Saturday, June 24, 2017

Would a Diet Coke, By Any Other Name, Still Taste as Fake Sweet?

Last night I came upstairs to make Hick's supper before he left for the auction. He was sitting in his La-Z-Boy drinking a 20 oz bottle of Diet Coke.

This is uncommon, because Hick is a Diet Mountain Dew drinker. And occasionally a Diet A&W Root Beer drinker. NOT a Diet Coke regular, though he orders it when we go out, if the restaurant doesn't have his favorite.

I had glimpsed this 20 oz Diet Coke in FRIG II earlier in the afternoon. Hick had been called in to work on one of his RETIRED days, had only stayed until 1:00, and then went running around after stopping by the homestead before a doctor's appointment. Silly me. For a nanosecond, I imagined that Hick must have gotten that bottle of Diet Coke for ME! Poor, misguided Hick had forgotten that I get a 44 oz fountain Diet Coke every day, AND that I have a six-pack of 20 oz bottles in the basement mini fridge to freshen it throughout the week in the evenings. But it's the thought that counts, right?

Yes, it IS. And Hick was most certainly NOT thinking about ME! There he reclined, swilling that Diet Coke!

"Oh. Are you having a Diet Coke today?"

"Yeah. They had a deal on them. Two for $2.50."

That didn't sound like any kind of deal to me, but then, I pay $1.69 for a fountain 44, so I'm not really one to judge. I went on about the business of making supper while Hick relaxed with a before-supper snack. I guess his lunch was thrown off by the sudden partial cancellation of his 2/5 retirement Friday. I made several passes through the living room while waiting for food to cook. On the last one, Hick held up his now empty except for snack wrapper Diet Coke bottle.

"Huh. Did you see what it says on the bottle?"

"No. What?"

Hick turned it around, and I beheld my name. (Let the record show that I've never made a pretense of Val being an assumed name, and that last year I put my real name in the sidebar somewhere.)


"Oh! Did you pick it out?"

"No. I didn't even know that was on it. I just picked it up. Then just now when I was putting my cookie wrapper in there, I saw it."

"Are you going to save it?"

"I hadn't planned on it, no."

"Don't throw it away! I want to get a picture."

Okay. Let's think about this. Hick normally does not buy Diet Coke, or drink it at home. He happened upon a sale at a convenience store, and took two. He drank one somewhere between work and our house, threw away the bottle, and brought the other one home. After drinking it, he saw that it had my name on it.

Let the record further show that Hick collects all manner of Coca Cola memorabilia. A large part of his collection includes bottles with the soda still inside. Christmas edition six-pack cartons, foreign language versions, sports team logos...all manner of collected bottles. But this ONE that had his loving wife's name on it, he chugs and is ready to discard.

You know that if I'd been out combing the convenience stores for a bottle with my name, I couldn't have found one, right? In fact, I've never seen one with The Pony's name on it, even though it's the most common of Thevictorian names, being shared with the likes of princes and conquerors and bow-and-arrow marksmen who have overtures written about them. Nor have I seen one with the name of Genius on it, though his is shared by a famous outlaw, a civil rights leader, and a professional wrestler turned state governor. And I've certainly not seen a Coke bottle with Hick's name, who would have been right at home as the third brother of Larry, the odd-job man on the newer Bob Newhart Show where he was an innkeeper.

I can't help but wonder what name was on the bottle of Diet Coke that Hick threw away.


Friday, June 23, 2017

Back-of-the-Book-Blurb Friday #64 "Opal's Oasis: Offbeat Oddities"

Blog buddy Sioux is hosting Back-of-the-Book-Blurb Friday. I have 150 words to convince you to fake-buy my fake book. It's time to poop or get off the pot! Val is dropping her fake books all willy-nilly across the landscape, and you need to scoop them up before any more logs are wasted. Val has turned her efforts from making chicken salad into making fake books. She hopes to come out of this venture smelling like a rose. So cut the crap and dig into your honeypot of savings, and fake-buy Val's latest fake book today!

[In case you are wondering why Val's count of fake books went from #64 to #64...there was a week when Sioux did not fake-publish a fake book, so overachieving Val has adjusted her volume number downward.]


Opal's Oasis: Offbeat Oddities

Opal has a knack for creating knickknacks. In the oodles of spare time she has while running her campground, she creates keepsakes to sell in her store.

