Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Columns

October 13, 2012

McDonalds, dolphins and kenaf

“Ed, did you see them new flowery median strips on Apperson Way? Aren’t they good looking?” Emil asked.

“Yep, I like ’em. You’ll have to excuse me, though. Just woke up from a Sunday afternoon nap,” I added.

“Yep, you remind me of that old TV show when I was just a kid, ‘Ben Casey.’ You look like a fellow called ‘Dr. Zorba.’”

“Oh, I remember him. Oh!” I gasped as I ran to the mirror. When one’s hair is thin, it can take a pyramid shape after a nap.

Emil had that mischievous look on his face as he announced, “OK, Ed, it is time to play true or false news.”

I don’t know why or when Emil started this little game of his, but I have to admit it is amusing. “Go ahead, shoot,” I replied. Emil began:

“Story number one: A guy in Brazil was awarded $17,500 at McDonald’s expense. He claimed that while working at McDonald’s, he was responsible to sample the food every day for quality assurance. In addition, the restaurant provided free lunch to its employees. He says it is McDonald’s fault he put on 65 pounds during the years he worked there.”

“Hmm,” I contemplated, “I would say that is false. I mean, I have put on 50 pounds since I started here ministering in Kokomo, and some of that from church dinners. The church isn’t going to give me anything for my weight other than a diet plan. And then they recite that old fractured Bible verse, ‘The spirit is willing but the flesh is too much.’”

“No, Ed, you are wrong,” Emil gleamed. “The story is true. Happened at the end of 2010. Read it on Fox News, AP and the BBC.”

“OK, you got me this time. What’s next?” I asked.

“Well,” Emil continued, “Story number two. The Kokomo city council decided to populate the Wildcat Creek with a collection of porpoises and dolphins. Since they are oxygen breathing mammals, they can live in the creek even during drought times.”

This story seemed ridiculous and obviously false, so reverse psychology kicked in. “True,” I smiled, thinking I had outwitted Emil.

“No! Where is your brain?” Emil rebuked. “Of course that is false. OK, I’ll try one more.” I noted Emil’s rebuke and lost my faith in reverse psychology. He continued:

“Story number three. They have this African weed called kenaf, sort of closely related to Okra. They say this plant is the cure to many of our ills. For one thing, you can eat it because it is rich in protein. Great for animal feed, especially for chickens. It has these unique fibers that are good for making insulation. Actually it yields 6-10 tons of fiber per acre.

“It eats up CO2 permanently – that bad gas associated with global warming. It reduces carbon by 3 to 8 times compared to a tree. An acre could absorb 20 tons of CO2. You can make a light-weight replacement for concrete blocks from this stuff, and get this – even the blocks absorb CO2 permanently.”

“Well,” I thought to myself, “Last time I tried reverse psychology and made a fool of myself. This story sounds like a Pollyanna pipe dream. A plant that does all that – good grief!” I shared my verdict: “False!”

“Haw, haw,” belly laughed Emil. “I got you again. No, this is true. Read it on the Mother Nature Network.”

“Remember that old margarine commercial, Emil? ‘It’s not nice to fool Mother Nature!’ This time, Mother Nature fooled me.”

“Yep, you are right,” Emil chuckled. “Dolphins in the Wildcat? Haw!”

Don’t know if I can live that one down.

• Ed Vasicek is pastor of Highland Park Church and a weekly contributor to the Kokomo Tribune. Contact him at edvasicek@att.net.

 

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Columns
  • Bohanon: ‘Economics is fun’ in Vegas or in Bible study

    I am writing this on an airplane to Las Vegas. I’ll be attending the annual conference of the Association of Private Enterprise Education along with two of my colleagues and six of my students.

    April 16, 2014

  • Hayden: Want better teacher ratings? Ask the kids

    The state may be back where it started, encumbered with a flawed teacher grading system, a year after implementing what were meant to be tough new standards.
    That was the general consensus of the State Board of Education days after teacher evaluation data were released last week.

    April 15, 2014

  • BRIAN HOWEY: Mike Pence for president in 2016? Stay tuned Mike Pence for president? The swirl of 2016 national ticket talk surrounding Gov. Pence intensified over the past few weeks. I sat down with the governor in his office on Tuesday to find out what he's really thinking. A few hours prior, the Weekly S

    April 14, 2014

  • DICK WOLFSIE: Such a thing as too much My wife and I went on a binge last week. If you think I'm talking about an eating binge, you've never seen how thin we both are. If you think I mean a shopping binge, you don't know how cheap we are. And if you think it was a cleaning binge, you've n

    April 14, 2014

  • ED VASICEK: Chewing over news in bite-size vignettes Today, I am going to share a few "opinionettes" about current news items. Ready? Let's go! City prosperity The unemployment rate in the United States is down to 6.7 percent. This is its lowest level since October 2008. When I remember government effo

    April 13, 2014

  • MICHAEL HICKS: Finding measure of value One aspect of economic research I think is especially powerful is the ability to measure or monetize the things humans clearly value but for which a market price is not necessarily apparent. This is one of the aspects of economic analysis that gives

    April 13, 2014

  • PUBLIC EYE: Right across the county line

    Grant County has wind problems, and as an editor recently and quite rightly noted, “Wind doesn’t care about county lines.”

    So Grant County’s issues over a proposed E.ON Climate & Renewables wind farm are becoming Howard County’s issues as well.

    April 13, 2014

  • RAY DAY: My wife and life, Ramona Today, I will tell you a story about my soul mate and wife, who has been with me for more than 57 years now. Time has gone by so quickly, it only seems like yesterday when we met. Her name is Ramona; I call her Moni for short. Her friends call her Ra

    April 12, 2014

  • OPN - KT041114 - matt mug MATT CONRAD: Chrysler, Purdue alliance It takes about an hour to navigate the route from Purdue University in West Lafayette to Chrysler Group LLC's Kokomo and Tipton plants. But the new partnership between the university and the global auto manufacturer moves Indiana's automotive industr

    April 11, 2014 1 Photo

  • BOB ZALTSBERG: IU should ask for a recount after influence ratings Whom do you think has more influence: Robert Gates, the former CIA director and U.S. secretary of defense, or Rod Woodson, former college and professional football player who specialized in defense? Hold your answers, please. The folks at Time magaz

    April 11, 2014

Latest news
Featured Ads
Only on our website
AP Video
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Obituaries
Poll
Kelly Lafferty's video on Tom Miller