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as reported by Paul Hillis

This column expresses the personal opinions/views of the writer. If you would like to express your opinions/views regarding the column, write a SIGNED letter to the editor. Name can be withheld by request with a valid day time and phone number.

Itís been a bit drizzly and a bit chilly which has kinda put a damper on everyoneís disposition here at the Eatemup. Not that anybody has actually snapped at anyone or been really ugly. Just kinda down, you know? Even Shirl, our sometimes bubbly always animated waitress is more subdued.

My friends, Eddie, Tiny, and LeRoy have been talking about world events. Itís one of those conversations that seem to go Ďround and Ďround with everyone having an opinion and absolutely nothing ever being accomplished. The leaders of the world will take little notice of what we have to say here. Actually no notice at all of what we say here.

"It still irritates me to think how some of the countries weíve helped have turned against us," stated LeRoy. "Some of them twice. Iím just a bit shocked at how short their memories are when it comes to aid by the United States."

"Well, what I find disgusting is that when those same countries get in trouble again theyíll want us to respond again," added Tiny. "They seem to feel they can ignore us when we need a little help but still depend on us to extract them if they get into a new predicament. Sometimes I just want to withdraw all aid of any sort and keep all of our money and military protection right here at home."

"Yeah, me to," continued LeRoy. "Keep everything right here. What do you think, Eddie?"

"I think nothingís changed. Our governmentís been involved in world problems for so long it wouldnít know how to act if it quit," answered Eddie. "The whole situation is just history repeating itself. Itís what we in the old military used to call a flapdoodle."

"Huh?" said LeRoy.

"A what?" said Tiny.

"A what, what?" answered Eddie. "What donít you understand?" Eddie had this quizzical look on his face like he had made some social blunder. He quickly tried to remember just what he had said to cause such consternation.

"That thing you said, something about a doodle" LeRoy asked.

"Yeah, a flapdoodle you said. What in the world is a flapdoodle?" queried Tiny. "Must be some Army term we never heard in the Navy."

"I know what a flap is and I know what it means to doodle, but Iíve never heard them put together," said LeRoy. "Probably a word you just made up, Eddie."

"Are you geniuses trying to tell me youíve never heard the word flapdoodle? I canít believe how uneducated you guys are. Didnít they teach you anything in school? I would think both of you are old enough to know what a flapdoodle is," retorted Eddie. "You know what a flapdoodle is, right?" asked Eddie turning to me.

"Ah, I think I do. Iíve never looked it up, but I know Iíve heard it used before in conversations, and I just assumed itís meaning," I answered wishing Eddie had not put me on the spot like this. Itís questions like this that make me squirm in my seat hoping I can come up with the right answer.

Eddie didnít push me for an explanation. He held his hands up in front of him and said, "See, everyone knows what a flapdoodle is but you guys. I guess thatís why God lets some of us get old so we can be around to teach you young people."

"Hey, hey," responded Tiny. Pointing at me but looking at Eddie he said, "He never said he knew what it meant. He said he thought he knew. Thatís a big difference ya know."

"Yeah, from actually knowing," said LeRoy trying to shift some responsibility from himself to me. LeRoy figured if I didnít know it would be three against one, which would prove something. He wasnít sure what.

"Okay, Okay I give up," said Eddie with a sigh. "We were talking about world politics and how it seems the same situations just keep happening over and over. We never seem to make any headway, but we keep trying. Right?"

We all nodded in the affirmative.

"Then you have to agree the whole mess is just a bunch of nonsense," continued Eddie.

Again, three heads bobbed up and down in agreement. But somehow, the light had not come on for Eddieís prot...g...ís.

"Oh for heavenís sake," exclaimed Eddie. "Flapdoodle is simply another way of saying itís all nonsense." Shaking his head he continued, "I donít guess you know what diddlysquat means either."

"Huh?" asked LeRoy. Peace.

To talk to Eddie, Tiny, or LeRoy E-mail: 

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   Last Update:  September 17, 2003