The Idle American: Jumping at opportunities

do you really think that pickles would sell better if they didn’t have warts?

All My Uncle Mort has to do is walk down the street, and he says money-naking opportunities all all around.

My aged Uncle Mort sometimes stumbles across what he calls business opportunities,” not unlike hogs stumbling over acorns every now and again.

   He claims that an epiphany experienced during a recent Sams Club visit has led to his dusting off a rarely-used business card indicating that he is a consultant.

   Im not sure anyone should bill himself or herself until others opt to engage their services, but Mort figures that when he reveals his cant miss” suggestions to Sams management, he will be signed on post haste….

   Upon entering Sams Club on a recent week night, he thought about Sam Walton, founder of Walmart and perhaps the inspiration for big box Sams Club stores that entered the retail race with a single store in 1983, 21 years after Walmart began.


   He also thought of Sams wife, Helen, who is credited with coining the slogan Walton stores continue to promote. Maybe you have seen the words splashed across their store walls: Its not what you gather, but what you scatter that tells what kind of life you have lived.”

   Anyways, Mort marveled at the smooth-as-silk atmosphere up and down most aisles.

   There was one exception, and it was the food court where down-to-earth prices attracted long lines of customers….


Don Newbury

Maybe the gathering is unavoidable. I mean, where else can one purchase a hot dog and what amounts to a bottomless cup” of soft drink for $1.45.

   Mort is pretty sure, though, that the scattering” can be minimized if Sams researchers can come up with mustard/mayonnaise/relish packets that can be opened without yard sheers, chisels or TNT. Dry cleaners have got to love it,” Mort joked. Its a rare person who can eat a hog dog without staining clothes, and in some cases, shoes get the treatment because many packets are stepped on. They may be dropped, or perhaps thrown floorward by folks who simply cant get them open.”

   Mort says his recommendations will be simple and to the point. He wants to explain that several companies – including the ones making bags for individual servings of hot tea – have long known that contents are readily accessible because of a small slit in a corner of each packet. Cant condiment companies do the same thing? And if patrons can dress their hotdogs more quickly, wouldnt this reduce the gathering and enhance the scattering of customers to other areas of the store?…z


   Referencing relish caused Mort to hearken back to one of his earlier suggestions that never got traction.

   In his youth, he thought hed come up with a sure-fire way to make pickles cuter.” He joined legions who believe that warts on pickles detract from their appearance.

   He never proved it as far as I know, because his pitch” was cockamamy, at best. Mort recommended turning pickle seeds inside out before planting. He reasoned that so doing would cause the pickles to have dimples instead of warts….


   ‘Tis the season for young entrepreneurs to begin their retail pursuits by setting up makeshift lemonade stands in their neighborhoods.

   Back in the day, youngsters living across the street from each other set up competing stands, one offering lemonade for five cents a cup. Across the street, a slightly larger sign made for longer lines of patrons. It read: All the lemonade you can drink for a nickel.” When the first customer emptied his cup, he requested another. The youngster said, Thatll cost you another nickel.”

   The man countered, pointing to the all-you-can-drink-for-a-nickel” sign. But the young entrepreneur was ready for him: You are right, sir. But one cup is all you can drink for a nickel.”…


   Speaking of concessions, fans of the National Basketball Association no doubt are scratching their heads about the paucity of women referees in the play-offs.

   During the regular season, it was not uncommon to see women officiating games. Ive seen parts of virtually all play-off games and have yet to see a woman official.

   I dont mean to be a whistleblower about no women whistleblowers, but Im just saying next season may be different….


Dr. Newbury, a longtime university president, continues to write weekly and speak regularly. Contact: 817-447-3872. Email:

Please click HERE to find Mostly Mort,Don’s collection of the wit and wisdom of his uncle living in the Big Thicket of Texas.

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