Opal's newest creation is The Pet Poop. No crazier that a Pet Rock, Opal figures. Besides, she has plenty of extra raw material, provided by campers who don't read her signs. Who don't scoop their (dogs') poop. Opal has a special drying bed where her poop matures. She will sell no poop before its time. She polishes it until it's smooth, with a muted shine. Then wraps each piece in a Ziploc bag and labels it $5.00.

Will Opal get rich selling Pet Poops? Or will she be just as happy to set her wares on a table out front, and watch people pick up their dog poop like they should have in the first place? (143 words)

__________________________________________________________________

Fake Reviews for Val’s Fake Book

Pet Rock..."Hello? Copyright infringement, anyone? As soon as I get a lawyer, both Opal and Thevictorian will be slapped with a lawsuit. And Thevictorian will be slapped some more. Just because."

Mood Ring..."The release of this fake book has put me in a dark humor. The writing is tepid at best, and I grow cold at the thought of this fake work, OR those Pet Poops, sitting on a shelf somewhere as if they belong. I have more talent in my little finger...um...let me rephrase that...I have more talent in the little finger I'm worn upon than this fake author has in her whole (considerably large) body."

Beanie Babies..."You'd better buy one of each of them, because one of these days, they're going to be valuable! Even that Thevictorian woman's fake book. Seal them up in a plastic tub, and in twenty or thirty years, you'll have a fortune on your hands. Not just poop."

Cabbage Patch Kid..."These Pet Poops are too ugly for words. Nobody will want those. They all look alike. I doubt they even come with a pedigree, and folks probably have to give them a name. This Thevictorian woman needs the stuffing beat out of her for pushing this agenda."

That little dog in the arms of Eva Gabor in the opening credits of Green Acres..."I get allergic smelling hay, but my excrement doesn't have an odor. I would like to contribute to this new fad. Is there a post office box where my droppings might be sent? It may take a few days. The mail doesn't go out in a timely manner down at Sam Drucker's store. If the fake author would like to fake-interview me, she can ring that phone at the top of the pole outside our bedroom closet door."

Lassie..."What's that, you say? Timmy fell down a well? IT SHOULD HAVE BEEN THEVICTORIAN! A polite woman would never have fake-written a book about a woman who thinks it is okay to handle dog feces."

Candy-Pooping Doggie Deer like pulled the Grinch's sleigh..."Ooh! That's not gonna turn out well. I doubt those Pet Poops are even edible! The thought of this venture makes me cringe with embarrassment for the inventor and the fake author. Whoopsie! I think a little poop came out."

Spuds Mackenzie..."Hey, Bud! I need a drink! Fake-reading this fake book was a bitch! Val Thevictorian is no party animal! She's a...wait for it...party POOPER!"

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Sometimes, a Secret is Just What the Doctor Ordered

Let the record show that Val is medicated. Not heavily medicated. Not the good stuff. Just her regular prescriptions that she takes each morning. One pill upon arising, for her missing thyroid, and two for blood pressure that she takes at least an hour later. Sometimes more than an hour later, but the deal with the thyroid med is to wait at least 30 minutes to an hour before ingesting anything else.

Most days, I put off the blood pressure med until I'm heading home from town. If you've ever taken such a pharmaceutical, you understand. It works to lower your blood pressure by getting rid of some of your blood volume. That's what I think, anyway. Because you have to pee out that extra fluid when the med decides it has to go. So I wait until I know that I'll be home in 10-15 minutes, where peeing facilities are available.

This timing is no big deal. I sleep late because I stay up late, and my body is used to the schedule, just as it was when I was working and took the thyroid pill at 4:50 a.m. and the others at 6:00. I have a little square container that I put my pills in. I slip that container in my shirt pocket, and once in T-Hoe, I put it in my change cup that sits on the console. Once I get my 44 oz Diet Coke, I take the two pills and start home.


Last Thursday, I had some extra running around to do. It was almost 1:00 when I left town to head home. I had a slight headache, which I attributed to being out in normal air, and not the rarefied atmosphere of my dark basement lair. There's all kinds of allergens in the air these days, and my nose drips like a faucet during my evening walk. As I was on the road home, it dawned on me that maybe my head hurt because I hadn't taken my blood pressure medicine yet! I had forgotten. So I reached into the change cup, but didn't feel my little square container.

