Bob Sweigert


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May 7, 2013
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Grasshopper Soup: You’re pulling my yellow leg

Everybody loves a good joke, but not everyone has the same idea of what a good joke is. You don’t always know when someone is pulling your leg. Some people are so good at joking they can make you believe they are serious when they are not, just to get your goat, as the saying goes. I have a lot of goats that don’t belong to me.

My benevolent landlord got mine again, I think. He said he wants to get rid of the storage shed he bought for me because he doesn’t like the way it looks, even though it blends right in with the building. He can be a real dead-pan, poker faced joker. If he’s serious about getting rid of the shed it will sure be fun to sit back and watch him do all the work.

We love the feeling of power so much we are pros at overdoing it. William H. Taft, the 27th president of the U.S., said, “No tendency is quite so strong in human nature as the desire to lay down rules of conduct for other people.”

I like power just as much as the next guy, or girl. When someone compliments me (and I get paid) for a column I don’t even like, I feel like I’m walking on water.

Long live the yellow-legged frog. The little critters deserve full access to all the financial, scientific and governmental support and protections we can give them. But why discriminate because of leg color? The green-legged frog has rights too.

Many factors working against the yellow-legged frog are natural. Nature is always interfering with itself. That’s why it invented humans.

But it’s probably good for us that we weren’t there to try and save the dinosaurs.

I love yellow-legged frogs. Children love them too. Maybe someday they can marry one. They might have to, because some zealots are trying to redefine marriage. They even want to eliminate marriage from society altogether. It’s true! Maybe they have a point. They are likely products of marriage. If marriage had been eliminated sooner maybe they wouldn’t be here creating such a nuisance. But eliminating marriage wouldn’t necessarily have stopped them from being born with all the answers.

Frogs deserve our sympathy and respect. So do humans with all their issues. And people who want a sex change operation should respect our right to not pay for it.

Marriage is all about love, or should be. I’m single and totally in love with myself, so I should be able to marry me in a formal wedding ceremony, and cut my taxable income in half, on top of all the other deductions I get for being single.

If only it was just me taking political correctness to this ridiculous level. Some people are so serious about it they say we can’t say “penmanship” anymore, and “master bedroom,” because it has a slavery connotation. They should listen to that reggae song, the one that says, “Emancipate yourself from mental slavery. None but ourselves can free our minds.”

If only changing sexual and racial attitudes was as simple as eliminating a word.

Political correctness is getting old. Nearly fifty years ago, Bill Cosby thought it was so ridiculous he joked that a woman should now be called a wo.

Like the president’s “all of the above” energy policy, all words should be allowed, and that means words with “man” in them, like mandolin, manicure, mannequin, manners, mantra and manipulate. We will always have “mania,” you can be sure of that.

And keep words with male in them too, like female. It’s a great word because females have many of the same physical features as men, as well as the differences. Male and female have similar sounding names because they are members of the same species, and, because of science, their members are now interchangeable, like frog legs.

Save the humans! We may be nature’s best joke ever.

Bob Sweigert is a Sierra Sun columnist, published poet, former college instructor and ski instructor. He has a B.A. and an M.A.T. from Gonzaga University. He has lived at Lake Tahoe for 30 years.


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Tahoe Daily Tribune Updated May 7, 2013 04:52PM Published May 13, 2013 03:41PM Copyright 2013 Tahoe Daily Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.