Bill Turner
Well, here we are in the merry month of May.
Still no baseball, still no ice hockey, and yes, still no toilet paper.
With all this time on my hands I decided this would be a good time for another shot at “Wild Bill’s Investigative Reporting.”
Most long-time readers will quickly recall my periodic investigative looks at economic indicators during a former president’s struggling administration. People wanted to know when things would start looking up and what would be the leading economic signals to watch for. They wanted something to smile about, something that would indicate we would return to a country of hard work and achievement, thus escaping a struggling economy.
Accordingly, I visited a piano dealer, boat retailer and major department store chain to get answers. Unfortunately, my questions may have been too tough. Asking what the thing that held a piano lid up was called, why if an item is 50% off and the sign says take an extra 50% off doesn’t mean you get it for free, and what are the key features needed on a speedboat if you play the accordion, didn’t go well on the sales floor.
So, now it is time to ask “where’s all the toilet paper?” And, this is one area where you have to go with kid gloves. Both grocery store employees I interviewed (2 different chains) without hesitation called it a case of customer greed and insecurity. I got a heads up from one guy to watch when they restocked in mid-afternoon. Customers grabbed at rolls with reckless abandon. One woman actually set her frozen food items on the shelf to make room in her cart for her lucky-found TP booty. Despite signs requesting a 2-roll limit, she proceeded to the checkout line with what looked like about 24 rolls, and one of the most ridiculous excuses on why she was “entitled” to buy more.
Duke University behavioral economist and professor, Dan Ariely, offered a public response to the situation, trying to explain why humans consistently behave in seemingly nonsensical ways.
“When we see the toilet paper shelf at the grocery store half full, we panic. You basically say to yourself, ‘This must be something I need to get very quickly and let me get a lot of it so I don’t run out’. And, the next person sees less and less and less. So it’s a self-fulfilling prophecy.”
Another human absurdity that makes things worse is selfishness.
“We do what is selfishly good for us and not what’s good for other people,” he says. “As long as everybody participates [positively], everybody gets a lot of benefits. And, when people start defecting or betraying the public good, lots of bad things happen.”
Around corporate headquarters at The Star, we’re taking the high road. Even though The Chief has sequestered himself to his undisclosed mountaintop retreat, leaving the sports department to handle this toilet paper crisis, you’ll see us covering the most positive stories and looking for a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Yes, things will get better.
I’ll remind you again to not get caught up in the drama-filled media anchors who love the doom and gloom angle. One major network got accused last week of staging a fake testing scene in the midwest.
Baseball will soon return with stats like runs-hits-errors. In the meantime, don’t wring your hands with the box score stats of testing-cases-hospitalizations.
Major League baseball looks to be the leader among pro sports in having a plan to return to action by July. On May 14th Salem Red Sox General Manager Allen Lawrence released a statement that while he didn’t have specific”news”, he was optimistic and hopeful that the Salem Sox will play games this summer, following an intelligent route that would return fans to the ballpark in a safe manner. Thanks, Allen, for some positive outlook.
Likewise, the Food City 500 NASCAR race will be run Sunday, May 31, without spectators. Things are going in the right direction with racing.
Now, in keeping with our long-running tradition, here’s our “Big-11” VHSL All-State basketball selections released after the unfortunate cancellation of the final games In Class 1,3,4,5 and 6 at the VCU Siegel Center in late March.
Class-3 Girls Basketball First Team All-State:
Miette Veldman (Lord Botetourt).
Class-3 Girls Basketball Second Team All-State:
Taylor Robertson (Lord Botetourt); Zada Porter (Cave Spring).
Class-3 Girls Coach of the Year:
Renee Favaro (Lord Botetourt).
Class-3 Girls State Champions: Lord Botetourt Cavaliers.
Class-3 Boys Basketball First Team All-State:
Jalen Buster (Cave Spring); Jordan Wooden (Northside).
Class-3 Boys Basketball Second Team All-State:
Parker Huffman and Reed Pendleton (Cave Spring)
Class-3 Boys Player of the Year: Jalen Buster (Cave Spring).
Class-3 Boys Coach of the Year: Jacob Gruse (Cave Spring).
Class-3 Boys State Champions: Cave Spring Knights.
Class-5 Girls Basketball First Team All-State:
Shakara Anderson (William Fleming); Savannah Derey (Patrick Henry).
Class-5 Girls Basketball Second Team All-State:
Shelby Fiddler (Patrick Henry).
Class-5 Girls Coach of the Year: Michael Hedrick (Patrick Henry).
Class-5 Boys Basketball First Team All-State:
Jamontae Smith (Patrick Henry).
While we’re on basketball, let’s also take the high road with the first look at a top 2021 tournament scheduled for February 5-6 at Salem High School; the 2021 Adam Ward Classic.
“Big-11” Teams scheduled and times are:
Salem girls vs. Floyd County- Friday at 5 PM.
Salem boys vs. Glenvar- Saturday at 9:30 AM.
William Fleming boys vs. Blacksburg- Saturday at 11:15 AM.
Cave Spring boys vs. Richlands- Saturday at 2:45 PM.
Northside boys vs. Radford- Saturday at 6 PM.
Patrick Henry boys vs. Albemarle- Saturday at 7:45 PM.
Until next time, stay safe and keep your chin up.
Bill Turner