When You Can't Sleep At Night, What Do You Puzzle Over?

Winston Churchill had a way with words. Take his: “A riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma.” If you think he was referring to a woman, well, so do most men. In fact he was referring to the old Soviet Union. Actually, it can fit a rash of riddles. While I don’t know the ones that plague you, these are some of the ones that do me: Kids & pets…cops & crooks… liberals & conservatives…coming & going:

* Lately sociologists have confounded us with a pair of conclusions. People love their pets [I knew that] but have their doubts about whether children add to their lives. The riddle here is what can pets do for me besides cost me less…?

* Lately the media send us mixed messages. They feature the rate and roar of gangland crime every day, imploring the police to get aggressive. And yet when they feature the police getting aggressive they call it brutality. The riddle here is how are the police to get aggressive politely…?

* Lately the Wall Street Journal reported conservatives are happier than liberals. Coming from a conservative paper, that’s no surprise. What is a surprise is their reasoning. Their research shows liberals are too open-minded to alternatives to feel as secure as single-minded conservatives. The riddle here is does this mean a closed mind is a terrible thing to waste…?

* Lately I find myself studying the second wedding ring on my finger, because it’s a family heirloom going back to an 1803 wedding of a “J to J with love.” Whenever I look at this band of gold from so very long and far away in our family, I ponder all the joys and fears that passed between J and J; and all the others down the generations. The riddle here is almost an aching one, for I struggle to believe all those feelings among all those Spataforas are simply a blip on the cosmic screen. Here today and gone forever tomorrow. Our species has forever struggled with this Is-there-an-afterlife-after-all…

Oh, you thought I had the answers to these riddles…? Please…!!

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  • Churchill didn't live long enough to realize that the real mystery of the Soviet Union was how did it last so long?

  • In reply to Aquinas wired:

    True, but he DID live long enough to be forever quotable. Whatta guy!!

  • Pets: As various TV shows demonstrate, if you train a dog properly, it will lick your face. Sometimes it will lick your cat.

    Police: Beating the you know what out of Rodney King didn't prove anything. On the other hand, a measured response at NATO did, and whether the Black Bloc 3 were entrapped (I doubt it) they were at least off the street.

    Conservatives: I don't think Pat Buchanan, Publius and Dennis Byrne are real happy campers. But, as they say, if money can't buy happiness, it can rent it. As long as one doesn't promise it to the nonFriends of Blago.

  • Jack ~ I think you just came pretty close to solving all my riddles!!

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