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John Kelly's Washington

Barry Richards, left, a former Washington area DJ, has a big fan in Eliot Brown.
Barry Richards, left, a former Washington area DJ, has a big fan in Eliot Brown. (John Kelly/Post)
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John Kelly
Washington Post Metro Columnist
Friday, January 15, 2010; 12:00 PM

Post Metro columnist John Kelly was online Friday, Jan. 22, at Noon ET to chat about the people and stories that don't make the front pages, plus his latest columns.

Today: Chat with John about big words, the weakness of the modern teenager and anything else that's on your mind.

A transcript follows.

Discussion Archives / Recent Columns


John Kelly: A happy Friday afternoon to everyone. Thanks for joining us.

Is there such a thing as too much news? A journalist probably wouldn't say so, but a normal person might. There seem to be cycles--possibly related to sunspot activity--that result in Too Much News. Think about when we had 9/11 and the sniper. One would have been sufficient.

We seem to have entered a similar patch. Earthquakes. Crazy Appomattox shooting. John Edwards paternity. Conan/Jay contretemps. The death of health reform .I mean, enough already.

It's enough to make a person want to crawl into bed. Which, if you do at the London Kensington Hotel, may include an experience I for one find a little unsettling. "Human Bed Warming Service Launched in U.K."

According to Sky News: "If requested, a willing member of hotel staff will jump in your bed, dressed head to foot in an all-in-one sleeper suit, until your nightly chamber warms up. 'Like having a giant hot water bottle in your bed' is how Holiday Inn spokeswoman Jane Bednall described the idea."

I believe we have a name for the person who gets in your bed to warm it up before you. It's called a spouse. What's next: Someone to eat the mint on your pillow?

I think this is a shameless attempt to generate publicity, and here I am, playing right into their hands. Your thoughts?


University of Alaska at Fairbanks: Anyone in your chat session today have any thoughts on technology/software/tips for someone who wants to get off of two- hand typing and go to voice-activated communication between his mind and his applications? I know this sounds like Tech Talk but that's not my intent.

Much of what John Kelly does is interact with chatters and readers. How much time and effort could he save by using speech direct to word processing and online chat session text entering? Maybe even more by recording his columns then having the audio feed interact with his column writing program.

And not just saving time for the regular duties but having more time to develop more stories, more online interaction, and thus making it easier to make the output brighter, more engaging, more thoughtful, et al. Then one could really crank out the material.

That's what I'm trying to get to now. Any thoughts would be appreciated from John or anyone else. Maybe some links to other sources, too.

Thanks for the session this morning.

Nanook (polar bear in Inupiat)

John Kelly: It's hard for me to imagine my output being any brighter, more engaging or more thoughtful. It if was the FDA would probably have to intervene. But the basic question you raise is one I'm curious about too: Where do we stand on speech-to-text? The other day I transcribed a two-hour interview the old-fashioned way: Listening to it again and typing away. It would have been great to have just pushed a button and then read the results. I think if something like that existed, I would have heard of it.

Anyone have any suggestions?


Mt. Lebanon, Pa.: Can this be pet peeve day?

Here's mine. Web sites that are constantly reformatting their page on the fly. I go to click a link on Afghanistan, war in/on and as my mouse pointer goes right to the link and I'm about to click... everything changes underneath and I end up on a page that's discussing transvestites in Congress. And the conundrums they face when deciding which restroom to use at a White House state dinner.

Take a bow, Your homepage changes faster than executive compensation packages on Wall Street!

Thanks much. HLB

John Kelly: Do you mean the photos and stories that cycle through in that box on the upper left of our home page? That bugged me at first, too, then I realized there are little areas you can click to cycle backwards or forwards through the stories up there. I've noticed that on more and more web pages. I guess the thought is that surfers need to see new stuff, otherwise they think the page is static.


Downtown D.C.: John, I live a block away from the WaPo offices, so I hope you can answer this.

It's not unusual to hear the occassional helicopter in the neighborhood, but they've been INCESSANT over the last week or so, and sound to be flying very low. Have the folks at the Post heard them? Do you have any idea what's going on? When I'm feeling charitable, I tell myself they're involved in shuttling aid to Haiti. When I'm not feeling charitable, I tell myself it's government fatcats taking helicopter hops so they can avoid traffic.

