News junkie always riveted, never bored with news

Categorized as Grounds for Insanity column, Rhonda's Posts

I’ve been a news junkie since the tender age of 6. That’s when, according to my mother, I’d come to them with news of the day. Startled, they’d snatch up the daily paper, fact checking their small, voracious reader. And sure enough. I’d read it, alright, in the pages of The Hutchinson News.

So began my lifelong love of news and the papers that print it. Little did I know, a little girl with a sagging sock and two thick braids, that one day I’d be in ‘em.

I laughed out loud the day Little Schrock found it. The Monday edition had been left atop the table, and somehow he’d found page three. Where Mama was.

Curious, he came, a question in his voice. “Mama,” he said, “why do they put you in the paper?” A question, I thought then, that others likely ask, and laughed again out loud.

News and the way it’s delivered has changed dramatically since I cut my teeth on The Hutch News. With the touch of a fingertip, I can access it now on a screen the size of a graham cracker. News is still news, though, and no matter how it comes, it’s always fascinating.

Take, for instance, the recent headlines I found on my iPhone. The First Lady, I see, is hitting the big one. She’s turning 50. In an interview, she reveals that she’s switching up her workouts. Yes, she is. She’s going lighter on the cardio and incorporating yoga. This means more downward dogs, cobra poses and handstands in her regimen. She also hinted that she won’t rule out Botox and plastic surgery to fight the pull of gravity.

See? Isn’t that interesting?

Scrolling further, I see that Oprah’s being snubbed by the Oscars. That hurts, but not as bad as this headline: “GOP considers 32 presidential candidates for 2016.” Then this, “Poll shows Hillary pulling away from Christie.”

Hit me with Novocaine, please, or a rubber mallet. Didn’t we just finish an election cycle? Our voting hands are still tired, and our ears are still numb from all those political ads. It’s enough to make citizens set to banging their heads on desks in offices from Seattle to Miami. What we, Average Citizens, need is a shot of the hormone that helps women forget the pain of delivering an apparent bowling ball through a canal the size of a drinking straw. That’d help.

Hey, wait. Here’s another headline. “Mother slams child’s head into table for getting homework wrong.” I wish I were making this up, but I’m not. This one’s not funny at all. It reminds me of how sick our world is in spots. It reminds me, too, of rubber mallets and dark impulses and what I, as a mother of four, might do to someone like that if I were “walking in the flesh.” You know, as a preacher would say.

Now, this is interesting. Here’s a photo of a Norwegian bay that froze so quickly, a massive school of fish was frozen right in place. That’s taking freeze tag to a whole new level.

Imagine how frustrating this is for hungry Norwegian birds. They can see their lunch. They can touch their lunch, but they just can’t get their lunch. Which is exactly how I feel when we pass a Starbucks and Mr. Schrock hits the gas instead of slowing down. I can see the mocha. I can smell the mocha, but I just can’t get the mocha. That’s how frustration looks.

Scrolling on, I find a mention of the upcoming winter Olympics. May I just say, “Clap! Clap! Clap!”

Ever since Nadia Comaneci won gold in 1976, I’ve been a devoted fan of the Games. Winter, summer, I don’t care. As long as American athletes are running, jumping, diving, swimming, skating, skiing, or vaulting, I’m there. For them. I cheer when they win, cry when they lose and shout stuff (in a Christian manner, so relax) at the TV when they get tripped, shoved, or derailed from the gold. I love it all.

Unfortunately, not everyone shares my love. This complicates my life when the not-fan is the one who holds the remote. To quite Si Robertson, “Every party has a pooper.” Boy, that dog’ll hunt, and I could name you two right now.

Two winter Olympics ago, my brother and his wife were here. Bowing to feminine pressure, the men at last relented and began to watch the games. A funny thing took place. In the swish of an ice skate, they were armchair coaches, experts in every sport. Then came the figure skating, and that’s when the whining began. That, and the snarky remarks about men and spandex suits.

Yup. Every party has a pooper, and some, I know, have two. Even so, they cannot spoil my Olympic joy. I plan to watch as many as I can.

I also plan to keep abreast of the news. After all, it’s terribly interesting even when I need Novocaine or a mallet to get through it. There is, of course, that.

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