Random Thoughts

By Jack Smith

While Driving in Waco

I recently read a study about happiness. It said that people in small towns or rural areas are happier than those living in the suburbs, who are happier than those living in cities of less than 250,000, who are happier than those living in cities larger than that size. Seems pretty easy to understand. If I had to fight the traffic every day in Austin, I’d be very unhappy.

Another study said that the more social interaction with close friends that people have, the happier they are. The big exception was very smart people. For highly intelligent folks, the opposite was true. The less interaction they have, the happier they are. So if I have ever been rude to you, it’s not personal. I just can’t help it.

It was time for our bad dog, Parker, to get his annual shots, which seem to be more numerable and more expensive each year. Someone keeps inventing new threats to dog health. Anyway, when Vicki took Parker to the vet, he had a cough. (Parker, not the vet.) The vet said it was probably allergies. Really? Parker is an inside dog when we are home and an outside dog when we’re gone. He has a fenced-in yard and a garage he can go into if he wants to get out of the weather. What could Parker be allergic to? Grass? Squirrels? Dry dog food? Cats? Whatever it is, next year there will be a shot for it.

I once tried to teach Parker to play bridge. It didn’t work because I don’t really know how to play bridge.

Way back in the 1980s, I once wrote a jingle for my hometown of Marlin. My co-workers at KWTX-TV gave me the nickname The Marlin Darlin’. Fortunately, it didn’t stick. But for the last many years most of the news out of Marlin has been bad news. I thought a new slogan for my hometown might be in order. So here it is: “Marlin, the place where good luck goes to die.”

In the extended Marlin Smith family there is no doubt who the matriarch is. Vicki nails it. I once thought I might become the family patriarch, but somehow I ended up as the assistant matriarch.

The Donald said if he should be denied the Republican nomination for president, there would be riots. I wonder what a Republican riot would look like? Would it be yuge? Would they throw their elephant hats on the floor? Would they exchange mean Bible verses? Would they accuse each other of being pro labor union? Would they threaten to vote for Hillary? Would they call each other soft on crime?

The average age of convention attendees will probably be about 68. I think a Republican riot would look more like a line dance and then some resting.

Speaking of the Republican convention, usually, the nominee is determined a few months beforehand. The nominee has plenty of time to interview and vet (a very popular word) his choice for vice president. But if the nominee isn’t selected until the third day of the convention, there would be no time to properly vet and focus group the choice. It could lead to a bad choice. Sarah Palin could win again.

The word “vet” is from the word veterinarian. It originally meant to thoroughly examine an animal. Now we use the word when referring to the thorough examination of a politician. Is that a difference without a distinction?

A friend said that he thought his girlfriend was having a nervous breakdown, but as usual, she didn’t finish what she started. He said she was going incompletely insane.

IF I WERE KING: If enough people voted “none of the above” in the presidential election, we would try four years without a president.

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