Two words come to mind ... de, caf

Let's face facts ... we all go a little mad sometimes.

And that's okay, honestly, because self-realization is an important step away from going psycho as the meteors strike "… and, yes, I spelled out "okay" instead of using the stylebook-preferred "OK," so don't bother changing it — it's not like more than three people are going to give a flying leap at a rolling donut about a faux pas like that to begin with.

OK?

Now, Pope Strunk the Pedantic would appear in a puff of white smoke at this moment to point out the dual misuses of "like," the misspelling of "donut" and the sentence-ending preposition "… but we'll seek absolution another time.

PUT "… THE "… RED "… MARKER "… DOWN

There, deep breath people, accepting our faults is the only way we're going to make it through The Great Earthquake in one piece. So, let's concentrate on finding some inner peace, shall we?

You there, sitting in the coffee shop singing along to the satellite radio Beatles channel, you seem blissfully oblivious to the world at large. So, on behalf of those of us who can hear may I just say "… STOP SINGING.

Voices such as yours (see what I did there?) should be heard in the shower and the car and inside your head — and preferably when you are alone in each.

Don't believe this? Fire up the YouTubes and search for "Oprah McCartney Kennedy." There's a lovely video of Mavis Staples and James Taylor singing in tribute to Sir Paul at the Kennedy Center Honors a few years back.

The camera cuts to the honorees box, where The Big O starts singing along — causing Macca to shoot her a look as though someone had reminded him he wrote "Wonderful Christmastime."

What is it about coffee shops that bring out the worst in people? All we want to do is take a few minutes to kick back, quietly chat up some friends and mainline enough Miracle Mineral Solution to get us through the next few hours.

Instead, we get cafe Carusos, as well as laptop squatters who plug in, turn on and drop out for hours. It's not a library, FaceSpace cadets, it's a coffee shop "… it says so right out front.

You really shouldn't want to tick off people in need of caffeine; let the ripple of your conferences and study groups go to someplace more sedate "… maybe the wine-tasting room at Brown Bag Vineyards.

But more annoying than those folks (and you know who you are), they pale in comparison to the customers who spend 5-10 minutes in line before they get to order — and THEN start to decide what they want to drink. The menu sign's right behind the barista; get off the cellphone and figure out what lip-smackin', whipcrackin', paddywhackin', olagazackin', infolackin', alliganackin' drink you want.

What coffee shops really need is to become exclusion zones. Set up a list of demerits that add to point totals; get enough points, and you can order only from a drive-thru window "… except, of course, in Ashland, where drive-thrus have almost as little chance of meeting city requirements as a homeless shelter.

The recent failure to get a center going was attributed, in part, to a shopping list of must-haves provided by the city — including a food pantry, individual lockers, shower and laundry facilities, bathrooms, OSF tickets, clothing, mental health counseling, yoga classes, referrals to transitional housing, pet grooming, job-skills training and occupational therapy assistance.

A couple of those might not be quite right, but you get the idea. By shooting for the moon ... and fencing off another homeless habitat as the renovation work continues on the Ashland Plaza & Skateboard Thunderdome ... the city has made it more difficult for the homeless than Medford putting a tight leash on a proposal for a doggy day-care business.

Speaking of shooting, what is it with the sudden need of gun owners to expose their weapons to the general public? You'd think the ones walking through Ashland the other day were under the misunderstanding that the Shakespeare festival's new production of "The Taming Of The Shrew" was actually a commentary on Sarah Palin disappearing from Fox News.

While it's understandable you would want to overcompensate for feeling put-upon, aren't there better ways to go about it? How about using that frustration and protest video game carnage and movies about Armageddon that many blame for leading to violent tendencies?

You know, take away the virtual weapons ... as long as you give folks easier access to real ones instead.

Every movement has its fringes, of course, and this week's disasters — meteors hitting Russia, predictions of major earthquakes, the new Nicholas Sparks movie — have left our fringes more tattered than those cruise ship passengers.

But, seriously, what's the worst that could happen if a meteor were to strike? Britt prices going up because Jacksonville would become beachfront property? The viaduct falling flat and MURA rushing in to turn it into yet another parking lot? The Greyhound "portal" being left standing?

Here's a hint: When the President said "We can fix this" during his State of Disunity speech last week, he wasn't talking about the remnants of a bus station's entryway.

You want to feel bad for someone, feel bad for fish. Studies released this month report that dumping all those drugs down the toilet eventually led to fish being aggressive, delusional and swimming in circles. Add in the compulsion to flash mob the Macarena, and they're just like you and me.

Well, you maybe.

If that weren't bad enough, now fish and insects and plants that live off the Rogue River might have to worry about effluent cruising upstream from wastewater treatment plants like great green globs of greasy, grimy gopher guts.

So much for effluent only flowing downhill.

Mail Tribune news editor Robert Galvin can be reached at rgalvin@mailtribune.com. And another thing ... GET OFF MY LAWN!


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