John Kelly: I haven't noticed them. My new office has a window now, though so I'll have to keep an ear out. (Aside: My window faces an alley, so it's not a great view. Across the alley is the somewhat new building just north of The Post. That building looks very cool from L Street--all angular glass and stone--but they must have given up on the sides. The front is handsome but the side that I face just looks like cheapo office block.)

Someone who lives near the Potomac--in Palisades, I think--told me there was mucho helicopter traffic just before the start of the war. (I can't remember which one now. Persian Gulf 1? Persian Gulf 2? Afghanistan?) He thought it must have been brass being ferried to and from the Pentagon. So maybe you're hearing preparations for another invasion. North Korea?


K ST NW - marchers and Metro: Oh my gosh, the marchers! They took over the metro station this morning... they blocked the stairs going in... the fare machines (poor regular folks who had to wait behind them)... they blocked the entries trying to figue out how to use their farecards and the escalators (I wanted to throttle them) when a train was coming to the platform and we're trying to get to work! I pleaded Please move to the right and stop playing around! Then I had to listen to them chatter and play on the train. All I could think of was when are they getting off?!! I am now safe in the confines of my office and hoping to not see any of them on the way home tonight around 6 pm... Please assure me they will be gone.

John Kelly: I'm glad I'm working from home today. Dr. Gridlock says it could be a mess all day.

It should be over by 6, though. Streets will have reopened by then. There will probably just be the odd stragglers carrying placards.


Arlington, Va.: In your article about using "big" words in writing, one commenter said "To this day, I don't know why writers insist on using some big words that the common reader cannot pronounce, spell and have no idea what it means. On what we used to call 'big store-bought words,' I relate them to something my daddy taught me back in the dark ages: 'Why buy a Cadillac if a Ford will get you there?" This attitude drives me nuts. It's exactly what the "anti-elite" crowd stands -- intellectual curiosity and achievement should be looked down upon. My English professor would only agree with the person to a certain point -- he'd tell us not to use a more difficult word in place of a simple one unless the tone of your writing demands it; otherwise you just sound pretentious. With online dictionaries so easy to access, there's no reason you can't look up a new word now and then and expand your vocabulary. Like you, I always knew that sanguine had something to do with blood, but you'll be happy to know that I remembered it from a week ago and now know that it means "cheerfully optimistic" (so cheerful that your face turns red or "flushed with a health rosy color" as the dictionary states). We use all kinds of words to express ourselves. Great literature and writing in general depend on the style and poetry of the writing, not just the literal meaning of the words. Like my dad always implored me when I didn't understand a word, you need to "look it up". Multisyllabic words that twist our brains, and tongues (Post, Jan. 19)

John Kelly: A reader named Lyle Feisel from St. Michaels reminded me of something Albert Einstein supposedly said: “Make everything as simple as possible, but no simpler." In other words, maybe you DO need a slightly more complex word to get your slightly more complex point across.

I enjoyed giving readers a platform this week, but I also think we should strive to learn fancy words, if only because they're often fun to say. "Carapace, carapace, carapace..." See


SW DC: Hi John,

How did I get myself into a Facebook smackdown with people I don't even know?

John Kelly: It all started when you updated your status to read: "Just ate some lovely veal while dressed in a new mink coat and my thermostat set to 80 degrees. The Hummer arrives tomorrow."


Cleveland Park, Washington, DC: I read the phrase, "dressed head to foot in an all-in-one sleeper suit," and immediately had a "Bunny Man" flashback.

John Kelly: The British love this sort of thing, a stupid story thrown out in the hopes the media will pick up on it. If Holiday Inn was so certain this was going to be a hit, why not offer it at EVERY hotel they own, not just one in London? They could hire unemployed English and art history majors. Or ex-journalists. (I'm not sure how warm they are, though.)

My first thought was: "Ugh, who wants a dirty body in his bed?" (I mean, besides Tiger Woods?) Then I saw that the warmer would be dressed in an all-in-one sleeper suit. For hygiene, I suppose.


I believe we have a name for the person who gets in your bed to warm it up before you. It's called a spouse.: Some of us just get cats.

John Kelly: I hear that may be legal soon in Massachusetts!


Bristow, Va.: In the annals of dumb names, we got a real two-fer this week out here in Bristow. First, the school board went and named the new high school (set to open in 2011) "Patriot HS," ignoring the recommendation from the naming committee (Ridge View) and every other possible name that didn't sound completely asinine or like a shout-out to the birthers and other paranoiacs who've managed to appropriate the "patriot" name for themselves.

