Observations, Thoughts, and Scatter Shots

Like a Mother Hubbard dress, the column is covering everything and touching nothing.
Like a Mother Hubbard dress, the column is covering everything and touching nothing.

HONEST-TO-GOODNESS columnists who write scatter-shooting accounts on miscellaneous topics often refer to such pieces as “potpourri.” This has always impressed me, since my using the word always requires a visit to Webster or Google—my predictable response to a Spell Check squiggle.

I usually call it a “Mother Hubbard” column, which, like the frontier dress so named, covers everything but touches nothing.

That’s the current intent, with thoughts and observations all over the map, some of them original.


   Here’s a friendly warning to editors who may have just arrived at rural newspapers.

This is the time of year farmers bring in pictures of produce on hormones. They’ll brag that the trophy-sized cucumbers/squash/watermelons/gourds are the biggest ever grown in the county.

Run a picture claiming same, and do so at your peril. As surely as you do, expect another farmer next week to bring in identical produce, only larger. And the growing season still has a couple of months to run.


   Instant racing (sometimes called historical racing) allows participants to bet on horse and dog races already run–some kind of video/automated/coin-operated deal.

How far along would red-nosed and fuzzy-minded gamblers need to be to fall for such a set-up?

My guess? Imbibers would be several drinks beyond amiable incandescence.


   Kids are off to church camps this summer, and they come home with new songs, stories and table grace ditties.

One brought smiles repeating a mealtime prayer heard at a table of, uh, teen campers.

“Bless this meat. Leave the skin. Back your ears, and dive right in.”…


   One of our two rescue dogs, a red Dachshund, is a toe-licker extraordinaire.

Sadie, mostly Jack Russell, ignores toes. She’s far more interested in sniffing the hands that feed her.

A visiting grandchild, giggling as her toes were lubricated by multiple licks, was intrigued, but asked if Sailor has a “licker” license.


   Not much is heard these days about the “Wrestlers Von Erich.”

They had a reunion recently, however, calling it a “slammer-versary.”

Reminds me of the sports editor who apologized for running the wrong wrestling results in the newspaper. “The ones that ran in today’s paper are actually next week’s results,” he claimed.


   Selected short subjects include:

  • If Los Angeles Clippers’ owner Donald Sterling were a haircut, it would be a bad one.
  • Miami Heat’s King James should either be deposed or reduced in rank to Prince James.
  • Jonah Goldberg: “Can’t buy charisma. If one could, Mitt Romney would have bought a pallet of it at Costco and probably be president now.”
  • Since Texas’ STAAR results are coming in negative, maybe we should aim a bit lower, say with “MOOON” tests.
  • Since competitive cheerleading is in line for UIL competition, think how many additional coaches will be available to fire.
  • Tolling bells are now running a distant second to tolling roadways.
  • Teacher, weakened by a rough school year, offers cartoon description:  “On the highway of life, I’m the one in orange picking up trash.”
  • Tough fourth grade teacher, facing new crop of math students, stares ‘em down, saying, “Each of you looks like a ball lost in the tall weeds.”
  • Johnny Football signs a baseball contract with San Diego Padres? This’ll be the closest he ever gets to priesthood.
  • A bulging list growing daily–the number of pipers who must be paid.
  • A house divided against itself may have a hard time getting foundation insurance coverage.
  • It’s no longer a “pay as you go” world. It’s pay “as you hope to go.”…
  • Ha! We had colored phones in the 50s. They returned to black, however, when Momma took one swipe with a wet dishrag at the misplaced marmalade.
  • I know a guy so backward, he eats broccoli from the wrong end.
  • When some VA officials speak of “core” values, it sounds like a description of what they are rotten to….
  • In whichever lines you find yourself in today, hopefully there are no life or death issues involved—unless you’re at a VA hospital.


   Let us close this time with quote from St. Augustine of Hippo (354-430 AD).

This early Christian theologian/philosopher wrote:

“Faith is to believe what you do not see; the reward of this faith is to see what you believe.”


   Dr. Newbury is a speaker in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex. Inquiries/comments to: newbury@speakerdoc.com. Phone: 817-447-3872. Web site: www.speakerdoc.com. Twitter: @donnewbury


Please click the book cover image to read more about Don Newbury’s humorous and inspirational stories in When The Porch Light’s On.

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