A.C. Snow

Snow: Keeping those pressured promises

As you who have patronized this column know, I sometimes share with you input from other readers.

From their wit, wisdom and life experiences, we derive not only enjoyment but also worthwhile guidance in navigating life’s journey. Today, I am sharing such an item from a longtime reader who will remain anonymous.

In a way, his message might serve as a layman’s Sunday sermon.

“I was driving home at night after watching my granddaughter participate in a T-ball game,” he wrote. “On the Highway 70 bypass, all of a sudden, I felt the sensation of not breathing, as if the oxygen to my brain was not getting there. I could see, but my vision was blurring and I felt a tightening sensation inside my head that ran horizontally about two inches above my ears.

“I told my wife, ‘I can’t see and I can’t breathe!’ I managed to pull off the road into a safe parking lot, and let her take over.”

At the time the reader e-mailed me, he was still feeling some residual effects from the episode, including a feeling “such as wearing a hat that is three sizes too small.”

He had not yet visited a doctor.

So, his reaction to this frightening incident?

“What I know is this,” he declared. “From now on, I am going to do what in the hell I want to do (within reason, within my financial means and within the limitations of the law.)

“Fly fishing and fly tying, yes. Sitting in the woods as much as I can, yes. And I’ve got my eye on an almost vintage pearl – white Mercedes Benz station wagon automatic, with tan leather interior. (Yes, I said vintage, Mercedes Benz and station wagon all in the same sentence.) This list is certainly not exhaustive, but I am wasting no more time just wishing for this or that!”

Who has not reacted similarly under alarming circumstances that dramatically remind us of of our mortality? We make promises – to ourselves or to the supernatural God we worship when, as poet Andrew Marvel wrote:

“… at my back I always hear

“Time’s winged chariot hurrying near;

“And yonder all before us lie

“Deserts of vast eternity.”

The trouble is that, when confronting those deserts of eternity, as frail human beings we’re more inclined to keep those under-pressure promises we make to ourselves than we are to those we make to our God.

Tiresome ad

Many of you will surely agree that one of the most gratifying gimmicks every invented is the TV mute button that allows us to zap commercials.

And the most tiresome commercial on TV is the one in which a man and a woman are subtly working up to a sexual encounter. They hold hands, embrace, kiss lightly. They then stroll across a rustic bridge or through a patch of woods to a nearby pond where they climb into what look like separate bathtubs and sail off into the horizon. All this is made possible by one little enhancing, enabling passion pill.

It’s about time the producers changed scripts.

E-mail addresses

Choosing an e-mail address should be a thoughtful procedure.

It should be easy to remember, perhaps reflective of one’s personality or simply some sort of abbreviated use of the owner’s name.

I recently savored one reader’s bucolic electronic address that included grassycreekstore. The address suggests a rural oasis of tranquility far from the madding crowd surging through urban America.

Today’s grin

I can’t remember a presidential campaign characterized by as much name calling and personal insults as the one in progress. Good manners seem to have gone out of style when it comes to running for public office.

I’m reminded of an anecdote involving a couple of foothills fellows, one of whom angrily confronted the other.

“Tom Smuet told me the other day that you said I warn’t fit to sleep with the hogs!” he said.

“Tom Smuet is a liar!” retorted the other man. “He was the one who said you warn’t fit to sleep with the hogs. I told him you were!”

As for me, I’m going on record as stating that both Hillary and the Donald are fit to sleep with the hogs, if that issue ever surfaces.

Let’s hope the animosity doesn’t reach the point where the hogs might say, “No, thank you” to the prospect of either as bedfellows.

Snow: 919-836-5636; asnow@newsobserver.com