Random Thoughts while Driving in Waco

By Jack Smith

While watching the Wake Forest Demon Deacons

Play football in a bowl game, I wondered about their mascot. Why demon deacons? It would seem to be an oxymoron — deacons good, demons bad. Is it like a Baptist church officer gone astray?

Wake Forest University was founded as a Baptist college way back when, and its first mascot was a tiger. In 1923 the Wake Forest football team beat its rival, Trinity College (now Duke University), and the editor of the school newspaper called the team the Demon Deacons due to their “devilish play and fighting spirit.” It stuck. No offense to deacons. Or demons.

The University of Texas basketball team played Lipscomb University earlier in the season. Lipscomb University’s mascot, I noticed, is the Bisons. The plural for deer is deer and for buffalo is buffalo. Isn’t the plural for bison, bison?

There has been a lot of talk in the last year about “fake news.” What determines fake news appears to be in the eye of the beholder. Here are some news items that may be fake:

— The Food and Drug Administration has announced a powerful new placebo.
— An East Texas police station had all its toilet seats stolen. The police say they don’t have a thing to go on.
— In China, a rice paddy worker was beaten to death with a small porcelain figurine. Local authorities are describing it as a knick-knack paddy whack.
— A man who fell into an upholstery machine is now fully recovered.
— Police in Dallas recently busted a man selling “secret formula” tablets he claimed gave eternal youth. When going through their files, they noticed it was the fifth time he had been arrested for committing this same charge of criminal medical fraud. He had earlier been arrested in 1983, 1928, 1856 and 1794.

Could fake news be a red herring? And what is a red herring? Its definition is basically “something that misleads or distracts from a relevant or important issue,” but what does this have to do with a fish? The term, according to the internet, was probably invented in 1807 by an Englishman, referring to an occasion on which he had used the scent of a fish (herring) to divert hounds from chasing a hare. Bad for the dogs and hunters, but good for the rabbit — leading to a good hare day.

Prior to the red herring, the rabbit had been in dire straits. What is a dire strait? A strait is a narrow passage of water connecting two larger areas of water. Dire means extreme or serious. I don’t know how a strait gets to be dire. If you look it up, you will get a lot of information about the British rock band. The meaning of dire strait is unclear.

Also, the meaning of opaque is unclear.

Do you toss and turn at night while trying to sleep? When I think of tossing, I think of throwing a ball, which I almost never do in bed. But toss also means to move turbulently, as a boat tossing on the sea. I sometimes have trouble getting back to sleep when I wake up in the middle of the night. I don’t toss, but I do turn. I start on my left side, then turn to my back, then to my right side and finally to my stomach. I turn clockwise. Unless, of course you are looking from my feet, and then I’m turning counter-clockwise. I know. Who cares? Did I turn you off?

A friend said his foot fell asleep during the day, and he was afraid that it would be up all night.

IF I WERE KING: There would never be ice on a Texas road. We just can’t hack it.

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