Bill Kirby

Online news editor for The Augusta Chronicle.

Lessons can be learned by forgetting

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I am glad that I paid so little attention to good advice; had I abided by it, I might have been saved from some of my most valuable mistakes.

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-- Edna St. Vincent Millay

"POW!"

I heard that sound behind me as I was driving home the other night.

My first thought was: "Did someone just shoot at me?"

I proceeded carefully through traffic -- head on a swivel -- checking constantly in all directions.

I worked my way into a parking lot, got out and checked for damage.

I didn't see any.

Then the light bulb went off (or exploded) over my head.

On my way to work, I had dropped by the grocery to buy a 12-pack of canned soft drinks. Then I left them in the trunk all day while it was parked in the lot at work.

Basically I was driving with a bunch of little bombs in the back.

What do you do? I was afraid to open the trunk to assess the damage. Something might explode.

And something, I assure you, did.

By the time I got home, rattling my load over the usual road construction, I found the shaking and heat had exploded five of the 12 cans.

I found this out several hours after sundown when I slipped out to the cooler vehicle in the driveway, popped the trunk and extricated the soggy, shredded cardboard box, using a rake and a garden hoe.

The inside of the trunk was pretty damp.

The next morning I cautiously cleaned up the mess, thinking: "You not only learn something new every day, you're often reminded of something you'd forgotten."

YOUR TRAVELS: School is nearing. Summer vacations are winding down. Your vacation post cards are still coming in.

Ken Gordon, of Augusta, sent a card from Beckley, W.Va., where several youths and adults from Sharon Baptist Church in Winfield had taken a mission trip.

Randall and Rosiland Simmons, of North Augusta, made it to Fargo, N.D. They say visits to North Dakota, Kansas and Nebraska will give them all 50 states.

Pete Whately and wife, Elaine, send a card from Maine, where they are cruising the coast and harbors.

Frequent traveler David Jay Daitch is also on a cruise around Hawaii. "Today," he writes, "we drove the grueling Road to Hana -- a 200 hairpin-turn, 55-mile journey. I'm glad we did it and won't ever do it again."

As always, he "wishes I was there."

Shirley, Muriel, Jeanette, Betty and Joan are having a ball in Las Vegas.

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TODAY'S JOKE: Here's one shared by Everett Fernandez.

It seems one night a teenage girl brought her new boyfriend home to meet her parents, and they were appalled by his appearance: leather jacket, motorcycle boots, tattoos and pierced nose.

Later, the parents pulled their daughter aside and confessed their concern.

"Dear," said the mother diplomatically, "he doesn't seem very nice."

"Oh please, Mom," replied the daughter, "if he wasn't nice, why would he be doing 500 hours of community service?"


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