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Jim's Jottings

It wasn't my fault, your honor

March 03, 2010 - Miss me? Well, not as much as I missed you.

I've been looking for someone else to blame for my absence. That's just the way I am. Blame someone or something else.

I've narrowed it down to the anticipation of the Groundhog's appearance February 2. Just before that, I was struck with a session of chills and fever, which led to five days in Crittenton Hospital.

This hospital, like others, could bill itself as being a great weight reduction clinic. Twenty-three pounds, in my case.

There followed several days of feeling sorry for myself, dependence on our three children for sympathy (a loser) and a total loss of, or need, or interest in the television, newspapers or radio.

"Leave me alone!" And, above all, no phone calls after 8 p.m.

Slowly the antibiotics took effect. Some food sounded pretty good, but it took a couple weeks before my taste buds yearned for a bacon/tomato sandwich.

I know you have all been through such suffering, most of you endured it more easily. But I'm a guy, and as such, more sympathy is expected.

With some forced walking, time passed and I realized He wasn't ready for me, yet.

So here I am back at the computer, searching for words of thanks to all who remembered me, and to make an effort to bring smiles to the reader.

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I have a collection of notes, mostly meaningless, like this one. Did you know, the paper grocery bag was invented by Charles Stilwell of Philadelphia in 1884? He also devised a way to mass produce it.

Now then, if you've lived in the Oxford, Michigan area sometime during the past 80 years, please do not relate, confuse or connect to the local Charles Stilwell with the inventor.

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• Those who get too big for their breeches will be exposed in the end.

• I installed a skylight in my apartment . . . the people who live above me are furious.

• A friend got some vinegar in his ear. He now suffers from pickled hearing.

• World Book Encyclopedia has inadvertently suggested a way to decrease the number of women drivers. They say the invention of the electric self-starter put the woman driver on the road. The old hand-crank was a major obstacle in their driving.

• The first president to ride in a car was William McKinley. He was taken to a hospital in an electric ambulance after being shot by an assassin in 1901.

• A Cadillac was driven up the steps of the Capitol building in Washington D. C., in 1905, to prove the car's power.

• The average car lasted 6.5 years in 1925. The 1935 traveled car 25,270 miles before it was scrapped. The average car in 1960 traveled 110,000 miles.

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Some weeks ago, I mistakenly wrote what a gentleman football player Billy Sims was for the old Detroit Lions. I said he, after scoring a touchdown, would hand the ball to the referee and trot off the field.

It really was Barry Sanders, not Sims. That error was brought to my attention, loudly and forcibly by "Cash" Salswedel, and it's the only time in our 40 years of friendship I know of his being right.

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The Wizard of Oz will be 81-years-old this year (released Sept. 25, 1939). Today, if Dorothy were to encounter people with No Brains, No Heart and No Courage, she wouldn't be in Oz, she would actually be in the halls of Congress.

Jim Sherman, Sr. is president of Sherman Publications, Inc. He has penned "Jim's Jottings" since 1955.
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