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The Winter of My Discontent

Why is our columnist so cranky? Blame dishonest groundhogs, school cheating scandals and Memorial Field canoodlers (among many other things).

As I write this, I’m a bit cranky. Everyone agrees it’s been a very long, very dreary winter with lots of rain, endless gray skies and no big snow events. Those who believe a rotund furball named Punxsutawney Phil can predict an early spring were ecstatic when the li'l guy didn’t see his shadow, thus encouraging us to think sunny, spring thoughts. Alas, Phil is like many meteorologists in that his forecasts are wrong 99 percent of the time, yet he still has a job. This is not spring, people! This is a continuation of winter that probably won’t end until the day before Memorial Day when the weather will abruptly morph from quasi-winter to sultry summer.

So, let’s start with the weather. I’m still stuck on Sandy. I realize most of the world has moved on, but I am still ruminating on my beloved SHEW-er and the devastating way Sandy has changed our beach towns forever. How could a storm with such an innocuous name wreak such havoc? The storm should have been named Methuselah, or Igor. Even Hurricane Road Kill would have been more apt.

After Sandy, the Weather Channel struggled to maintain their audience. Their original weather-related programs, such as “Scary Puddles” and “Killed by Hail,” just weren’t bringing in the bombastic ratings, so one of the powers-that-be, no doubt sitting in a plush executive suite down South, decided to start naming ALL storms and not just seasonal hurricanes. Thus, when November rolled around, we were introduced to “Athena,” a nor’easter.

Really guys? You now have to name every storm? What does Mike Seidel think about this? Is Jim Cantori on board? And whose brilliant idea was it to name a snowstorm “Nemo” after a garish Disney clownfish?

There are many different categories for the annoyances I’m experiencing right now. There are global annoyances, like that pudgy moron in North Korea, Kim Jong Un. Here’s a guy who had the chance to break with the anti-West rhetoric of his father and move toward a more open relationship with the world. Instead, he trots out more bellicosity while we all wonder if this will be our next war. Speaking of which, aren’t we still mucking around in Iraq AND Afghanistan? And what about Syria?

I’m really tired of saving the world, aren’t you? Why does the U.S. always have to rush in to make things right?

Nationally, there are many topics that get me in a twist, like the cheating scandal unraveling in Georgia. I blame this one on Dubya and his “No Child Left Behind” debacle, which spawned the “teach to the test” imperative. In case you haven’t read about what’s going on in Atlanta, it has been described as one of the largest cheating scandals to hit the U.S. public education system—ever. Thirty-five educators and administrators were indicted on charges of racketeering and corruption. This round-up of adults who should have known better include former Superintendent Beverly Hall, who, according to the district attorney, was a “full participant.”

The news is saturated with stories of responsible adults doing irresponsible, unconscionable things: stockbrokers using insider info to make millions, dirty cops reselling drugs, and the usual parade of criminals doing their dirty deeds. Somehow, reading about cheating scandals that involve principals and superintendents truly saddens me. It’s all about standardized testing now and it really shouldn’t be.

In Tucson, the Armed Citizen Project wants to give free shotguns to single women and homeowners who live in high-crime neighborhoods. A local Realtor, Shaun McClusky, plans to start handing out shotguns in May. As a matter of fact, he hopes to collect enough money to eventually arm entire neighborhoods. Considering the fact that crime in Tucson was at a 13-year low in 2010, you have to wonder how anyone could think this was a good idea.

Back in Mo’town, I wonder if Dave Lewis, of B.T. Edgar, has thought about giving out shotguns to prospective buyers? Maybe WMDs are the way to go? We are very fortunate the problems in our little slice o’ heaven are miniscule. There does not seem to be much of a gun culture here in town, unless you factor in the glue guns we wield on a daily basis in the Children’s Department of the library. 

Our schools continue to function, although for some unknown reason, the Upper Elementary School can’t hold on to a principal for any length of time. No matter, though, because the teachers there have been keeping things running since the school opened. Speaking of the UES, do not bring up the word “Lexile” with any fifth or sixth grade parents, lest you be ready for a tirade. 'Nuff said on that one.

Memorial Field continues to play host to clandestine lovers who carelessly leave the evidence of their trysts for others to clean up. Who are these tacky people? Perhaps the same ones that enjoy underage drinkfests there every weekend? I’m sure there is a logical reason why there’s no police presence at the field, but since this has been going on as long as I’ve lived here, I’ve yet to discover that logical reason.

Once last year, I wrote about Mo’town’s illicit Lover's Lane, the long driveway on Memorial Field. Apparently, I DO have some readers out there, because the following week, I spotted a couple of adults canoodling next to their Beemers and neither of them was from Mo’town, nor were they married to each other! Maybe now that the wall identifying Memorial Field has been temporarily dismantled, people will find other hideouts for their activities. Then again, maybe not.

Blue Dog Democrat April 08, 2013 at 10:53 AM
No gun culture in Moorestown? Are you kidding? Marsia, literally just past the Ritas in Lenola is the giant sign for the Maple Shade Sportsmen Club. As a member I can tell you there are a LOT of logical, sane, and practical gun owners right here in Moorestown. We are proud law abiding citizens who truly enjoy our 2nd Amendment rights!
Our Town April 08, 2013 at 01:03 PM
The fact that seemingly non-participants are unaware of the extent of gun ownership in the town tells me that gun owners are proper, responsible stewards of the rights afforded to each of us. Well done.
M'town Truth April 08, 2013 at 02:18 PM
Marsia - did you ever stop to think that the fact that Tuscon residents own guns is the REASON their crime rate is so low? There are plenty of gun-owners and shooting sports enthusiasts in Moorestown! Granted, the onerous, excessively restrictive state laws make it so difficult to own a gun and use it that many have given it up, but guns do exist in our peaceful little town. By contrast, Camden is riddled with criminals and "gun violence" so one can hardly point to NJ's state gun control legislation as the reason for our local sane, responsible gun ownership. Maybe the pandering politicians could put on their thinking caps and figure out how to stop the gang- and drug-related gun violence in Camden, Philadelphia, Chicago, etc. instead of coming after law-abiding citizens who wish to exercise their Second Amendment rights.
jweiss April 11, 2013 at 07:26 PM
Re: guns. I propose an alternative to a gun for protection/self-defense. Use a tranquilizer gun instead. The perpetrator will be left temporarily unconscious [until help arrives] and nobody dies. This seems reasonable to me; what do you gun owners say? Would you be willing to give up your guns for this sane alternative?

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