As bad as that was, we managed to top it when they officially changed the name of Nissan Pavilion to Jiffy Lube Live yesterday, a name so mind-bogglingly stupid I can't see myself ever using it. What is wrong with these people?

John Kelly: Yeah, why not name the school after a patriot (Thomas Jefferson, Patrick Henry, Oliver North) and just have the nickname be "the Patriots"?

And can you think of a worse name for a concert hall than Jiffy Lube Live? The Depends Center? Fleet Enema Garden?


Westcliffe, Colo.: Where can I get that ring tone that GEICO suit is answering when he's at the urinal in the commercial with the gecko?

RING A DING DING DONG.. Humma bumma.

Man, like three espresso shots..

Rufus in the Sangres

John Kelly: How? Why, by clicking here: Geico Ringtones. Is this a full-service chat or what?

My daughters were jealous of their cousin's ringtone. He had that laughable "bubblegum" one that featured in "Paul Blart: Mall Cop."


Washington, D.C.: There is speech-to-text software out there; it's not that great (in my opinion). It's a tremendous amount of work "training" the software to understand your speech.

John Kelly: I wonder then how much use it would be in transcribing interviews, since they're primarily not MY speech at all.

Have you seen those transcribing pens at Best Buy? I think it like takes a picture of what you're writing and renders it into a .pdf or something. Anyone tried it?


Hollywood, CA: Hi John!

I find that it's not so much the over saturation of news as it is dealing with compassion fatigue. How does one not collapse under the barrage of one depressing story after another?!

-Sad for the World-

John Kelly: Angelina, thanks for stopping by.

My advice: Look for the good stories, too. It's important at times like these to remember to smile, to laugh. it's good for our health. And even at the worst of times, we're capable of it. I was reading a Haiti story today and though it mentioned a collapsed orphanage in which dozens of children had died, it mentioned the shouts and laughter of the surviving children, who were running and playing nearby. We should learn from them.


Alexnadria, VA: John, why does it bother me that when I've put my recycle container out for pickup, a neighbor has occasionally added their own items to it? When I think about this logically, there's nothing wrong with it, but it still bugs me.

John Kelly: That would bother me too. The worst is when a dog-walker drops his bagged bundle of doo in your trash. (Well, not HIS--I hope--but his dog's.) What's wrong with your OWN trashcan?

My only suggestion is that you start dropping items in his recycling in, items that you choose for maximum effect: very cheap wine bottles, empty Vaseline jars, male enhancement pharmaceuticals....


Talk 'n' Type: There is software out there that lets the user talk and the text appears on the screen. However, it's not always good. In the early days of the technology (pre-2000) the translation was terrible unless you had perfect diction. Even then, some things are just hard for the computer to figure out. They've gotten better, but it's still not perfect.

I like the idea of mind-to-text though. Stephen King played with that in The Tommyknockers, and thought that if someone could type with their mind, they're ideas would be formed a lot better, and whatever they wrote would be better. I don't know if I agree with that, but it would be fun to try!

John Kelly: But almost as important as writing is REwriting. I think that with every new technology, the quality of writing changes. When you used to have to do it on a typewriter, you thought a certain way as you wrote. Word processors made it easier to do multiple edits.If you could just THINK your text you might not edit at all. And honing the words is the only way to make them the best they can be.


Then I saw that the warmer would be dressed in an all-in-one sleeper suit. : Whatever happened to electric blankets, if you need your bed "pre-warmed"?

John Kelly: Or a hot water bottle? I do not recommend a hot water bottle AND an electric blanket, especially if the water bottle has a leak.


Reston, Va.: Regarding the bed warming service, you have to laugh at the "willing" qualifier used to describe the staff member who would be the human hot water bottle. Nice to know that they won't be using "un-willing" staff members.

John Kelly: Right. No eastern European women were trafficked to warm beds at the London Kensington hotel.


For Bristow: "Ridge View" is a terrible name. Marc Fisher had a great article once about how schools are selecting awful generic names.