Huh. That was odd. I KNOW I put it in the car. I felt my pocket. Not there. WAIT! The last I remembered seeing it, I had set that little square container on the console itself as I left Country Mart, in order to count out correct change for my next stop, the gas station chicken store, for my 44 oz Diet Coke. AND, as I had driven off from Country Mart, I heard something fall. I didn't dwell on it at the time. I though it might have been the coin cup sliding back off my phone onto the console, or that pair of nail clippers that The Pony kept in there for trimming his toenails as I drove. Forgetting that I had destroyed the clippers (accidentally!!!) the week before.

Anyhoo...I spent that drive home thinking about finding those pills so I could take them. The plan was to look in the back seat area when I stopped to pick up the mail. I reached my arm back and felt all around, but there was no little square container within reach. Things like that bother me. I wanted the issue resolved.

When I got to the mailboxes, I pulled over on the gravel road, beside the creek. No need to be parked in the county road while conducting my search. I climbed out of T-Hoe and looked on the floor, under the seats, under some junk in between the back seats. Looked in from EVERY DOOR. Under every seat. Under the floor mats. All over that car! I couldn't find my little square container.

For 15 minutes I searched. I was determined to find that little square container. Sweat was rolling off me in rivulets. In front of my ears from my scalp. Between my shoulder blades. I had a river of underboob and 'tween-boob sweat flowing under my shirt. Nowhere. That little square container was nowhere to be found. But I DID find a Slim Jim wrapper (empty), a wooden token for a free sundae at Dairy Queen, and two pennies and a dime (this was the day after I found my last penny on the Save A Lot parking lot).

For a third time (it's a charm, you know!) I checked the driver's seat between the console and the seat belt hook bolted to the floor. I FELT IT! I felt the little square container! It was in that little recess by the hook. There was some sort of plastic cover over the hook, and the little square container was wedged in there. I sat in the driver's seat and contorted my arm and wrist and fingers, but that little square container only jammed in deeper. I couldn't pry it out of that little hole.

I got out and stood beside the car and leaned over the seat, trying to wedge my arm down in there for better leverage. I have fairly small wrists if you consider a man's arm trying to fit in there. Smaller than a small man's wrists, unless by small man you think of Tom Thumb, who of course being retired all these years from the P.T. Barnum Circus, and taking a break from the grave, would probably not have desired to go poking around the floorboards of T-Hoe just to find two pills for Val.

I moved to the back seat door, where I could reach in sideways and not downways. Something kind of cracked, but I'm not going to tell Hick, because when is he ever going to notice, really, if I broke something in that area? FINALLY I fished out that little square container. I climbed back in T-Hoe, opened it up, and took my two pills.

If Hick borrows T-Hoe, and has to slam on the brakes, and goes sailing through the windshield when his seatbelt gives way...nobody's going to say anything, right?

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Val Thevictorian is a Wet-Meat Dad

On Father's Day, Hick had the idea to go to the casino. I don't know what got into him, because the casino is my thing, not his. It would be like me proposing a Goodwill tour on Mother's Day. Anyhoo...he may have been heady with success from his last trip, when he cashed out more money than I gave him to start with. Who am I to complain about a trip to the casino?

As part of our routine, we eat at Burger Brothers. It's inside the casino, and the burgers (what else would we eat, anyway? It's not like we're my favorite Gambling Aunt, who ordered an Italian sausage there) are always delicious. Until this time.

Hick went to order. Even though I always get the exact same thing, he has to ask me what I want. A hamburger with pickles and onions only. And fries that I share with Hick. So I told him. And Hick said, "No cheese?" No. I NEVER get cheese. I repeated that I wanted pickles and onions only. He went to order. Then he went to get a free soda. Why buy the pop when you can have the fountain for free? Then he came back to sit and annoy me until our burgers were ready. It always annoys him when the people behind him in line get their food before him. I agree. That's why I try not to see where Hick is in line.

The little disc thingy buzzed to signal that our order was ready to be picked up. Hick returned to the table and set the tray in front of me. I don't know why I had to serve it up! Sheesh! A woman's work is never done! I set Hick's onion rings in front of him. Then started to hand him his burger. Wait a minute! I couldn't tell which burger was Hick's! It should have been easy. He always gets pepperjack cheese. I could clearly see the white melted cheese dripping along the side of Hick's burger. But wait! It was on both burgers!

