Archive for May, 2014


Another question from Gregory Stock’s book is this:

Would you vote for a mayoral candidate who was honest, competent, and concurred with your position on most issues if you knew she was also an alcoholic who was sexually promiscuous and three times divorced?

Talk about a creative question–sounds like a soap opera plot!  In fact, my whore-moans hormones answer would be hell yes–as long as I topped her promiscuous list!

Now, joking aside:

This question cannot be answered–because, though there seems to be too much information–there’s really not enough.

A mayoral candidate could be competent, though sexually promiscuous and three times divorced.  But if she were an alcoholic, she could not be competent–unless she were a recovered (recovering) alcoholic (i.e. “on the wagon”).  And because Dr. Stock doesn’t specify whether this mayoral candidate is a recovered (recovering) alcoholic, or not–there’s no way we can know if she could be competent.


Here are three more timeless items from Paul Harvey’s For What It’s Worth:

Our For What It’s Worth Department heard from Doc Blakely about a chap who traveled a lot . . .

And every time he was out of town his house was robbed.

The burglaries stopped after they arrested–his travel agent.

August 6, 1984


For What It’s Worth . . .

Virginia Young–is cashier at McDonald’s restaurant drive-up window in Des Peres, Missouri.

Cashier at the drive-up window.

She says enough of this customer.

He drives up to her window and orders a large Coke and he is wearing only a shirt.

Wearing nothing else.  Just a shirt.

So she called police after he came in that way–regularly.

For a year.

June 20, 1986 


Our For What It’s Worth Department hears of a great escape!

Gary Tindle was in a California courtroom charged with robbery.

He asked and got from Judge Armando Rodriguez permission to go to the bathroom.

While the bathroom DOOR was guarded–Mr. Tindle climbed up onto the plumbing and opened a panel in the ceiling.

Sure enough, a dropped ceiling with space between. 

He climbed up–and into the crawlspace–and headed south.

He’d gone thirty-some feet when the ceiling panels broke from under him and dropped him to the floor . . .

Right back in Judge Rodriguez’s courtroom.

December 4, 1986


Another question from Gregory Stock’s book is this:

If you ran a hospital, what policy would you set for dealing with emergency patients who arrive without health insurance or money?

I know from experience that emergency rooms in this country are inexcusably indifferent toward patients with or without health insurance or money. 

So if I ran a hospital, I would make damned sure that emergency patients would be treated immediately–payment details could be worked out later.


Here are three more timeless items from Paul Harvey’s For What It’s Worth:

Our For What It’s Worth Department returns to Tulsa, Oklahoma . . .

Where jurors were being questioned about their availability for a week-long trial in the courtroom of Judge Thomas Brett.

One prospective juror asked to be excused.

He said his wife was going to “conceive a baby”.

Judge Brett asked, “Don’t you mean she is going to deliver a baby?”

The man said, “No–she is going to conceive a baby.”

Judge excused him from jury duty . . .

Said he was not sure he understood but, he said, “Either way you ought to be there.”

March 26, 1981


Our For What It’s Worth Department knows that when Grey Baker goes golfing in Jackson, Mississippi–he has taken his three-year-old grandson Trevor along as a companion . . .

The boy has been learning the game by watching.

Last week Grandpa Baker bought the lad a set of play golf clubs of his own.

This past weekend–during a family cookout in the backyard–the little lad who’d learned golf by observing Grandpa announced, “Watch me!”

And he said a no-no word and threw his golf club up into the pear tree.

November 3, 1986


Our For What It’s Worth Department knows Vice President Dan Quayle is on the campaign trail–in Champaign-Urbana–campaining for an Illinois politician, Representative Lynn Martin.

Organizers of the political rally got schoolchildren excused from school for the parade–asked the youngsters to wave and cheer when the motorcade came by.

And they did.

They did indeed wave and cheer.

Only trouble was that the first motorcade to come by was a FUNERAL!

September 24, 1990


Gregory Stock’s third book, after The Book of Questions and The Book of Questions: Love & Sex, is The Book of Questions: Business, Politics and EthicsAs its title suggests, this book is filled with provocative questions on topics we are all encouraged to avoid, in casual conversation–topics that could even lead to fistfights!  Some of them presume the reader has a job–even a business of his or her own.  I have neither, at this time, but I can just answer them as if I did.  And as you can see from the very beginning–these are arguably the toughest of Gregory Stock’s questions.

Here’s the first question from the book, followed by my answer.

If you were determining who could immigrate here, would you let in those you thought would contribute the most to our country or those most in need of refuge?

I’d like to say both, of course.  But I doubt this question’s meant to be that simple. 

