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Jeff Whitten: An old nursery rhyme, traffic
editor's notes

Dumb silliness, part 1: There I was, stalled in traffic on Highway 204 when a rhyme popped into my head from out of the blue, albeit with a slight change: “Eeny meeny miny moe, catch an editor by the toe. If he hollers let him go, eeeny meeny miny mo.”

It occurred to me then I have never understood that rhyme, which has been around longer than I have, and I’m pushing 60. But apart from dad’s goofing around with their kids (my father did it when I was a young’un), has anyone actually gone out and grabbed anyone else, editor or not, by the toe?

And did he (I always tend to think of these folks as male, for some reason) say “eeny meeny miney mo” when he did it, and if so wouldn’t he been considered a maniac and too dangerous to be let out of his room? And if this happened and someone grabbed someone by the toe, what happened next? Did the victim holler? What if he didn’t?

I suspect were some psychopath to stop by the newsroom and try it on me I’d holler a lot, though given a normal person’s aversion to being around other people’s feet, one suspects the actual chances of that happening are probably slim and none.

What if one wears Crocs, as I tend to do more than my wife wishes I would. Would that make one more susceptible to being grabbed, since you wouldn’t even have to peel off a sock in order to get a good grip on a toe (unless the victim is one of those Ivy League “Socks in Crocs” fellows).

While we’re at it, I think Eeny Meeny Miney Mo might make a good TV show, like the popular American Ninjas competition, except with feet.

It wouldn’t even have to have editors in it, since a good number of us in the weekly newspaper business don’t look good in spandex and aren’t the most agile of folks to start with, though we might find a second gear if someone started chasing us around trying to grab our toes and make us holler.

Note: I realize some editors probably deserve to be grabbed by the toe and made to holler. I may fit in that category but would be last to know, given my track record.

Just so you know, weekly newspaper editors have long been targeted for such mistreatment by certain special interest groups and civic clubs and chambers of commerce.

I have heard it said that back in the Dark Ages certain midwestern Rotary Clubs would grease weekly newspaper editors with Crisco so first-year Rotary plebes could chase them around a pen, a sort of medieval forerunner to today’s greased pig contests at county fairs.

Then, in the 1800s, I have it on good authority weekly newspaper editors were used as participants in High School Football Booster Club fundraisers similar to what we now know as “cow patty bingo.”

This was before modern plumbing, you see.


Dumb silliness part 2: You can’t get here from there, or there from here, part whatever.

I left something at home the other day and didn’t realize it until I almost got to the office, so I had to turn around and go back home and get it. Now, I live about 25 miles from the office, which once upon a time was a one-way commute of about 25-30 minutes on regular days, but could on occasion take hours given increased traffic, roadwork, wrecks, dump trucks, semis, panhandlers, mobile texters and Facebook posters and rubberneckers and wrecks up in South Carolina and the like.

These days, the norm is about 40-45 minutes, and that’s the price us regular people pay for the ever expanding port and the 487,000 subdivisions that’ve sprang up in the Coastal Empire since 2000.

Not much I can do about that but whine.

On this particular day, I got held up in traffic and it took around 50 minutes for me to get from the house to the 144 exit and then realize I’d left something at home and would have to drive back and get it. Which took about 50 minutes, thanks to an abundance of dump trucks, semis, panhandlers, texters and the like. And then another 50 minutes or so to get back. It shot the ante meridian part of my day, I can tell you that.

Still, it could always be worse. Someone nut could try and grab me by the toe, or break out the Crisco, or worse.

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