by Paul Melvin

WEIGHTLIFTING ISN’T MY CUP OF TEA...I like to watch and marvel at those massive guys lifting, jerking, pressing, but it’s not for me. I had a hernia already, thank you. Recently, I saw a Russian lift 50l-1/4 pounds – over a quarter of a ton – in competition in Columbus, Ohio. They tell me that’s the “magic figure” all heavyweight weight lifters have been puffing and pressing for since weightlifting competition began. And, to top that, the Russian beat his own record a few days later lifting 507-1/4 pounds in competition. And I get a backache taking our rubbish out to the curb.

POLLUTION IS EVERYBODY’S BAG… The other evening I listened as an “expert” on pollution expounded his theories for eliminating pollution of our streams, the air we breathe, our food…even outer space. This guy had an answer for every pollution problem as he fogged up the room with smoke from a massive cigar and flailed the ashes all over the furniture with his expansive gestures. Yep, this guy was a real “expert”. In my opinion, the solution to pollution is us…you and me…writing our legislators, picking up our own trash…keeping our cars tuned so they won’t exhaust excessively into our atmosphere. Not a bad theme for an anti-pollution ad campaign…The Solution To Pollution Is YOU! The illustration would show that stern faced Uncle Sam we’ve all seen on the recruiting posters…the one with his finger pointed straight at you no matter where you move in front of him. There it is, you ad types…a free idea. You can take it from there. I have to take out the garbage.

CHURCH IS A GOOD PLACE TO SLEEP…but not if you sing in the choir. Sleeping in the choir loft is an art. It’s not easy to sleep softly, quietly, unobtrusively in front or several hundred people. Sunday after Sunday through years of maneuvering and seniority, I have managed to gain a seating position in the choir, hidden in the bass section, in the back row, behind a large pillar. Only a couple dozen people can see me…even when we stand to sing, and then only if the church is full. The heating system for the organ runs right under the pew. Sleep comes easily. A tribute to my success as a choir sleeper…the preacher shook hands with me last Sunday as we walked out of church and said that he was happy to see me in church again.

BOOKS IN BOXES – WHAT A WASTE…I was cleaning out our storeroom the other day, and I ran across several boxes of books. I didn’t know we had them. They came from my mother-in-law and father’s estates. They’re exciting, informative, entertaining books, locked away from all eyes in a storeroom, in boxes yet. When I asked my wife about them she calmly informed me that for some time she had been asking me for more shelves in our family room to house these noble works of literary art. Being an attentive husband, I hadn’t heard her ask for any bookshelves. We sorted the books. Some went to a charity book auction, others to friends who we know will appreciate the subjects, and the rest will go on the new shelves in our family room…when I get around to putting them up. Meanwhile, the books rest in peace in our storeroom away from prying eyes. Someday I’ve just got to get organized.

A BOY’S ROOM IS HIS CASTLE…Our boys have always “decorated” their rooms. We’ve encouraged this “expressive activity” as my educated wife calls it. Well, our 11-year old son Randy is the most expressive one of the bunch. He’s got multi-colored, varied size polka dots all over the walls. It’s a sight to shake the soul of any occupant of a DT ward. In addition, sprinkled here and there among the polka dots are posters for peace, outer space, Olympics, pictures of presidents, flags, a sword, a Civil War musket and powder horn, photographs of various Apollo moon shots, newspaper clippings and other assorted memorabilia…and that’s just on the walls. Sometimes we hear him screaming in the night, but it’s only when a car goes by and the headlights light up the room.