My Florida daughter was shopping for shoes for her 13-year-old son when the shoe salesman said, “My boss probably doesn’t approve of this, but who do you think will win the election, Trump or Clinton?”
Now some customers might resent such a personal question. In fact, we have a friend who probably would have responded, “If you’ll pardon me for not answering that question, I’ll pardon you for asking it.”
But my daughter wasn’t offended.
Asked how his poll was going, the salesman replied, “Seven said Trump, three said Clinton.”
Never miss a local story.
The store had just opened, so the poll was not representative.
But I dare say it’s as reliable as seeking the outcome of the election in the Holy Bible.
I don’t believe, as one of my readers does, that God becomes involved in presidential elections, certainly not in one as ugly and vitriolic as this one.
However, one of my readers thinks otherwise, quoting Ecclesiastes 10:2: “The heart of the wise inclines to the right, but the heart of the fool to the left.”
“It can’t get any simpler than that,” my correspondent adds.
Posh! If the Lord were interested in politics at all, he’d probably say, “I think I’ll sit this one out.”
Most popular sport
If it’s the most popular sport in America, then why wasn’t it represented in the Olympics?
According to a 2013 report by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 47 million Americans indulge in bird watching or “birding,” as some devotees call it. I am one of the 47 million.
Sometimes, I feel as if I know my frequent visitors personally.
I recommend birding as a highly rewarding sport.
The house wren is the incessant chatterbox, a people-bird that will build her nest in your pants pocket if you stand still long enough. The gaudy, overdressed blue jay, sad to say, is sometimes a serial killer, not above wiping out a neighbor’s newborn. The robin is the great provider. A pair of robins must rustle up nine yards of worms daily to feed a family of six.
The brown thrasher is the big-bosomed dowager president of the Daughters of the American Revolution, greatly embarrassed at being seen with a worm in her mouth. The gorgeous goldfinch is birdland’s Marilyn Monroe. The gentle towhee is the neighborhood pacifist.
Surely, the red-bellied woodpecker has tucked a couple of aspirins under his wing to take care of those horrendous migraines he suffers from pounding his beak into the rock-solid surface of an oak tree.
And, of course, there is the showoff mockingbird, which can imitate more than 200 other bird calls as well as the meows of cats, the sound of car horns and even some human sounds.
For those who shun chasing little white balls on golf courses, or panting their lungs out in cross country jogging, or doing 100 plus push-ups at the wellness center, I recommend bird watching as a highly rewarding sport.
A memorable hug
In response to the recent hugging column, Rita Berman of Mebane remembers a memorable hug and a bonus kiss.
After her husband died, Rita, then living in Chapel Hill, frequented a local gym for exercise. One morning as she entered the exercise area a man walked up and kissed her on the lips.
“While enjoying the experience, I had no idea who he was,” she wrote.
Disengaging herself, Rita asked, ‘Do I know you?”
“Oh, yes,” the man replied. “I’m Joel’s cousin Jeff.”
“Even so, I thought that was taking kinship a bit far,” Rita concluded. “He was my son-in-law’s cousin and had changed in appearance since I last saw him several years earlier.”
This truism of undetermined origin was sent along by a reader: A true hostess is one who makes her guests feel at home while wishing they were.
Snow: 919-836-5636; firstname.lastname@example.org