Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana


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.


Text Only | Photo Reprints
  • SEN. JIM BUCK: New laws offer help for kids Families with children who have special needs often face difficulties finding the best care or treatment for their specific circumstance. During the 2014 legislative session, the Indiana General Assembly passed several initiatives to assist these fam

    July 24, 2014

  • BILL STANCZYKIEWICZ: Youth sports leagues are on troubling decline An important youth development activity is looking to end a recent losing streak. Participation in organized youth sports leagues for baseball, football, basketball and soccer declined by 4 percent between 2008-2012, according to a report in the Wall

    July 24, 2014

  • MAUREEN HAYDEN: Expiring term heightens urgency of legislator's mission State Rep. Rebecca Kubacki had plans for her return to the General Assembly next January.The two-term Republican from Kosciusko County wanted to exert “full force” to roll back a law that prevents the children of undocumented immigrants from paying i

    July 23, 2014

  • CECIL BOHANON: Spend down surplus? Been there, done that Back in 1998, the state of Indiana had more than $1.3 billion in surplus funds in its general account. This was about 57 days of state spending. The state had total surplus funds of more than $2 billion that was over 24 percent of its annual operatin

    July 23, 2014

  • MAUREEN HAYDEN: Expiring term heightens urgency of legislator's mission State Rep. Rebecca Kubacki had plans for her return to the General Assembly next January.The two-term Republican from Kosciusko County wanted to exert “full force” to roll back a law that prevents the children of undocumented immigrants from paying i

    July 22, 2014

  • TOM LoBIANCO: Indiana Democrats deal with divide on education On the face of it, the battles between Democratic Schools Superintendent Glenda Ritz and supporters and staff of Republican Gov. Mike Pence have been a unifying force for Indiana Democrats. But the scrapping has exposed a deep rift within the party o

    July 22, 2014

  • BRIAN HOWEY: Is Evan Bayh contemplating another gubernatorial run? This could be the saga of “LeBron Bayh.”Like a thunderhead brewing in the distance, you could see this one coming. This was the progression: former state Democratic Chairman Dan Parker announces he will not become a candidate for mayor of Indianapoli

    July 21, 2014

  • DICK WOLFSIE: Please go away already My wife is planning our summer vacation, which we will take in the fall. We took our spring vacation this summer. We got behind in 1984 and still haven't caught up. I don't have much input into the planning of these trips, but Mary Ellen did assign m

    July 21, 2014

  • ED VASICEK: Internet, and future of communication One morning, I was chatting with some retired folks and the subject of paying bills on the Internet came up. One woman said she disposed of her computer years ago and pays her bills by mail. I commented she could get by just fine doing that. The othe

    July 20, 2014

  • FAITH BRAUTIGAM: Learning from others' mistakes through literature If you’ve ever been locked out of somewhere — your home, your car, your workplace — I expect you could tell me all the details of the incident, even if it was years or decades ago. Why? Our brains remember major events, and it’s a big deal to be stra

    July 20, 2014

Latest news
Featured Ads
Only on our website
AP Video
Raw: Gunmen Attack Iraqi Prison Convoy Plane Leaves Ukraine With More Crash Victims The Rock Brings Star Power to Premiere Raw: Families Travel to Taiwan Plane Crash Site Arizona Execution Takes Almost Two Hours Gen. Odierno Discusses Ukraine, NATO at Forum Gaza Fighting Rages Amid Cease-Fire Efforts Mint Gives JFK Coin a Face-lift Creative Makeovers for Ugly Cellphone Towers Ariz. Inmate Dies 2 Hours After Execution Began Crash Kills Teen Pilot Seeking World Record LeBron James Sends Apology Treat to Neighbors Raw: Funeral for Man Who Died in NYPD Custody Migrants Back in Honduras After US Deports Israeli American Reservist Torn Over Return

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.
Kelly Lafferty's video on Tom Miller