Not that "Patriot" is great. I went to an elementary school named after a semi-obscure president who was assassinated not long after taking office, so I'm partial to that. So pretty much Garfield or McKinley. If you loosen the requirements to just "died" rather than "assassinated", you could use Harding or William Henry Harrison. What's in a School's Name? Presidents Out, Plants In (Raw Fisher)

John Kelly: James K. Polk. And your mascot could be a Polkat. (Geddit? Pole cat.)


Arlington, VA: Jiffy Lube Live? Are you kidding me?

I obviously haven't been paying attention, but yes, this takes the cake for Stupidest. Name. Ever.

John Kelly: Home to the Greasiest Rock and Roll!!!!!!

I wonder if Midnight Oil will play there.


TV Land: Interesting that your vacation next week coincides with all the TV talk show hosts, who take the week off before the February sweeps period begins. (Well, except for Conan now.) Are you all in the same union or something?

John Kelly: We're all getting ready for the Winter Olympics. We're on the same luge team.


Reston, Va.: John &'re both nuts. It shouldn't bother you when the can or recycling bin is out on the curb. It's all going to the same place. Use that energy to worry about something that really matters.

John Kelly: Like global warming (he said, trying to keep warm [hey, where's my bed warmer?])?


Using neighbor's supercans: There is nothing wrong with putting a dog poo bag in someone else's supercan. As long as you aren't going on their property to get to it, it makes no difference. I'm not going to walk the ten blocks home holding the bag just to use my own supercan. And, would you rather I leave the poo on your lawn or that I pick it up and throw it away?

John Kelly: I find it the inverse of that old parable about the hen or the baker or whomever that ends: "And who will help me bake the bread?"

Part of having a dog is carrying around its warm excrement in a bag. You may not like it but that's the deal. Ten blocks? Too bad. Train your dog to poop sooner.

Occasionally those poop-filled bags don't make it into the truck. They fall to the bottom of the can. So a neighbor is supposed to clean YOUR dog's poop out of HIS can?


John, you silly boy!: My first thought was: "Ugh, who wants a dirty body in his bed?" (I mean, besides Tiger Woods?) --------------------

Ba ha ha ha ha ha! Oh, can I go home now?

John Kelly: Yes, just tell your boss your worried about the ice storm that's on the way. Hopefully you'll be gone before he remembers you don't live in Allegany County.


Arlington, VA: It bothers you because it's presumptuous... In a civil society you ask first if you can dump your recycling or dog poo in a neighbors garbage. It doesn't matter whether there's plenty of room or if you know they'll say yes - it's the polite thing to do and shows respect.

John Kelly: Exactly. Now, I might make an exception for a bit of recycling you encounter while on your walk--who left this soda bottle here? I'll just pop it in this recycling bin that's been placed by the curb for today's pickup--but even then what's it hurt you to take it home to your recycling?


SW DC: Re my Facebook smackdown, it actually started when I called some folks out who were complaining about pressing 1 for English, illegal immigrants take all our govt money, don't change my way of life, blah blah blah. I happened to point out that the Native Americans and Native Alaskans probably weren't too happy with having Europeans force them to change their way of life! Turns out that the grumblers were from California. Well, then I added that the Spanish settlers probably wanted the rest of us to press 1 for Spanish when we moved on in! Ha! Things spiraled from there....

John Kelly: And on Facebook even non friends can weight in, if you have a friend in common. That happened with a friend of mine. There were so many petty little hissyfits that he signed off. Imagine that: Leaving Facebook. I don't think I could do it.


Fairfax, VA: I have a ringtone of a screeching cat. Whenever it rings my wife starts yelling at the cat. Funny every time.

John Kelly: Your cat must be thrilled. Even now he's planning to smother you in your sleep.


Haiti: I think some of the more emotive stories are just exploitative. Like repeatedly putting the father of that Lynn University student on the air to beg the President to pull out all the stops on getting to people believed to be trapped, specifically, in the particular corner of the Montana Hotel where she is supposed to be. I understand why he feels that way and why he needs to say those things out loud. But in fact, his American daughter is no more important than all the Haitian daughters trapped elsewhere in the city; the media shouldn't be broadcasting his personal desperation as though it's a rational request.

John Kelly: Perhaps they're doing it because it's an irrational request. It shows the irrational response a parent would have, a response that probably any of us would have. That tells a story, too, same as the photos of dead bodies do.


Different SW Washington, DC: I've noticed that "Glass front/Brick back" trend in buildings to. Either it's a rebuild of an old building where they only changed the front skin or,well, they're cheap. Almost definitely the latter.

