By MICHAEL RODRIGUEZ
Unlike last year’s, I plan to make this column as short and as painless as humanly possible. After all, it is Christmas and while this little annual write-up of mine is always in good fun, there are those who have been known to take things a little too seriously. So I hope that this won’t be the case this year.
Anywho, I figured we’d start with someone that was really bothering me in 2010. Actually, someone who upset me in the month of December: John Edwards.
Calm down. I’m not getting into politics here. Believe me, I’ve had my fill after this year’s Tea Party-induced, spineless liberal hoe down called the mid-term elections. My beef with Edwards is an old one, and obviously referring to his high-profiled infidelities. I’m a Christian (in training), so I believe in forgiveness. And while I certainly can understand that man is very capable of making mistakes, I’m also inclined to believe that this man was probably tempted more than most. He’s handsome, a national figure, likeable. I get it.
Still, after his wife Elizabeth succumbed to cancer following a lengthy, and might I add courageous fight with her terminal illness, I must now resurrect my anger towards her husband. Sorry, John, but after your wife’s unfortunate passing, and barring any “sympathy vote” you may get, I doubt you’ll ever be elected president, senator, representative, governor, mayor, councilman … shoot, I don’t even think I’ll let you judge next year’s “The Best Tamales in Town” contest. Sorry man, but I just don’t like you, and thus you are a Scrooge.
Now we move on to local folks. While at a manic Black Friday sale this year, I was asked to leave the premises of a local retail store because they didn’t want any pictures taken. Even though I was welcomed with open arms a month prior for a ribbon cutting ceremony, I didn’t make much fuss and understood why a man with a camera in his hands might pose a threat to this establishment (especially if I get a shot of a guy being arrested for shoplifting, talk about bad publicity). So I happily obliged and even said the words, “No problem, I wholeheartedly understand.”
While walking away, I kept running into friends and family. They wore a bewildered look on their faces and kept asking, “What happened?” as if they knew I was asked to leave, this despite the fact that I had already made my way well through the store and doubt anyone in the area in which I was being stopped observed what happened. Still, they seemed to have known. To my surprise, it wasn’t until I turned around to say goodbye to one of my friends that I noticed a woman walking right behind me. It was an employee escorting me out.
“Is this necessary?” I asked. “I just gotta make sure I get that camera outta here,” she replied. To say the least, I felt embarrassed. Here I am, obliging what some may consider a rude and unwarranted request with a happy face, and instead I got it thrown back in my face as if I was some out of control assailant.
Now this isn’t really all that big a deal, but like I said, this is all in good fun, and in the spirit of such, that woman (you know who you are) I deem Scroogey.
This next and final one actually goes out to a number of people, of whom there’s no particular need to identify. Basically everyone who’s ever complained about there being a lot of “negative stories” in the paper (and not just in this paper but universally speaking) yet scoff at human interest articles – you are all Scrooges.
For example, there was a gentleman who walked into the office recently to buy a copy of the News. He’s actually a very nice man who often comes in. Sometimes he carries on conversations with us and usually states how much he dislikes that crime stories make headline news and longed for festive, community events and positive articles highlighting the city and its citizens.
Check this out, though. When we headlined the announcement of “The Best Tamales in Town” contest making its return, very shortly thereafter he strolled into the office and commented about how he thought it was ridiculous that a story on a tamale contest could be on the top fold of a newspaper. There are some folks you just can’t please. I know it’s foolish to try, but that’s something I actually pride myself in doing here … pleasing everybody.
And it’s not just him. There are plenty of people who come in and sound off about how a story on a sex offender gets the top spot yet calls us later when they’re wondering why we haven’t run any updates on the suspect’s sentencing.
Sorry. Just had to breathe there.
Until next year. Merry Christmas!