This world is full of surprises


It seems to me that this world is full of surprises, that is, something happens that is unexpected – with the recent election being a pretty good example. Hardly anyone envisioned a politically inexperienced outsider could win the nomination for president by beating out a number of accomplished politicians and being opposed by a large part of the national-level political party membership. As the character Gomer in a long running TV series would say, “Surprise! Surprise!”

This unforeseen event was followed by an even more startling turn of events when this newcomer to politics achieved the almost unthinkable by defeating a skilled, long- time politician whose well-oiled and well-financed political machine had been preparing for the election for some years. As Gomer would say, “Shazam!”

Our newly elected president’s inaugural address was another example of the unexpected and unprecedented – which likely means there will be even more surprises in store. But there are other kinda interesting,, unforeseen happenings going on elsewhere that may qualify as “unexpected.”

I recently came across an article in The Wall Street Journal, arguably the best newspaper in the country, that describes a problem the state of Kansas is having with lawyers. (WSJ 01/12/17) According to the report, this is not the usual complication folks associate with lawyers, that is litigation of some sort where lawyers argue their cases against each other. Not at all.

Nope, this situation is of an entirely different – and unexpected – nature. The difficulty arises because of the composition of the state’s senate which is made up of a variety of folks in professions such as teaching and farming – but not a single lawyer. This unprecedented situation might well call for a celebration with shouts of hallelujah in some quarters, but there is the proverbial fly in the ointment.

Yep, the report states, “The attorney absence in the 40-member Senate … poses a legal problem.: An obscure statute requires a statewide committee that hears certain claims against the state to include at least one senator who is a lawyer.” Apparently the folks, likely lawyers, who wrote that law never imagined a time when the Kansas senate wouldn’t have any lawyers. Surprise!

It now appears the Kansas senate’s non-lawyers are gonna have to come up with a fix to remedy the situation but sure as shootin’ they’ll need the assistance and advice of lawyers to do so. Dad used to say that about the only reason anyone needed a lawyer was because of other lawyers – it looks like he was right again.

Okay, moving on. Once again I came across an interesting article in The Wall Street Journal. This time it was in the Life and Arts section on 01/10/17. I usually don’t read much in that section, but this feature kinda caught my eye because it described something different in the approach to home furnishing sales.

For as long as I remember home furnishing catalogues and home shows have depicted what might be called the “model” home. Everything is ideal with the furniture arranged just so, the beds made up so well they could pass the most rigid basic training barracks inspection, the bathroom towels perfectly matched and aligned, and the kitchen absolutely flawless. Kinda nice to look at, but I wouldn’t want to live there – although I know one couple whose home is a lot like that. I always feel a little anxious when visiting them lest I move a pillow out of place.

Quoting from this article, “One of this month’s … [home decor] catalogs features a couch with a slightly saggy slipcover and a vague indent on one cushion as if someone had sat on it and walked away.” There are other similar shots. “… that are just untidy enough to look more like places where real people might live.” That is surprising, but there may be a trend as another company advertises “this is what your house looks like on a Tuesday.” How about them apples?

You know, for years I obediently traipsed along with my Sweetheart-for-Life to home shows and such and made appropriate noises such as “uh huh” on cue. Looking back on these excursions, however, I kinda think that if the displays were a bit more attuned to the real world, I might have been more attentive.

Well, who knows what surprises are around the corner. Some enterprising folks might even try to simulate an “old clothes look” such as jeans with the knees worn through and sweaters with holes in them trying to convince buyers this is the new style. Yep, this world is full of surprises, but that’s what makes it interesting. At least that’s how it seems to me.

By Bill Taylor

Bill Taylor, a Greene County Daily columnist and area resident, may be contacted at [email protected].

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