And yes, it is Jiffy Lube Live now. What an awful name. I guess we can just say "Going to Bristow for the show" and be done with it.

John Kelly: Tonight at Jiffy Lube Live: David Bowie sings "Putting Out Fire With Gasoline."


And can you think of a worse name for a concert hall than Jiffy Lube Live? The Depends Center? Fleet Enema Garden? : The KY Jelly Amphitheater

John Kelly: Not the kind you want on your peanut butter and jelly sandwich.


Ballston, VA: I have two huge Shiloh Shepherds that I can rent out as bed warmers each weigh 175lbs and resemble GSDs on doggy growth hormone.

They are sweet and very nice and don't mine sharing the bed.

John Kelly: That's very generous of them.


Washington, D.C.: "And can you think of a worse name for a concert hall than Jiffy Lube Live? The Depends Center? Fleet Enema Garden?"

The Douche Dome.

John Kelly: Cervical Cap Centre? (Echoes of the old Cap Centre....)


Jiffy Lube Live: Just one more comment (snort) about that ridiculous name: They should make their information line 1-800-LUBRIC8 or something equally creative.

I heard enough horror stories about the traffic getting to and from Nissan Pavilion that I never attended any events there; now that it's JLL, no way will I ever go near the place, traffic or no.

John Kelly: I've never been. I've been everywhere else around here, but never to Jiffy Lube Live! I got stuck in traffic on 66 once returning from a nice weekend away. It was people from a Jimmy Buffett show or Tim McGraw or something.


Weird Holiday Gift Story: My cousin lives in another state. She sent a package with a few small presents in it to me for Christmas. She sent it to my old address which is a few houses away. It was returned to her. Rather than send it back to me she brought it when she visited over New Years. Funny thing - when I opened up the wrapped packages they had been opened already and retaped with adhesive tape (like you use for bandages). The people had obviously opened them thinking they were something good. When they found a candle and some dip seasonings they wrapped it back and returned it. I want to leave the used wrappers on their doorstep. What do you think?

John Kelly: I think that would only lead to an escalation and who knows what they might leave on your doorstep? Besides, maybe they were looking for a name or something so they'd know who to return them to.


Shiner TX: A nation that can make a 79 cent burrito look appealing on television surely can come up with easy to use speech-text technology.

Windows 7. MAC OS10. AutoCAD 19. Earth 2010.

How about just Easy to Use 1.0. I'd settle for that in every aspect of modern life.

Whiner in Shiner

John Kelly: That's why in my next life I'm going to come back as an anvil maker. The anvil: simple, unbreakable, classic.


Whatever happened to electric blankets, if you need your bed "pre-warmed"?: It just not very green. Using the already existing warmth from a human being is.

John Kelly: YEah, why didn't they do that in "Star Wars," rather than slicing open that creature and crawling inside?


School names: Actually, "Harding" is a very common school name in Ohio, where Harding was from. I think school systems have moved away from naming schools after people because of all the political implications. Gender equality. Character issues--what are the folks at Tiger Woods Elementary doing things days?

John Kelly: They're being treated for paste addiction.


Arlington, VA: You are totally imposing yourself on other people when you have the attitute that "I own a dog so it can either poop on your lawn or I'm going to dump it in your garbage bin". There is a third option, you realize, that maybe you could just not own a dog if you're such a presumptuous jerk that you have to force your dog ownership on your neighbors.

John Kelly: Allow me to add fuel to the fire: What about cats? Should they be free to roam and poop and kill birds whenever and wherever they like?


Yes to Pet Peeve Day!: I find myself getting more and more irratated at the people who ride Metro along with me. This morning, there were at least three people who decided to stand right behind me even though there was plenty of room on the platform. What's with that? I feel like I'm going to get pushed onto the tracks any minute! I've never liked people standing behind me anywhere. There's no line for Metro, folks! Move to a clear space!

John Kelly: Solution: Move a few yards over. If they follow you, something's up.


School Names: Maybe it's because I grew up on the West coast, but we didn't name most of our schools after anyone that anyone knew much about. The elementary and middle schools were named after dead local guys who had contributed money to them, and the high school was named for the area it was in. Then, I went to a university in the mid-west, and that had been named after it's founder. There are plenty of names to choose from. I don't think Patriot is that bad, but it could have been something better.