Closer inspection showed that Hick's burger did indeed have pepperjack cheese on it. I handed it over. And then began to investigate my own burger. Which clearly had more than pickles and onions only. It wasn't cheese. It was some kind of sauce. White sauce. I didn't want any sauce! I took the top bun off, planning to wipe off the sauce. Hick offered to take it back and complain.

"See? I told them! It's right here on the receipt! 'Pickles and onions ONLY!' She even repeated it to me! I'll take it back."

"No. What are they going to do? Wipe it off? I'm not waiting another 20 minutes for a new one! That's gambling time wasted! I'll try to wipe it off. I can't believe people can't follow simple directions!" Actually, I CAN believe it, but what's the point of venting by hollering the obvious?

It's virtually impossible to wipe white sauce off of thinly-sliced rings of red onion. I blotted off all I could, and then took a bite. You know, I like mayonnaise. And most sauces with a mayonnaise base. I'll even eat Miracle Whip in a pinch. But whatever those Burger Brothers put in that sauce, I did NOT enjoy. It was bitter! How in the Not-Heaven can you make a bitter sauce and slather it on a hamburger? I tried to kill the taste with ketchup. Then mustard. It was not very successful. Of course, I still ate the burger. Are you kidding me? They make really good burgers! Just not good sauce.

We've always had good food there before. You'd think they could at least get the order right. It was FATHER'S DAY, by cracky! For all those Burger Brothers knew, I was a dad who was getting a special treat on my day! And they could not follow simple instructions! They served me, a possible dad, a soggy burger on FATHER'S DAY!

Even if I'd let Hick take it back...would YOU want to eat a meal prepared by the person you complained messed it up the first time? I would have been even more leery of what kind of special sauce might have accidentally been added to the replacement.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Val, the Great Surmiser

Remember a couple weeks ago, when I was finding PENNIES everywhere? For several days. And on one single day, I found FOUR pennies?

Silly me. I had started to think I was going to find pennies every day. Everywhere. But they dried up! No pennies, no dimes, no quarters, no dollars! So I surmised that whatever message the Universe was trying to get across had been delivered. Resigned myself to the fact that I might go a few years again without finding a single penny. It's happened before.

And then...and then...something new was presented to me without my knowledge. I was clueless! Can you believe THAT? Val had no idea what was going on. She went about her merry way, car-singing and scratcher-buying and 44 oz Diet Coke drinking. Kept Hick on a tight rein, but saw that he had his weekly allowance and casino money (which he may or may not have pocketed a portion of) and treats from Walmart twice a week.

Monday, this new trend virtually slapped me in the face. I was in Walmart at the time, the one in Bill-Paying Town. Not the regular one closest to Backroads, where I went on Friday. Some treats are hard to find. I was checking out, getting some cash back. I do this occasionally, when we have some extra expenses not planned on in our weekly cash budget, and I don't want make an extra stop at the bank. We had lunch at the casino twice (you don't think I'm paying for LUNCH out of my previous winnings, do you) and the fee for the Process Server that Hick hadn't been reimbursed for yet (that he paid out of his allowance).

So there I was, getting $40 cash back. The checker handed me eight $5 bills.

"Oh! I'm sorry to take all of your fives!"

"That's okay. The lady ahead of you got the last of my twenties."

See, I thought to apologize for draining her drawer resources. Because it's the polite thing to do. After all...the checker in the other Walmart on Friday fell all over herself apologizing to me when she counted me out eight $5 bills for my $40 cash back there.

"I'm so sorry to do this to you! It's all I have here. I thought she was bringing me more, but this is it for now."

"Oh, that's fine! It spends just the same."

See, I hadn't thought much about getting all those fives back. But when it happened on Monday at the other Walmart, it was like the clouds opened up and a magical ray of sunlight (crepuscular rays, I'm sure one of my blog buddies told us about that, perhaps Joe H) shone through, and a choir sang a wordless chord.

I'D BEEN GETTING FIVES BACK FOR DAYS!

Uh huh. Not just those two times at the Walmarts. When I cashed in winning scratchers over that weekend time period. At Orb K, I was due back ten dollars, and the clerk gave me two $5 bills. At Waterside Mart, I needed back twenty dollars, and the clerk handed me four $5 bills. AND at the gas station chicken store, I was due fifteen dollars, and the little gal gave me three $5 bills. Plus, Hick and I went back to the casino on Father's Day, and when I cashed out my last ticket, the machine gave me four $5 bills instead of one twenty. It never does that!

