I was at the optometrist's office the other day when I picked up the newspaper — they were fresh out of Outdoor Life, the official waiting room magazine of America — and saw this headline.
SEN. HATCH WANTS TO DELIST GAY WOLF
Gay wolf!? Now we're dragging animals into the gay debate, too? This immediately raised many questions in rapid-fire succession. Is somebody asking? Is the wolf telling? Had the gay wolf been seen spending too much time in the company of other same-sex wolves? Or running around with a "life partner" instead of promulgating the species?
Was this upsetting the other wolves? Did they consider it a threat to the traditional pack? Did they make fun of him behind his back? Did it cause problems on night patrols?
And how do they know all this? I suppose if there are people who hang out in public bathrooms to count how many men and women wash their hands after doing their business, then there are probably people who are willing to watch the dating habits and sexual antics of wolves.
Ranchers believe the gay wolf is becoming too populous and is endangering livestock. The gay wolf is a threat to their way of life.
Anyway, all these thoughts were racing around my head for a few seconds until I looked a little closer at the fine print. Well, this is embarrassing. The story is about the g-r-a-y wolf, not the gay wolf. SEN. HATCH WANTS TO DELIST GRAY WOLF.
My bad. Aye carumba.
Never mind. Forget I mentioned it.
Then a few days earlier, I saw another headline that caused a doubletake:
TOMATOES DERAIL TRAIN IN MIDWEST
Again, I was beset with an onrush of questions by this alarming story. Were these extra big tomatoes? Was this the Attack of the Killer Tomatoes, like the movie?
How did the tomatoes get on the track? Was this the work of a criminal gang that had run out of guns and turned to dangerous vegetables instead?
What was next, carrots? Yams? Kumquats? So vegetables aren't good for you, after all.
I hope someone brought hamburgers and buns to the derailing?
I alerted my wife to this story. That's when she pointed out a few letters I had missed. TORNADOES DERAIL TRAIN.
Not tomatoes. Tornadoes. That makes more sense.
Either I've got to get reading glasses or grow longer arms.
A few weeks ago, another headline caught my attention:
DOGS LEAKED ON IRAQ WAR
How rude is that, I thought. Why would dogs leak on a perfectly good war? Wasn't there a handy fire hydrant or light pole? Isn't war difficult enough without dogs lifting their leg on it?
Where did these dogs come from? Is this Rocky Anderson's dog?
An Iraqi dog?
What kind of dogs would do this?
As these questions occurred to me, I reread the headline; DOCS LEAKED ON IRAQ WAR.
Docs, not dogs.
Apparently, doctors leaked on the war. Which is kind of weird, too.
Or maybe documents were leaked, I don't know. I could barely make out the fine print.
What natural law is it that states that wherever you sit down, your reading glasses are somewhere else. I'm thinking of carrying them around on a chain around my neck, like my grandfather.
I don't trust myself anymore. Thumbing through the newspaper, I thought I saw this headline:
AGGIE FOOTBALL GETS TWO GERBILS
Why would the Utah State football team get a couple of gerbils? Are they changing their nickname from a farmer to a rodent? Why would they do this?
You guessed it: They didn't. AGGIE FOOTBALL GETS TWO VERBALS. As in verbal commitments from recruits.
I hope I get to see that optometrist soon. I'm still waiting while I peruse more headlines.
SCHOOL VIOLINS A GROWING CONCERN
Violins? What's wrong with violins? I didn't know this, but according to the article school violins are a huge problem. Parents are worried about all the violins that their children face in school. Kids are scared to walk the hallways for fear of violins.
Weird. I wonder how they feel about cellos? Personally, I am terrified of accordions and run every time I see one. Violins have never bothered me. This seems like an over-reaction. Politicians and school officials are promising to crack down on school violins.
Oh, wait, They're talking about SCHOOL VIOLENCE.
Doug Robinson's column runs on Tuesdays. Send e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org