Question: I looked
on my New York State road map and couldn't find Centerboro anywhere. I know
you said it's near Rome, but where? Is it so small that it wouldn't be on
a map? Also, you mention that Centerboro has basically gone down the tubes
over the years. Why do you still stay there?
Answer: Oh, no, my dear friend, Centerboro is a pretty sizable
town. You're just looking on the wrong map, that's all. Keep looking. I'm
sure it will turn up for you somewhere. As to why I've stayed in Centerboro--well,
that's where my roots are, and I can't imagine myself living anywhere else.
Question: Do you
think your site or you are interesting or amusing? I don't in the least. In
fact, I think you're an ill-tempered, rude, egotistical monomaniac who doesn't
have a life, and I'm never coming back to your site again.
Answer: Well, I guess you won't be reading my reply, but Good for
you! Bye-bye now. Don't let the door hit you on the fanny on the way out.
(By the way, didn't you read all the terms, conditions, and disclaimers on
my home page?)
on your site you said, "...as the Great Crustaceanoid is my witness...." Are
you a heathen? Haven't you accepted the revealed Word of God in the Bible
and Jesus Christ as your Personal Savior, Lord and Master?
Answer: I'm not sure I want to answer this question, but I will
to settle this issue right now and for all time. First,
I was just kidding around when I used that phrase. Is that permissible
in your world? Second, no, I am not a "heathen," as you put it, nor
am I some officious busybody of the religious ilk. Finally, I believe it's
in Matthew 6:6 (NIV) that you, as a Christian, are enjoined to worship thusly:
"But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father,
who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward
you." You don't have to be a theologian to understand the message there,
do you? In short, it's none of your beeswax how I worship, and if I
choose not to wear my religion on my sleeve as you do, well, that's between
Him and me, the way it should be as I understand it. I will not respond
to any more questions of this sort even if they are well-meaning, so please
don't waste your time asking.
do you miss most about the Centerboro of long ago?
Answer: I miss walking along elm-shaded Main Street with just enough
change in my pocket for a cherry phosphate and a matinee in a theater bigger
than a living room. I miss Madeline's breezing into town and our lives
once again. I miss a dip in the Beans' duck pond and wading in that little
brook that ran north through their woods up into the Big Woods. I miss shooting
the breeze over Lucky Strikes and coffee so strong it practically sat up and
barked at you at Dixon's with the other young businessmen who were getting
their start along with me after the War. I miss roaming out into Witherspoon's
big south meadow on a starry summer night, lying on my back, and wondering
about the meaning of it all. I miss sneaking a kiss with Jenny Hall in that
same meadow. I miss riding my bicycle, and then later driving my first car,
along the dusty back roads of Oteseraga County. I miss getting an Indian
head penny in change at Charlie O'Neill's corner store, the murmur of neighbors
exchanging twilight gossip on the porches and over the fences of Clinton Street,
and the sounds, sights, and smells of Boomschmidt's Circus. I miss Mr. Dimsey,
Ollie Groper, Petey, Gramma and Grampa M., the Herb I once knew, crazy Uncle
Ben, Mr. Metacarpus, Miss Pottle, and...so many others. I miss the ringing
of all the Centerboro church bells on Sunday mornings. I miss Mollie
Seaver's Antique Shop whose sign was the blade of an old windmill and the
clanging that came from John Broadenax's blacksmith shop. I miss strolling
past the Kwong Sing Laundry and Glowacki's little Polish restaurant and Marone's
Electrical and Repair shop and hearing Chinese, Polish, and Italian spoken
and sung. I could go on and on and bore you to death as old men
whose memories have been stirred will do. But I think I'd like to stop here.
Question: Would EHA
Industries, Inc. be interested in being one of the corporate sponsors of our (name
of charity deleted) 10K run?
Answer: The Board of Managers has asked me, as President of EHA Industries,
Inc., to politely decline your request and all such requests. We get numerous
queries of this nature, and we could not possibly honor them all. To show that
we are not partial to this cause or that charity, we therefore turn down all solicitations
of our sponsorship. Sorry.
Question: Do you
support free speech on the Internet?
Answer: Does not my speech seem free to you? Yes, of course I do. However
I do not support or condone any expressions of criminality, pornography,
bigotry, hate, irresponsibility, intolerance, extreme and gratuitous vulgarity
and violence, or...well, I could go on and on, but I'm sure you get the
point. In fact, I have discussed this matter with the Board and I am prepared
to make it official: The Board of Managers of EHA Industries, Inc. supports
Responsible Free Speech on the Internet and Everywhere Else!
Important General Announcement!
Regarding Advice on Personal Matters and Misdirected Questions
Recently there has been
a spate of questions regarding personal matters, questions which I
must strongly assert I am completely unqualified to answer. I have
no idea how you should (among other things) repair your relationship
with your spouse, parents, or siblings; get in touch with your inner self
or inner child (whatever that means), refrain from fighting with your
in-laws, or translate/deal with/silence the voices only you seem to
hear. So, this is the only advice I have for you and the only you'll get.
For some, I recommend the nearest psychiatrist regardless of the cost, pronto,
even if your insurance doesn't pay for it! For others, perhaps all the counseling
sessions your medical insurance will cover. For still others, "Dear
Abby" (P.O. Box 69-440, Hollywood, CA 90069) might work. And some of you,
I am confident, would be able to figure things out for yourselves if you'd
just sit yourself down and think. Get a grip!
Other readers have sent
me questions that clearly should have been directed to other recipients. Following
are examples of actual questions I have been asked by readers of this
site and my suggestions for proper answer sources.
If someone sneezes once and you say "God bless you," and then that person
sneezes again, do you have to say "God bless you" again? If you do,
would you have to say it after every subsequent sneeze?
Send Questions Like This To: Judith Martin at this "Miss
I'm a big fan of the old Lost in Space TV series. Can you tell me
whatever happened to the guy who played Dr. Smith?
Send Questions Like This To: Jay Bobbin, Tribune Media Services,
One Apollo Drive, Glens Falls, NY 12801. There won't be a personal reply,
but you may see an answer in TV Topics.
Do you believe that machines will ever be able to think?
Send Questions Like This To: a qualified scientist. If, as
in the example, you have a question about machine intelligence, Roger Penrose
(c/o Oxford University, UK) or Marvin Minsky (c/o M.I.T) might give you
an informed answer.
Example Four: What
is unusual about the following set of words: "A man, a plan, a canal--Suez!"
Send Questions Like This To: Marilyn vos Savant (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Include your name, city, and state. There won't be a personal reply, but
maybe your question will show up in Parade magazine. (BTW, the answer
to this question is: "It's a 'near miss' palindrome." Ha, ha!)