Cast stones here

May 25, 2002

FAR BE IT from us to promote vices of any sort, but let's face it, life is one shortcoming after another. As the weather got warmer we rummaged around among our own failings and soon came to realize:

Baseball is best in the afternoon - during the week. Novels are best when we're supposed to be reading a well-documented report on a vital and worthy topic. Little can match the enjoyment of a late-night friendly poker game, as long as there's enough beer on hand to keep it friendly.

It's just as well that smokers have been forced outside, and every case of tobacco-related lung cancer makes us sad and angry, but if an occasional cigarette provides some people a measure of solace in an otherwise virtuous life, well, let them smoke.

We know that bikers need to wear helmets, but we understand why they hate them.

We're sympathetic to the argument that giving money to panhandlers is bad both for the neighborhood and, in the long run, for the panhandlers themselves. Yet we've noticed that we usually feel worse after giving them the cold shoulder and better after we've plunked a few coins in the cup.

Maybe we should follow the policy of a man we knew who honed this technique for dealing with beggars during the Depression: Never give money to the infirm, who are trading on their infirmity, but always give a quarter to the guy who's honest enough to admit he needs a drink.

We agree with a friend who maintains that mint always tastes better if it's been sneaked out of someone else's backyard. If there were one oyster left in the Chesapeake and we found it, we'd probably eat it.

With scientists learning more and more about the benefits of wine, we were getting leery of ever reaching for a corkscrew again - but in this case let's do it anyway, even if it is good for us.

Late to bed and late to rise is tremendously appealing. We believe we can co-exist with crabgrass.

Individually, Texans tend to be great people, but we nevertheless disapprove of their state on principle.

We keep intending to be polite to those poor souls whose lot in life is to try to persuade us to switch phone companies.

Candy equals happiness. Naps are fine. Homework is no fun. (It's all right to print this in a family newspaper - everybody actually knows it already.)

Soccer appeals to us about as much as the metric system does.

We'd rather go to the post office and have our mail weighed than guess and risk putting too much postage on it. We're willing to splurge on shoes but not on parking. We spend way too much on coffee.

We're habitually late because we're optimists. Wherever we are, it always seems as though there's enough time for just one more little task or errand before we have to be somewhere else. If we were pessimists we'd be punctual.

We believe in the track. We believe in a two-party system, but you won't find us voting for more than one of them.

Sometimes friends are better than family. Life would be happier if we could learn to accept wrinkled shirts.

The lottery is wrong, which is why we only buy tickets once in a while. We're not swayed by the thought that the proceeds go for a good cause. It wouldn't matter to us if the state spent the leftover money on suburban sprawl and presidents' mansions.

A compliment is generally better than the truth.

It's always better to be a hypocrite than a sanctimonious hypocrite.

Sadly, foreigners are no better or worse than we are.

None of us would be here if it weren't for sex. Let's not forget that.

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