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Bummer's Monthly Musings

Bummer, who's an ABATE institution, writes one of the most widely read articles in the Outspokin' each month. Now he's also right here on the web! Welcome to the Computer Age, Bummer! ~ Enjoy!

 

 

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Shootin’ the Breeze 

 February 2003 

by Bummer

Email: bummer@abate.com

   

On break at work a guy entered the restroom the same time I did.  As I entered a stall and closed the door I heard him ask from the stall next to mine,”Hey!  How ya doin’?”

     “Just fine!” I yelled back.

     “What’s been happenin?” he asked.

     ‘What’s up with this guy?’  I thought.   I’d never talked to him him before.  “Not much!”

     “Whatcha up to?”

     “What the Hell do ya think I’m up to?”

     “Hang on a minute.  Some jerk in the stall next to me thinks I’m talkin’ to him!”

     Don’t ya just love technology?  I think I’m one of the few people in the world who don’t have a cell phone.  I see people talkin’ on the damned things all the time, and I do mean ALL the time!  When they’re in restaurants.  When they work.  When they drive...... Hell, I heard that when they first put radios in cars, experts said they would be too distracting to drivers!  What would those same experts think about somebody fighting with their old man/lady over the phone while they try to negotiate traffic?

     This is America.  For an emergency  there’s a phone within 100 yards of ya wherever you are, unless yer in Wyoming or Montana!

     Now, don’t get me wrong: I can think of plenty of times a cell phone would be necessary or come in handy.  But should ya be on the phone when yer goin’ to the bathroom??  I mean, come on!  And you all do it!  Ya know ya do!  I’ve heard a flush or two while I was talkin’ to people on the phone and felt like I should hide my eyes!

  The only thing more annoying than people using cell phones all the time are those of you who leave your phones in my couch.  I’d be reading a book or listenin’ to music when all of a sudden I start hearin’ a weird little jingle, then  I have to tear the couch apart to find the source.  I always catch the little suckers just as whoever calls hangs up.  Someday I’m gonna find one in time and have some fun.

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Bummer's Shootin' the Breeze Page!
 

Now, I’m not necessarily saying that the old days were all that great.  Waiting for a neighbor to get off the phone just so you could make a phone call on a party line was a real drag, unless they had something interesting ya wanted to listen to [if ya don’t understand that one, ask somebody older].

     I seem to have a hell of a lot more money than I used to have, and I seem to get more for my wages than I used to.  But why does it seem that we had to lose a little of ourselves in exchange for this improved standard of living?

     I grew up in a time when my parents never had to worry if I didn’t come home promptly at dusk.  Hide and seek is a lot more fun played after dark....so is Trick or Treating on Halloween.

     If I screwed up at school I got my butt beat, and if I told my dad about it, I’d get it beat again!  Needless to say I tried not to screw up.

     If I noticed that a neighbor was unloading groceries, I’d consider it my duty as a kid to help, and ya didn’t let any adult see ya doin’ something wrong ‘cause any one of ‘em would call ya on it whether it was yer parent or not.

     In my neighborhood there was a whole bunch of kids and there was always football, baseball or something else to do.  If I made the mistake of tellin’ my mother I was bored, I’d be rakin’ the leaves, or shovelin’ snow or pickin’ up those damned apples that fell from the trees in the yard.  Now kids get paid to do stuff like that [teachin’ a lot about capitalism and a lot more about what they have to contribute to the family].

     I used to walk to school each day.  If I lived farther away, I’d ride a bus, but I’d never expect my mom to drive me!  I guess now it makes sense because there’s so many weirdos out there, but then it was unheard of.

     Man!  I’m not just ramblin’, I’m sounding even older than I feel!  Next I’ll be sayin’ the snow was up to my waist [Come to think of it, sometimes it was!  I was a short little dude back then].

     I guess the point of all this is that I’m kinda disappointed that of all the wonderful things that technology could have done for us, the most that can be said for the average person is we get to talk on our phones more, sit on our couches more and have more time to worry about what others do and say.

     Well, I gotta go for now.  The damn phone’s ringin’ again.

          Live long and prosper,

         That's me, dammit!~Watch here for next month's installment!

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      “Hello?”

     “Is so and so there?”

     “He’s out back butcherin’ the hog and I’d leave him alone if I were you ‘cause he really gets into it.”

     If it’s a guy callin’ for a woman the possibilities would be endless, and since this is kind of a G-Rated column we won’t go there.

     I don’t know why I’m so against technology.  I’m not a stupid man, but everytime I get something new to hook up I have to read the damned instructions at least twice.  When I was younger I couldn’t wait for people to invent all the wonderful things that were imagined in science fiction books and movies.  On TV I thought Star Trek was the bomb!

    I come from a time when you had to kick a motorcycle to start it.  And they actually had carborators that used leaded gas.  They had points and you had to adjust them and the valves every now and then.  This was all before rubber mounted engines and if ya didn’t tighten yer nuts and bolts often, they fell off.  Bikes were maintenance machines and ya kinda had to know what you were doin’ to ride one.

     As I get older, I get lazier and I guess the old days are just as well left in the past.  VCRs, microwaves, CDs, DVDs, camcorders, remote controls and all the other gadgets do make life easier and more interesting in some ways, but why are there still so many hungry people?  And although great strides have taken place in medicine, why do so many still suffer?

     I remember when the phrase politically incorrect had yet to be invented and people did and said what they wanted without worrying about people taking offense.  To offend someone you had to get personal, and isn’t that the way it’s supposed to be?

     There are so many things that we used to do everyday on a regular basis that are actually illegal now.  Some deserve to be illegal [like littering], but some [like smoking tobacco] have been turned into criminal offenses.  I mean, I never thought smoking TOBACCO would be against the law!

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