March 21, 2012 - Editor's Note: Mr. Sherman is taking a break this week, so enjoy this "Best of Jottings" column from March 22, 2006.
If you were a reader of Jottings last October 5 you may recall the boasting of the art form known, at least by some, as "yard art."
Therein was a picture of my antique manure spreader -- in all it's a rare, rusted, rotting beauty .
To draw drivers' attention off the boring road, I have at times added other art to the scene. Like at Christmas, Santa was in the driver's seat.
For Valentine's Day I dressed my blowup lady-friend in jeans and bright red pullover, bought specifically for the purpose from J.C. Penney.
For St. Patrick's Day I pulled one of daughter Luan's bright green blouses over the red pullover and attached the blonde haired balloon to the front of the spreader.
I got honks of approval as drivers looked on while avoiding road signs and culverts.
On the Sunday morning before St. Patrick's Day I glanced toward my "art" as I went for the paper, only to not see her. Looking a little harder I saw her flat on the lawn.
She and I were both deflated.
She still had her jeans on, but the two tops were gone. Also gone, along with her air, was some of her dignity.
To discover the cause of her deflation I started blowing her back up. Alas, the culprits had penetrated her body, and tore a hole in her right side. Judging by the location I've concluded their target was her kidney.
So, what do I do now to ma-lady's damaged torso? Repair the damage or give her a decent burial in a nearby landfill?
Or do I just accept defeat, continue cursing, pray for the vandal-thieves, let passersby find another form of relief, or do I accept it as an isolated incident and re-dress my balloon?
Well, as long as Luan's teen clothes in our closet fit the expandable mannequin, and if I don't run out of tire patch, I'll continue to strive for the coveted "yard art of the year" award.
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When Franklin D. Roosevelt introduced the Social Security Act (FICA) Program, he promised:
1. That participation in the Program would be completely voluntary.
2. That the participant would only have to pay 1% of the first $1,400 of their annual income in the Program.
3. That the money the participants elected to put into the Program would be deductible from their income for tax purposes each year.
4. That the money the participants put into the independent "Trust Fund" rather than into the General Operation Fund, therefore, would only be used to fund the Social Security Retirement Program, and no other government program.
5. That the annuity payments to the retirees would never be taxed as income.-Author unknown
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A 15-year-old's words of wisdom on being independent: "I don't need your advice about stuff, I can take care of myself. So what are you making for lunch?"
Jim Sherman, Sr. is president of Sherman Publications, Inc. He has penned "Jim's Jottings" since 1955.