I love people that come right out and say to me, “I don’t talk politics.” I’ll always respond with, “That’s very smart of you.”  Oh, how I wish the column could end right here, but…no.

What’s more divisive than politics, I mean other than the obvious wearing of white after Labor Day? I’m sure in our lives that we all have someone that we’ll go out of our way to avoid. I ran into such a person the other day at the supermarket. I ducked down the very next aisle, grabbed something off the shelf, and buried my head deeply studying the ingredients. Unfortunately, this particular item was a bottle of distilled water that contained exactly one ingredient: water. But still, mission accomplished…or so I thought. As soon as I turned the corner guess who I bumped into, literally?  “Oh, hi Ralph. Wow. Sorry.  What’s new?” “Not much, Bob, except the world is crazy, ya know.” “Yes, I’m well aware of that, Ralph.”  “Bob, I don’t talk politics. Sure, I have my opinions, but they’re mine, you know what I mean?”  “Yes, I do, Ralph and I respect you for not adding to the fray.” “What do you mean, Bob, adding to the fray?” “I mean, while everybody else is spewing political venom, you’re doing the smart thing by staying on the sidelines, that’s all.”  “Well, now wait, Bob, My opinion matters. I don’t like to get involved because believe it or not, there are a lot of who are not as informed and consequently, don’t agree with me.”

(It was right about here that I was practically praying for a roof collapse or a fire to break out, something!)  

 “Bob, let me tell you something. If more people saw things our way, we’d be in a lot better shape as a country right now.” “Saw things our way, Ralph?’”  “What’s the matter, Bob, you don’t agree with me?” “Damnit, Ralph, you haven’t said anything!” “All I’m saying, Bob,  is there are a ton of messed up people out there who probably shouldn’t be voting. Now, I’m not going to tell anyone who I voted for because it’s nobody’s business.

“Ralph, what’s left of my brain is really taking a beating right now. Do you, by any chance, know in which isle the extra-strength aspirin is in?” “I’m being real here, Bob. They’re some serious nutjobs out there.” “Ralph, I’ve got to be moving along  but it’s been a pleasure not talking politics with you.” “Bob, you’re one of the good guys. This is why I hate talking politics. People don’t see things my way and I don’t need the aggravation of teaching em, ya know what I mean?”  “OK, Ralph,” ” I said to him as I placed my hands on his shoulders and stared intently into his bloodshot eyes) “ Now listen to me. I’m going to turn around and count to ten and when I turn back around, please be gone, OK?” “I love the way you kid, Bobby. No, seriously, some people think they can drone on and on and…”

“OK, Ralph, here we go. One, two, three…”


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