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The day I realized I needed to start paying attention in school was when an eighth-grade shop teacher caught me talking and asked, ”Kyle, how do you cool a water-cooled engine?” I was so dumbfounded that he had called on me when I wasn’t listening that I couldn’t answer, not realizing that he had given the answer in his question. The chuckles from fellow classmates scarred me.

There was also the time as a fourth-grader I got the first of two “whuppins” from the principal. T.C. and I had — imagine this — been talking in class. We had heard stories of the principal and how his paddle would leave a lifelong mark on your bottom. After we each got one swat, we looked at each other and realized it wasn’t bad at all and began laughing. WRONG MOVE! The second one wasn’t funny ... AT ALL!

Despite the teacher’s method of, well, teaching, today I’m the one with questions.

I am still confused of the difference between rubbish and litter. In signs directly across the road from each other here in Barbour County, one explains there is a $500 fine for dumping rubbish. The other reads there is a $250 fine for littering. Hmm.

I understand why Albany, Georgia, and Albany, New York, are pronounced differently; after all, one is practically in Canada and the other in the Deep South. But why is Lafayette, Louisiana, pronounced so different from Lafayette, Alabama?

Will there be any more fun than next season in college football than in the state of Mississippi ... in the SEC West? Watching Ole Miss and Lane Kiffin and Mississippi State’s Mike Leach should be a hoot!

Does Nancy Pelosi understand that she has become the butt of all jokes? Remember the old college drinking game? If you played one where you took a shot every time Pelosi said something ridiculous, you’d be snockered in three minutes. On the other hand, if you took one every time she said something reasonable, you would remain stone-cold sober.

Did the veterans committee really not say anything about money being a factor, then make the choice of Enterprise because it dropped a reported $8 million for the project, then the committee say nothing about money being the reason for the selection? Hmm again. What about quality of life for the veterans? Will the committee ever just admit money was indeed a factor, even though the project, estimated to be in the $65 million range, is supposed to be entirely funded by the VA? The entire thing smells like a carp that’s been dead for three days in the summer sun.

Politicians complaining about personal baggage from years ago perhaps should realize it’s part of the game. If you choose to play, your history will be factored in. Remind me to explain why I would never run for political office. You see, there was this time as an eighth-grader when the teacher caught me talking. Thank the Lord there weren’t cellphones back then ... or in the fourth, ninth, or 10th grades ... perhaps more.

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