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Jewish World Review Oct. 19, 2001 / 2 Mar-Cheshvan 5762

Bill Tammeus

Bill Tammeus
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Consumer Reports

Just getting caught up -- Like nearly everyone else, I've fallen ridiculously far behind on everything in my life. I was barely keeping up even before life changed on Sept. 11. Since then, I've abandoned hope of ever catching up. Well, except in one area --- returning phone messages and answering the mail. I have devised a fabulously clever way to get back up to speed in that part of my existence. I will simply fill my otherwise empty newspaper column space with replies. Believe me, if I didn't use today's column to catch up on mail, the space would be empty. Now, you don't need to tune out here. You may find that I'm returning a note or call from you. Or, if not, you may learn that when you perform this kind of work yourself, you don't need to take up page after page with flowery words just to say thanks or to turn down an invitation to invest in frozen squirrel futures. You may, like me, be brief, but ever so polite. Here goes:

  • Dave: We enjoyed the birthday party for your brother. Thanks. He seems to have regained consciousness now. Do you want him back?

  • Thad: I spent the $0.00 honorarium before I was halfway home. Thanks for doubling it to that.

  • Anne: I admire your persistence, but the only way I'd be back in school when I'm your age is if they're studying me.

  • Ernest: Remind me again what a duckbill is, why you want one and why you think I have one handy to send to you.

  • Mandy: You may well be right that the Cubs' main problem this past season had to do with the G-word. (Readers: You won't get all of these.)

  • Ruth: Really, I was just kidding about letting you out of the car at the country club's bag drop.

  • Mary Ann: Thanks for the clips. If we hadn't stayed awake in journalism school, we'd have had to look for real jobs by now.

  • L.J.: I deeply appreciated the corn bread. In fact, I'm thinking of handing out what's left of it as Halloween treats.

  • Catherine: Another reason I won't be available to help you out this Sunday is that I'll be celebrating Dizzy Gillespie's birthday. Well, Dizzie's 94th and Samuel Taylor Coleridge's 229th. Somebody has to.

  • Kate: I have no idea. Try

  • Stuart: You were kind to show us around. Thanks. If you find any unexpected loose change on your floors, it's mine. Just write me a check for the amount.

  • DeWain: Maybe squirrel futures really are the answer. Check them out (and frozen hummingbird bellies, too) and get back to me.

  • Kathy: It's Tammeus, not Tanner. And, by the way, what are you in for and how long is your sentence?

  • Mike: Thanks for the video. But who was that old-looking guy with the gray hair claiming to be me?

  • Pete: Another idea might be to hold bake sales (or, more appropriate for our group, half-baked sales) at our annual conferences. Put it on the executive board's agenda along with the cow chip idea.

  • Edna: Great story. I've often thought that the best way to go would be to get planted in a '57 Chevy, which I liked better than your '56 model.

  • George: I'm pleased that you noticed my "strange and offensive ideas," as you called them. I've never yet had readers respond to what they considered ordinary and bland ideas.

If I didn't get you answered today, well, consider it your lucky day.

Comment on JWR contributor Bill Tammeus' column by clicking here.

10/17/01: It was a time for tea and sympathy
10/08/01: What makes an authentic patriot?
10/04/01: It's OK to twist and shout
09/17/01: One precious life among many
09/13/01: Remember who we are
09/11/01: Sometimes all children need is shelter from the storm
09/05/01: Couldn't run or throw, but a hero just the same
08/28/01: Lesson for the scientific faithful: Some theories come with strings attached
08/27/01: When waste in space is a waste of space
08/21/01: In complex world, we lack tools to carve out understanding
08/09/01: Visited while asleep by gang of magical mischief makers
08/03/01: Recognizing the limits of one's capacity
07/27/01: We are more than the sum of our work days
07/12/01: Some stars, like some people, never shine
07/11/01: Our deeply embedded need for order
07/03/01: Not-so-famous tour explores not-so-rich neighborhoods
06/28/01: Driven to tell the truth about golf and government
06/25/01: When poetry becomes destructive
06/21/01: We interrupt this broadcast to bring you a word from deep space
06/14/01: Theory of revolution explains why some things get lost
06/11/01: Shamanic gewgaws
06/06/01: Charity begins at homes with lemonade stands
05/30/01: When are wars worth dying in?
05/23/01: Cruising along that bumpy highway
05/09/01: If you're in the write mood, wish the U.S. happy birthday
05/07/01: Killing McVeigh will wound us all
05/01/01: Dubya reinforcing negative GOP stereotypes?


Reprinted by permission, The Kansas City Star, Copyright 2001. All rights reserved