Random Thoughts While Driving in Waco

By Jack Smith

Jack can be reached at jwsmith2@flash.net

Now that we are getting used to writing 2020 on our checks and other forms, I think that this should be a great year for vision.
The week before Christmas, I had the opportunity to spend a few nights in the hospital. I was on the fourth floor at Hillcrest and received excellent care from all the staff. The nurses were particularly professional and caring. A special shout-out to Geena Garst, the world’s most caring and efficient nurse. She almost made me want to stay longer.

I have had many, many blood tests in the last couple of years by many, many different phlebotomists; 100% of them were female. Then, out of the blue, at Hillcrest I had a male phlebotomist. I think he was a very rare phlebotomister.

I heard on the news that President Trump had been caught red-handed doing something or other. (Why did I want to say something or nuther?) I thought, about the president, that they might have said he was caught orange-handed. Some think his skin is orange and call him Orange Man. They think he uses liquid tan or had a tanning booth installed in the White House.

Anyway, why “red-handed”? Well, I was hoping it was from a child getting caught with his hand in a cookie jar of red velvet cookies (my favorite cookie). But the truth is that the term dates back more than 500 years in Scotland. It applied to murderers who were caught with blood still on their hands. Well, caught red-handed sounds a lot better than caught with blood on their hands.

As a JP, I have to go to what we call “death calls.” When someone dies in an unattended death — someplace other than a hospital, nursing home or under hospice care — a justice of the peace will go to the scene and perform an inquest. Part of the inquest is identifying the next of kin. So recently I was at a scene with a wife and son whose husband and father had died. The wife was not in a good emotional state, so I put the son down as next of kin and got information from him. Later I decided to see what the law says about next of kin. It says that the spouse will always be first and then children and then parents and then aunts and uncles. It is important because of inheritance issues. Anyway, marriage overcomes “blood” relatives. I don’t know what phlebotomists would think of this.

Last month Prince Andrew retired from public life. Now Prince Harry and his wife, Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, have said that they are stepping back from their roles as senior members of the royal family and will “work to become financially independent.” Harry is not next in line to be king, his father, Prince Charles, is. So why is this a big deal? Anything royal is a big deal to lots of folks. British phlebotomists say it’s a bloody shame.

I read that Harry is worth about $40 million and Meghan is worth about $5 million. They should be able to eek out that financial independence thing. They could possibly move to the U.S. or Canada. I would suggest Waco, where they could live as just Harry and Meg and be the second most influential couple.

I read where the Texas Department of Public Safety announced that men’s waistlines should be less than 40 inches and women’s less than 35 inches. I’m pretty sure that they were talking about troopers, so unless you’re a trooper, don’t worry — they aren’t going to give tickets for Driving With Excessive Waistline. If you can buckle your seatbelt, you’re probably OK.

IF I WERE KING: Phlebotomists would never be caught red-handed.