John Kelly: What's that expression? Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel? Patriot is a pretty generic name but if it was passed in a fit of jingoistic, you're-either-with-us-or-agin -us fervor, then I'm not crazy about it. It's like the Patriot Act. Couldn't they have come up with a name like the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2001, or something?


I'm sure I'm the one: : Alexandria is talking about. I drop my dog's poop in others' cans on trash day only -- and only when I know the stuff will be picked up imminently and the truck has already gone past my place. I also frequently drop tin cans, etc.,I find on the ground in others' recycling bins. But I have been chastened and will carry the durned stuff back to my place.

John Kelly: Thank you. Or you could go to the next chatster's house, who doesn't mind:


San Francisco, CA (formerly, Arlington): I don't have a problem with other people using my disposal receptacles, as long as they do it correctly! Please, do not put your dog poop in my recycling can, or your recycling in my garbage can. If you don't know how to use it: Don't!

John Kelly: Of course, it is a long walk to San Francisco.


Alexandria, VA: Sometimes we keep recycling in a bag inside the house and forget to dump it in the bin before taking it out. If that happened and there was no more room in my bin b/c my neighbor decided to dump their own garbage in it without asking first I'd be pretty ticked.

John Kelly: Right, and I keep wondering: Where's HIS recycling bin? Or did he recycle it?


Sports Venue: Trojan Reservoir Stadium. Also a "nuclear option" in the neighborhood Garbage Can War.

John Kelly: I'll have the ribs.


Baltimore MD: Re "pressing one for Spanish" I had a meeting with a financial planner (an Anglo) who grew up in Arizona and New Mexico. He said he was always amused when Anglos from the East moved out there and started complaining about all the Hispanic people. He said he liked saying, "Hey, you realize these folks came here with Coronado."

John Kelly: Right. The Pilgrims were Johnny-come-latelys. Or Miles-come-latelys.


Voice recognition: I've played around with a little bit--it comes with Windows 7--but not enough to get good at it. It reacts to ambient sounds, for one thing--the dog barks, and the computer Pages Up. It would probably be useful for transcribing interviews and notes, since you could read what was already written. But I don't think it would save time when writing, because it's not the typing that takes time (at least once you're familiar with the keyboard), it's the act of composition.

John Kelly: Right. Some people are good at stream-of-conscioussnes stuff. Others of us have to fret over every word, honing and burnishing until our prose sparkles like a freshly installed Jiffy Lube oil filter.


This morning, there were at least three people who decided to stand right behind me even though there was plenty of room on the platform: I much prefer the folks who stand right behind me to the folks who come up and move right in front of me. They know I'm in the spot where the door opens, so they move right in front of me so they can get on before me and get that last available seat. It's rude. Just stand next to me or behind me. I don't even want the seat. But I don't like you pushing your way in front of me.

John Kelly: Would you believe it took me about 15 years to figure out the doors open in roughly the same place every time? Imagine all the time I could have saved.


Arlington, VA: John, you mentioned somewhat facitiously a Fleet Enema Center. Up in Boston, the basketball team did play at the FleetCenter (now renamed TD Garden) but Fleet referred to an insurance company.

John Kelly: Maybe insurance companies should buy naming rights to all the stadia: the Allstate Center, home to the Allstate all-state finals.


I did move!: And every time I did move over, someone else came up and stood behind me. And there was another guy who stood about half a foot away from me, perpendicular to the tracks so he was facing me, and reading his newspaper. It's like people who face the wrong way in an elevator.

Maybe we should go back to the old system, of PS-1, 2, etc. for public school names. That would end the competition!

John Kelly: I'm starting to feel that agoraphobia might be the way to go.


The Tampax Super Dome: That would be something.

John Kelly: And I think that will be the last one of these....


Cats: Oh, wow. I don't think you want to start -that- one. Take it from me, an indoor-cat owner with a good friend who believes in free-roaming (and as a result has occasional disputes with neighbors). You might as well start the parents up with the pros and cons of breastfeeding or spanking or the family bed thing.

John Kelly: A topic for another time.

Thanks for stopping by today. I'm not actually GOING anyway next week, more's the pity, just sorta recharging the batteries and restocking the larder with lots of tasty columns. Remember that if you have an idea for a column, don't hesitate to drop me a line:

Enjoy the weekend. Don't forget to laugh.



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