A wild ride into an odd, odd word

Well, kick back and strap in ... it’s about to get bumpy as we journey forth into the odd, compelling and obtuse.

• Dredging has finally begun on the Assawoman Canal, and our publisher has never seemed more depressed. She is an avid kayaker and worries that the dredging will lead to faster boats motoring up and down her previously-pristine waters, tossing her aside in their wakes. Me? I have this vision of Susan pouring a whole lot of sugar into a whole lot of boat gas tanks if her kayaking is interrupted in any way whatsoever.

• These school shootings absolutely stun and horrify me. I’m not trying to sound like an old-timer, but I seem to recall the biggest fears for kids when I went to school were getting your underwear pulled over your head, having your books knocked out of your hands or getting rejected by that pretty girl in math class. Of course, my biggest fear was getting caught knocking the books out of some kid’s hands and pulling his underwear over his head, after I got ticked off about being rejected. Regardless, there’s something fundamentally wrong in a world when parents can’t take blind solace anymore in leaving their children with clergy or at their schools.

• This is absolutely my time of year. The roads are clearing up a bit, baseball is heating up with the playoffs, the NFL and college football seasons are in high gear and two of my favorite golf tournaments of the year are happening — the Contractors for a Cause event and the Bethany-Fenwick Area Chamber of Commerce’s annual outing at Bayside. Unfortunately, my recent knee surgery prevents me from playing in either one, but I’ll be volunteering just to be around these incredibly well-organized and fun events.

• Have people been following this controversy with former U.S. Rep. Mark Foley? Apparently, he was exchanging dirty e-mails and engaging in pornographic conversations online with teenage congressional pages. I realize the midterm election is coming up, but instead of focusing on the political fallout from this filth, shouldn’t people be concentrating on how quickly can we get this guy locked up for a very long time? Oh, add that to the list of things parents can’t feel good about now ... clergy, school and volunteering with the United States Congress. Good God, what’s left for parents to fear with their children? Interning at the White House?

Scratch that.

• My recent surgery has caused me to move my office downstairs at the Coastal Point compound, and my new proximity to the advertising department has afforded me a little insight as to what Carolyn “Smoke” Fitz and Susan “Spike” Argo do all day. Without getting into details, suffice it to say I want to get back upstairs very soon.

• Last week it was headlines everywhere that NFL player Terrell Owens attempted suicide. This week it was a Los Angeles Times story naming Major League Baseball players targeted in an investigation into the use of performance enhancing drugs by baseball players. Two problems: The Owens situation ended up being classified an accidental overdose. And prosecuting attorneys quickly fired back at the Times story, saying there were huge inaccuracies — such as the names being linked to cheating. I’m in the media. I love the media. But, guys, slow down a little.

• Again, I’ll leave out a few details, but Susan Lyons has got to be one of the best friends a guy can have.

• So, DelDOT is concerned about funds being available for the Route 26 project again. Really? Wow, it was pretty hard to see this coming. I mean, really, the state putting off a Sussex County project? Last year it was because they “lost” millions of dollars and placed their priorities in fixing the traffic patterns near Christiana Mall. I’m guessing there’s a Chuck E. Cheese up north that must need better access to its parking lot this year.

• An Elsmere man accepted a plea to negligent homicide Wednesday morning, in a case that involved the man beating a 77-year-old man to death. According to an Associated Press story, the 27-year-old Robert Fontanez, Jr. went to the man’s house and punched him so hard that 77-year-old Bismark Vasquez crashed through his back door. Fontanez then preceded to beat the man on the sidewalk. Negligent homicide? Well, according to the story, Fontanez attacked Vasquez because his daughter told him that Vasquez had molested her. Fontanez now faces up to five years in prison when sentenced.

That sounds about right, if the story is true. I’d probably take that punishment under similar circumstances.

• Susan Marshall, 55, showed up in a Little Rock courtroom to face her fifth drunken-driving charge in a year. Actually, according to the story on yahoo.com, this was her third in a month. Obviously, Ms. Marshall has some issues. And, if it wasn’t obvious, consider that Marshall was arrested at that appearance for contempt of court. Why? Well, she had a blood-alcohol level of .147 ... in court.

I think I’m sensing a pattern here.