isn't easy.