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Jeff Whitten: Darts and ducks
editor's notes

Editor’s note: The following was written on a deadline day in a heck of a hurry.

This week I’m resurrecting an old column-writing trick I first ran across being practiced by one Ginger Jarvis, an occasional writer/freelancer/teacher who wrote for the Effingham Herald back in the mid 1990s. She called the columns “Darts and Daisies” and in them took turns throwing darts at bad things and giving daisies to good things.

I’ll make up a sample: Darts to the city council for not paving the pothole on my street.

Daisies to the kind but swarthy gentleman who helped me change my tire after I hit the pothole.

Etc, ad infinitum. She did this a lot. That said, I don’t know what happened to Ginger, but she was a neat old broad.

Anyway, I’ll call this version “Darts and Ducks,” because there are lots of people out there who might think it strange were they to get daisies from a member of the male persuasion and would obviously prefer to get a duck or two instead. Quack quack.

Here goes nothing:

 Darts: To traffic. It’s the bane of modern existence. It wouldn’t be if folks would act like civilized people. You can’t go five feet around here without either A) Being tailgated by some vaping testosterone addled freak in a baseball cap and $90,000 pickup he’ll be making house payments on for 11 years, maybe: Or, B) Winding up in a line of traffic behind some guy using his smart phone to trade stocks and find lumber prices while he’s supposed to be driving. Speed up, slow down, cross the center line, repeat.

Ducks: To first responders and all who love them. Judging all first responders, and by that I mean cops, firefighters, paramedics, the worst of their lot is like judging all editors by me or all us white folks by David Duke. In short, there are good, bad and indifferent people everywhere and in every profession.

Darts: Know it alls. The older I get, the less I know, since most of what I thought I knew is now not what I think I know. You know what I mean? And we all know know-it-alls who think they’re put on this earth to tell everybody else how to behave. It gets old after a while.

Ducks: I feel bad for the know-it-alls and wish they’d get some exercise, so I’m passing them a duck or two. My advice on kicking the holier-than-thou habit? Go fishing, fly a kite, drink a beer, play some Scrabble, clean out a closet, buy new clothes, egg your neighbor’s house when he goes on vacation, hug a Democrat, build a tree house out of your old plywood and live in it, gig frogs, plant a tree, eat soup – the possibilities for good clean American fun are endless, I tell you. Does my advice to know-it-alls make me a know-it-all too? Hope not. If so, disregard.

Darts: And, yep, traffic’s back with a vengeance. Took me two hours to get home after work the other day, and I live about 24 miles from the office. You couldn’t go that way because of a wreck, you couldn’t go the other way because of a wreck, you couldn’t back up because of a wreck. Mostly you just sat still and hoped when developers and builders go that great 10,000-home upscale subdivision in the sky they’re stuck in a continual loop of backed up traffic. And they have to go to the badezimmer like yesterday.

Ducks: The Atlanta Hawks get a duck. I’ve enjoyed watching Trae Young and John Collins and Kevin Huerter and company these past few years, even though they lost more than they won. I never thought they’d make the kind of postseason run they’re making now, and kudos to coach Nate McMillan for figuring out which buttons to push. My wife isn’t happy because she hates basketball, but I get to hold the remote on my nights off so she has to lump it and watch basketball par excellence.

Darts: To the state’s Republicans and Democrats, for trying to out crazy each other while pointing out how crazy the other guy is. Stop it. Come together and find common ground and fix what’s broke and leave what isn’t broke alone, whatever that might be.

Ducks: To Groucho Marx and his brothers. He made soup out of them.

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