I Have Questions . . . I Hope You Have Answers

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by Jon Kaufman

I have questions. These are not topical queries such as, “If the United States credit rating has really been lowered, does the Department of Defense require a co-signer if they needed to purchase a few extra Stealth Bombers? No sir, my questions are those which have baffled far more developed minds than my own. Today, I seek the assistance of you, the loyal readers of the Roanoke Star Sentinel to help me decode the mysteries which plague your humble servant.

QUESTION ONE

How does a man who has been unemployed for four plus months become magically selected for jury duty on the very day he begins his new job?

The same wonderful system which granted Casey Anthony a get-out-of-jail-free card managed to obstruct employment assimilation by presenting me with yet another opportunity to wait in a large room with a gathering of equally perturbed citizens.

I fully understand the importance of performing one’s civic duty, however, where were the document toting deputies when I was wasting away my life watching ten straight hours of “Criminal Minds” on cable?  Fully and freshly educated on the motivations and characteristics of a serial killer, I would have gladly jaunted down to the courthouse and lent my expertise, but no, I was served a juror appearance notice before the ink was dry on my offer letter. In my world, every day is April 1st.

QUESTION TWO

What is with the ever rising skunk population in the Raleigh Court area?

Growing up in Long Island my only skunk encounters were visiting the stuffed, motionless, pre-historic replicas in the Museum of Natural History and Peppy LaPew. Last year’s infestation introduced us all to the insidious Stink Bug, an armored annoyance which swarmed into every home in large numbers. Oh yes, and they are indestructible to boot. Vacuum them, beat them flightless with a rolled up newspaper, or mash them with your shoe, this breed is the Chuck Norris of insects.

But now this season, Southwest Roanoke is hosting a skunk invasion.  Though not nearly as ambitious as their winged predecessors, these two-tone rodents do put the bugs to shame in the “stink” department. I am beginning to think that the manifestation of these odor carrying raiders could be a sign of more dire times ahead, sort of modern day plagues forewarning us of the Mayan prediction of the upcoming cataclysm in 2012. Moses saw frogs falling from the sky, why not skunks strolling past the Grandin Theatre in packs?

QUESTION THREE

Why is local television news so limited in their sports reporting?

Each night, prior to retiring for the night, I watch the local news. The hard news and features presented are excellent productions as is the weather on all three local affiliates. Sports coverage, however, is a different matter.  My observation refers not to the on-air talent, but to the selected subject matter. A typical sports report goes something like this; NASCAR-Virginia Tech-Selected Scores-Local Sports-NASCAR-Virginia Tech.

I understand that NASCAR is wildly popular in this area of the country, but must we be alerted every time Jimmie Johnson changes his spark plugs?  Certainly, our close proximately to Tech demands a strong amount of coverage, yet featuring a regular season basketball practice defines the term “Slow News Day.” To paraphrase Virginia native Allen Iverson “Practice? We’re talking about practice?”

Other than football there is little high school coverage at all.  Maybe it’s me, but I would rather see PH and Fleming basketball highlights or Glenvar and James River fighting it out on the baseball diamond. To be fair, local high school sports were very rarely mentioned on the news where I was raised unless a player was a victim or the perpetrator of a crime, and car racing was being able to drive forty miles per hour on the traffic infested Long Island Expressway.

QUESTION FOUR

If I went to the courthouse dressed as a giant skunk, do you think I would be dismissed from jury duty?

Please response before noon on September 1st, they can only hold my costume reservation until 3pm.