Things that make you go hmmmmmmmmmmm

Rita and Albert Chretien's van

The couple’s van became stuck in mud on a remote forest road

Television is not my long suit, in fact I have not watched television since 1997 except occasionally in a motel room while traveling. That means that my TV punchlines and metaphors are old and long since forgotten by the rest of the world – a world that gets fresh injections of common culture daily.  That said, one of my favorites comes from the Arsenio Hall show in the late 1980s and early 90s.  In a regular bit, Arsenio introduced some item of news that he supposedly had been comtemplaing while on a long drive; he referred to them as “things that make you go hmmm….”  We have all had those moments, trying to process some little bit of information that constitutes just a small part of mass information being disseminated on the subject.  Somehow that little bit just makes the whole story something different than the way it is being told in the daily media.

Here from the last week are a couple of those things that made me go hmmm and I wonder if they don’t make you go hmmm, too.  We have been inundated, deluged and flooded by information on the raid of the bin Laden compound in Pakistan.  It has been covered from every angle possible and with the release of the videos of bin Laden sitting watching himself on old videos, even the daily life of bin Laden himself.  We learned the Pakistanis knew he was there all along, but kept it secret and may even have been helping him.  We have been told over and over again for days that the Pakistani intelligence service is very good and could not have missed him, so they had to be helping him.

By contrast,  apparently we never trusted them anyway, because the Pakistanis were kept in the dark about the raid, fearing they would blow it; We learned the United States set up an observation post across the street to to watch the activity in the compound and maintained surveillance for seven months ago.  And now Arsenio, but what we have not been told is was why those very astute Pakistanis that could not have missed bin Laden’s existence right in their midst, were obviously so stupid that a group of Americans could set up camp and carry out a secret mission right in their midst; didn’t we expect they could not see us or bin Laden? hmmmmmmmmmmmmm

In Nevada, a Canadian woman who had been missing for 7 weeks was found. She and her husband had been on their way to a trade show, they made a wrong turn south of Boise, Idaho. The car drove off a snowy mountainous road at the edge of the Humboldt National Forest in Nevada on Mar. 19 and became stuck in the mud.   They had few supplies, little water and were unprepared for camping out in the wilderness.  After three days, the husband decided to go for help and left.  The woman remained with the van, eating “trail mix and candy” and drinking “snow melt and stream water” for 49 days.  When rescued she appeared to be fine, tired and lonely, but except for losing 20-30 pounds she is going to be okay.  The husband has not been found, but searches continue. So there she sat for 7 weeks waiting patiently for him to come back, content to read the books (her son says she read some of them twice) she brought with her, take daily walks and probably watch the spring flowers begin to bloom.

And now, Arsenio; it appears that although the mud had long since dried out, she did not just get in the van, start it and drive back on the road she came in on; and for a woman with no food but tiny handfuls of trail mix and candy, she lost about the same amount of weight that she would have had she enrolled in Weight Watchers. Hmmmmmmmmmmmm


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