So there I was, wheeling my cart/walker out of Walmart, putting 5 and 5 and 5 and 5 (well, you get it) together, and realizing

I AM THE FIVE-DOLLAR DAUGHTER!

Yeah. My mom used to always give me a $5 bill when we took her some leftovers or the tabloids after I read them. Always said, "Now you take this."

It's most likely a coincidence that those stores ran out of tens and twenties when I showed up. But I surmise that I was meant to get those fives. Except maybe I wasn't supposed to be so dense, and have the need to get SO MANY fives before I saw a connection.

Yeah. Crazy ol' Val. You can't always get what you want. But if you try sometimes...you get what you need.
___________________________________________________________________

Back when I was the five-dollar daughter (plus one). And when my value declined. Dropped more. Really, really declined.


Monday, June 19, 2017

Hick, the Great Provoker

When we left off in the Property Owners vs. Crazy Dude saga...the court papers had been dropped onto Crazy Dude's land, right in front of his nose, when the Process Server held them out and Crazy Dude refused to take them. Crazy Dude retreated back down his wooded driveway to his out-of-sight house.

Hick said he hoped there came a big rain from those purple storm clouds, so the papers would be destroyed, and Crazy Dude wouldn't have the court date, and the restraining order would become permanent since he refused to show up to the hearing. Hick also said other things.

"If I was Bev, I'd go out and trim my bushes along his property line." (No comment on Hick thinking about trimmed bushes!)

"No! Why would she? I understand if she wants to clean up her property, and it's all overgrown, that she shouldn't let a fear of Crazy Dude keep her from doing whatever landscaping she wants. But to concentrate on that section right next to him is just asking for trouble. It's provoking!"

Uh huh. That would be like a 9-year-old going to sit on the property line of her yard and her next-door-neighbor best friend's yard, to play with pick-up sticks, and make her best friend's beagle puppy on a chain go crazy, and get yelled at from the back door. Not that Li'l Val would know anything about such a tactic.

The night of the envelope-dropping, there DID come some rain, in the wee hours of the morning. Hick said that when he went by Crazy Dude's driveway the next morning, the envelope was gone.

Let the record show that Val has no idea why Hick was anywhere near Crazy Dude's driveway. That road is the road he takes to work on Tuesday/Wednesday/Thursday. Not the road we take to town. And as far as Val (or the record) knows...Hick does NOT go to work on Saturdays, or have a need to drive by that area.

Hick figures that Crazy Dude came out in the middle of the night, when he thought he wouldn't be seen, and picked up the envelope. When Hick said this, I imagined Crazy Dude in camouflage gear, crawling on his belly like a serpent, knife clutched in his teeth in case he needed to intimidate a witness.

The hearing is in the middle of July. Hick figures that Crazy Dude will be at the hearing, to say that he never was served the papers, so the restraining order is not valid. However... Hick also figures that such a tactic will only prove that Crazy Dude WAS served the papers, because how else would he know when to show up at the hearing. So the point would be moot, he was served! Present a valid reason as to why he should not be banned from contacting Bev, or stay away from her.

Meanwhile, I have been nervous when I hear a four-wheeler coming up the road during my walks. Just in case it's Crazy Dude, scoping out our house for future revenge. I'd rather he not know what I look like, since I don't know him, either. I told Hick, and he said, "That's not him. Listen. He has a 4-stroke engine. That's a 2-stroke. It whines." AS IF that means anything to me. Hick might as well be reading a manual on how to fly a 747 to Puppy Jack. Except that Hick doesn't read manuals. Anyhoo...he eventually got me to understand that a 4-stroke engine has a loud roar, and a 2-stroke engine sounds like a motorcycle ree-ree-ree engine. Not that I have time to run back to the house if the wrong one is coming up the road, anyway.

I heard gunshots back over the creek when I was walking Saturday evening. I figure it was either Bev, whose husband just got a gun, or Crazy Dude, who probably has an arsenal...having target practice. I'm glad there's a forest between us.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

A Man, a Plan, a Contact Ban

When we last convened, Hick was eagerly awaiting the Process Server so he could trick Crazy Dude, the unbalanced neighbor, into accepting a court order preventing him from contact with our other neighbor, Bev. Yeah. Maybe he shouldn't get involved. But Hick's a people person. And it takes a village to put the kibosh on swastika-touting nut-jobs.

