As To Donuts And Prostitutes

Don’t know about you, but I’ve always thought some things are always worth listening to. Including the sounds of nature, the sounds of music, and the sounds of grandmothers in their kitchens.

It was in her happily cluttered kitchen that I regularly watched her making donuts. Naturally I got to keep the “holes.” As I collected them into little pyramids, Gram always added: “But remember, what counts are the donuts not the holes.”

I took that — still do — as good advice when it comes to scanning the news. For some all-too-human-reason, the surprise “holes” are what usually make the news: the errorless infielder’s 9th inning error …the embarrassing skeleton in the candidate’s closet….the kindly town benefactor found with a secret slush fund….and now a prostitute scandal in of all places the Secret Service.

It’s always the exception to the rule not the rule that makes the headline. And yet, how quickly we begin and want to believe the other, more delicious, way around. Why? As every comic since the ancient Greek theatre knows, people walking are not funny. People tripping over themselves ARE. And when they’re especially important people, tripping is especially funny.

Not only funny but functional.

You see, what’s funny is the fall. What’s functional is how the rest of us now feel we stand just a little taller by comparison. Human nature is a wily thing, all right. And so, just as Gram preached, I enter this year’s baseball season and presidential campaign trying to focus on the donuts not the holes. The general rule of things, not the here-today-gone-tomorrow exceptions.

In other words, why not grant each player and candidate the right to be wrong a few times. Then get on with it, hoping they would do the same for us.

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