Once every four years, many of us were spellbound. We watched with great interest as the candidates were nominated with flowery speeches, got progressively bored as the seconding speeches droned on and on, and were up on the edge of the couch during the roll call of individual states that finally produced each party’s candidate for president.
The air was electric. Sometimes even the selection of the vice presidential candidate allowed us to witness raw politics in action. The action was stimulating.
And then toward the end of the week came the acceptance speeches that we wouldn’t miss for anything.
We often watched both conventions, feeling warm and cozy inside about one of them, and hostile and contrary about the other.
Where, oh where did that feeling go? This week, the Republicans are meeting in Tampa, Fla., their convention disrupted a bit by Tropical Storm Isaac, which is getting more press than the lukewarm convention activity. No buzz, no excitement — no one cares much.
Fortunately, the NFL season is about to begin, creating far more interest than the conventions. I join Steve Reza in shouting, “Go Niners!”
City Hall recently raised havoc about the new and colorful paint on the Patterson Food Center building. (For old-timers, that’s the former Liberty Supermarket building on Highway 33.)
Many locals find the new colors highly attractive, but the city claims the mural on the long south wall violates Patterson’s sign ordinance.
Argh. Maybe it’s the city’s ordinance that needs changing, rather than the paint job.
Question of the week
From time to time, Fast Talk receives questions from our readers (at least I assume they are readers).
This week’s question comes from longtime rural Patterson resident Laurence Kolding, who asks:
“Why do old people say their body parts have gone south? Why south?”
I don’t know, but it may soon change. South is getting rather crowded, but there’s plenty of room in the north.
My kind of story
Did you hear about the guy visiting his son who asked for a newspaper?
“It’s the 21st century,” the son replied. “Here, use my iPad.”
The fly never knew what hit him.
For the retirees
The only trouble with retirement is that you never get a dang day off.
You asked for it
Many readers — well, maybe two — have asked when Fast Talk will take them back to school.
You may recall that this column promised to provide educational material so as to better serve the learning needs of the public. Not that our readers are stupid, but with the fast pace of life these days, it doesn’t hurt to cram a little more information into the brain.
But I come from the old school. That’s where fall classes didn’t start until after Labor Day. Heck, not only do the kids now go back to class before Sept. 1, but by then, Patterson High will have played two football games.
Don’t worry. Fast Talk’s classroom work will commence next week — after Labor Day.
For the sports fan
How about that. All three Patterson High football teams opened their schedules late last week with victories over Johansen High of Modesto. All rather lopsided wins, including a pair of shutouts. Impressive.
And add a new conference threat this fall to challenge Central Catholic — the other Tigers, Los Banos. Their shootout win over powerful Escalon should send a message.
OK, you like paraprosdokians, so here’s a couple more:
I went to a theatrical performance about puns. It was a play on words.
They told me I had type A blood, but it was a typo.
All right, one more: England has no kidney bank, but it does have a Liverpool.
Ron Swift is editor/publisher emeritus of the Patterson Irrigator. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.