Friday, Hick was expecting the Process Server at noon. Hick would drive the tractor, Process Server would follow in the Gator, they'd blade the gravel on the road that runs past Crazy Dude's house, and he'd be drawn outside, and served with the order. In theory.

I came back from town just after noon, and saw a car parked in the BARn field, and figured Process Server was there, and all systems were go. I carried my groceries in through the kitchen door, and didn't look out front for the tractor. At 1:30, I called Hick to see if everything was okay.

"HOS and I are waiting out here for the Process Server. He hasn't called. I'm about to get fed up with him. It looks like rain, now. I'm not riding the tractor up there in a storm."

Turns out Process Server was running late. He didn't get here until after 4:00. But they carried out the mission anyway, under darkening skies.

Hick drove the tractor past the entrance to Crazy Dude's driveway. He went on up the road, blading, planning to turn around and come back like normal. He's been meaning to blade the road for a couple weeks, but didn't want to deal with Crazy Dude, who always comes out and demands to know what he's doing.

[This road has been there for many years, before any of us bought property out here. It's not like we're driving across his yard. It's a two-mile piece of road that connects two blacktop county roads. Like a creek or waterway, nobody owns the road, even though they may own land on either side of it. We all use it, and many common county residents who don't live here use it as a shortcut. Not that we want them to. We, the property-owners, maintain it.]

HOS rode the 4-wheeler, and Process Server drove the Gator. He got out and started shoving gravel around with the rake. HOS said that Crazy Dude must have come out as soon as Hick went by on the tractor. Crazy Dude was standing at his fence, leaning his elbows on the top, watching.

[Let the record show that Process Server, in the following exchange, used his real name, and Crazy Dude's real name.]

"How are you doing today, Crazy."

"I'm doing okay."

"My name is Process Server." He held out his hand to shake. Crazy Dude shook. Process Server took out the envelope. "Are you Crazy Dude?"

"No. That's not my name. I'm not Crazy Dude." With that, Crazy Dude backed off the fence.

Process Server held out the envelope with the court order. Crazy Dude did not reach out. Process Server dropped them in front of him. Crazy Dude turned and walked back through the woods to his house.

"Crazy Dude, you have been served," said Process Server. He turned to HOS. "You might have to appear in court as a witness if there's an issue." HOS said that was no problem.

HOS and Process Server took off up the road to warn Hick. "Take the tractor back home," said HOS. "He went up to his house. We don't know what he's gonna do. He might be getting a gun. He stared at me the whole time, once Process Server said his name. He didn't take the papers. They're laying by his fence."

Process Server left to fill out his paperwork. That's why Hick wanted to use somebody who does this for a living. The judge had said anybody could serve the papers, but the serving paperwork had to be done correctly, or the order wouldn't be any good.

Hick and HOS came to the house. To my dark basement lair, to be exact, to tell me the story. Oh, and because Hick was going into his basement workshop on the other side of my office wall, to get into the gun safe for a shotgun for HOS. Actually, for HOS's wife. Not that we're gun-toting inbreds or anything. But Crazy Dude was looking in HOS's windows when they first moved in. And HOS doesn't want any trouble from him now that he's madder than usual, and HOS works nights, and his wife and 7-year-old son are there alone.

Of course, once that chore was done, Hick left for the auction. "I'll lock the doors for you."

"You call me if you hear anything," said HOS. "I'll be down here in a jiffy."

You can't be too careful when you live in the middle of nowhere.

That court order was to inform Crazy Dude that he has to stay away from Bev until the next hearing date in July. It's a temporary restraining order, with the hearing date for Crazy Dude to present his side before it becomes permanent. If he initiates contact with Bev, he'll get locked up.

Of course, a restraining order is just a piece of paper. You can be deader than a doornail before the police can get here to enforce it. I suppose it can discourage most people from making contact, and make most people feel safer to have one in effect.

Can't we all just get along? I don't mean roast marshmallows over a bonfire and sing Kumbaya. You're never going to get along with everyone you encounter in life. But you don't have to put sticks in the road to make one lane impassable, either. Or hang a swastika on the edge of your property facing your neighbor's house, after telling her you believe in "Hitler's final resolution."