The United States was established by people who had just fought–and won–a revolution against an oppressive empire.  These revolutionaries designed a representative republic intentionally structured to prevent further oppression of its citizens–even by this representative republic itself.  In other words, this new nation would serve as a refuge from tyranny at home, as well as abroad.

Of course all were not free from tyranny.  The Native Americans continued to be victimized–in some ways even more than they’d been, under the European empires.  And the enslavement of African Americans continued.  There were even many European and Asian Americans who were victimized, under indentured servitude. 

But the beauty of this new form of government was that it allowed for such injustices to be terminated, through legislation.

And since this nation was established, it has served as a refuge for people suffering oppression worldwide.

Most Americans today are descendants of those most in need of refuge.  Thus we are ethically compelled, as a nation, to provide refuge for others, in turn.

Of course we cannot take in everyone in need of refuge at once–there simply isn’t enough room.

And we must be certain that we take in those truly in need of refuge–as opposed to those who would simply take advantage of us.  Furthermore, we must make sure to completely assimilate immigrants within a reasonable amount of time–that they learn our official language, become familiar with our laws, and become naturalized citizens loyal to our nation and respectful of its people. 

After all–it is in this way that those most in need of refuge can contribute the most to our country.

So yes, if I were determining who could immigrate here, I would let in those most in need of refuge.


Forget your life–say God is great.  Get up.  You think you know what time it is?  It’s time to pray.  You’ve carved so many little figurines–too many.  Don’t knock on any random door, like a beggar.  Reach your long hand out to another door–beyond where you go on the street, the street where everyone says, “How are you?” and no one says, “How aren’t you?”  Tomorrow you’ll see what you’ve broken and torn tonight–flashing in the dark.  Inside you, there’s an artist you don’t know about.  He’s not interested in how things look different in the moonlight.  If you’re here unfaithfully with us, you’re causing terrible damage.  If you’ve opened your love to God’s love, you’re helping people you don’t know, and have never seen.  Is what I say true?  Say yes quickly, if you know–if you’ve known it from before the beginning of the universe.  A new, rambunctious craziness comes–dragging our chains, tearing and spilling the full sacks.  Some nameless Bedouins buy Joseph for eighteen coins–and that story begins again.  All night, we pasture on jasmine and narcissus.  We leap up for the dawn.  Anemones sprout in the stone cracks and the trees.  God has given a new world, new lover, new gnostic, new friend.  God has chosen you to read this poem out loud–because you’re the one with the love-bites on you.  Don’t say anything.  Go outside.  Take a long walk, and just look.




Norman Rockwell (1894-1978), "Freedom of Worship," 1943


Here are two more timeless items from Paul Harvey’s For What It’s Worth:

Our For What It’s Worth Department has learned that Duluth, Minnesota, is where a city council-man . . .

George Downs . . .

In City Hall . . .

Put his briefcase down while he put his coat on . . .

Put his briefcase down behind a statue in the lobby . . .

And forgot it . . .

Left it there . . .

When he went across the street for dinner.

He returned to City Hall in time to hear there’d been a “bomb threat”.

But the bomb squad had taken care of it.

They had opened a mysterious briefcase–with a blast of high-pressure water–and the whole lobby was wallpapered with George’s soggy, shredded papers.

April 16, 1986


Our For What It’s Worth Department hears that Speedy Morris–basketball coach for La Salle University–was shaving when his wife called out to tell him he was wanted on the phone by Sports Illustrated.

Speedy Morris was so excited by the prospect of national recognition that he nicked himself with his razor and ran–with a mixture of blood and lather on his face–and fell down the steps.

But he got to the phone.

And the voice on the other end said:

“For just seventy-five cents an issue you can get a one-year trial subscription . . .”

July 7, 1989


I’ve answered 39 questions from Gregory Stock’s The Book of Questions: Love & Sex, on this blog.  But there are over 243 questions in the book!  So if you enjoy pondering good questions–then I highly recommend this book to you.  And since so many of the questions presume you’re in a relationship, it might prove fascinating to compare your answers with those of your beloved!  In fact, I gave a copy of this book to my nephew Chris and his bride-to-be Jessica, as a wedding gift. And since they’re still happily married, over ten years, and four children later–it must have done their relationship more good than harm!

The Book of Questions: Love & Sex is available through–though in limited quantities.  I’ve just checked Barnes & Noble’s website, however, and it maintains that this book is still available in its retail stores.



And another question from Gregory Stock’s book is this:

If you had to make love either in total darkness or where background noise would prevent speech, which would you prefer?  Why?

I would prefer to make love in total darkness.  Though I want to see a woman’s facial expressions during sex, I also want to hear her voice–that’s even more important to me. 

It has always been the case that the more pleasure I give a woman during sex, the more pleasure I receive.  The more she enjoys it, the more I enjoy it.  And if I cannot see the pleasure in her face, I at least want to hear it in her voice.