Kirby: Masked marauder no one to sneeze at

When everything has to be right, something isn’t.


– Stanislaw Lec


I was in the doctor’s waiting room watching people, which is sort of like reality TV without commercials.

That’s where I saw a kid, maybe about seventh grade. He didn’t seem all that sick. Bored mostly.

While his mom and the receptionist talked in their low “HIPAA voices” too soft for me to hear, the lad took a sudden interest in a nearby display of breathing masks. He began to try them on, one after the other.

I was sitting there thinking he doesn’t get the “germ” concept when his Mom took a break from chatting and turned to watch the child for a few moments before telling him in a louder voice to cut it out.

Startled, he dropped the handful of breathing masks on the floor, but quickly grabbed them up and crammed them back into the stand. Then he and his adult supervisor left.

I just sat there thinking, “I guess they don’t require you to take a health class in school, anymore.”

Parenting, on the other hand, remains pretty much an elective.


SPEAKING OF TEACHERS: George Dean shares this list of “Rules for Teachers 1872”:

1. Teachers each day will fill lamps, clean chimneys.

2. Each teacher will bring a bucket of water and a scuttle of coal for the day.

3. Make your pens carefully. You may whittle nibs to the individual tastes of pupils.

4. Men teachers may take one evening each week for courting purposes, or two evenings a week if they go to church regularly.

5. After 10 hours in school, teachers may spend the remaining time reading the Bible or other good books.

6. Women teachers who marry or engage in unseemly conduct will be dismissed.

7. Every teacher should set aside from each pay a goodly sum of his earnings for his benefit during his declining years so that he will not become a burden on society.

8. Any teacher who smokes, uses liquor in any form, frequents pool or public halls, or gets shaved in a barber shop will give reason to suspect his worth, intention, integrity and honesty.

9. The teacher who performs his labor faithfully and without fault for five years will be given an increase of 25 cents per week in his pay, providing the Board of Education approves.


TODAY’S JOKE: A senior lament: “I’ve had two bypass surgeries, a hip replacement, new knees. Fought prostate cancer and diabetes. I’m half blind, can’t hear anything quieter than a jet engine, take 40 different medications that make me dizzy, winded and subject to blackouts.

Have poor circulation; hardly feel my hands and feet anymore. Can’t remember if I’m 85 or 92. Have lost all my friends. But … thank God, I still have my driver’s license.”


Reach Bill Kirby at (706) 823-3344 or