Over the past few weeks, members of our staff have gently hinted that it would be a very fine thing if we were to write an article about Men‘s Night in downtown Traverse City this Thursday, Dec. 18. And in hopes of being a kind and considerate soul, I‘ve spent some time wrestling with the topic, even though most (okay, all) of the men I know wouldnt give a flying figgy pudding for such a story.
You see, the problem with men is that very few of us like to shop -- the whole business is anathema to us (a fancy word for “hate it“). Have you seen the new magazine, Lucky, about the “glory of shopping“? It‘s got about 400 pages of ads and articles on shopping, every page of which is devoted to women with nary a male face within.
That‘s because the editors of Lucky know that a great many women are hard-wired to shop, like birds have feathers for flying, whereas men are more comfortable lying on the couch watching TV sports or Seinfeld reruns.
But men do shop when necessary, especially if it‘s for some cool gadget, like a bass-finder with an Army knife attachment and Global Positioning Satellite locator -- we like shopping for stuff like that. And like soldiers leaping onto live grenades to save the lives of their buddies, we heroically go Christmas shopping for our women and our families.
On Men‘s Night, from 6-9 p.m., there will be such enticements as store specials for men, refreshments, drawings and free gift wrappings.
If these goodies dont do the trick, let me conjure some images that might actually blast a few men off the couch and into the holiday shopping stream:
Single men -- it‘s possible that you‘ll meet the woman of your dreams while shopping on Men‘s Night because single females know that the streets will be packed with nice guys out shopping. Guys in need of girlfriends. Not likely, but possible. So dress up a bit and send a finder‘s fee this way if you get lucky.
Married men -- this is your chance for a night out with the boys. After the shopping stuff is taken care of, you can gather with friends at a downtown watering hole to watch sports on the big screen TVs and brag about who got the best gift wrapping.
Come to think of it, these are good excuses for men to get out shopping in other towns this Thursday, be they Petoskey, Mackinaw City, Gaylord, Suttons Bay, Cadillac, Manistee or what-have-you. Tell the old lady you‘re going to Men‘s Night downtown and you plan to shop ‘til you drop. She‘ll think you‘re a hero.
See you there.
Whither the wind?
The always insightful Bob VanderLewn of Manistee poses a good question on our Letters page this week: Whats going to happen to Traverse City when all the smog from Manistees proposed coal burning plant and its 400-foot-tall smokestack blows this way?
A plant producing 450 tons of ash each day, free of scrubbers, will surely have an impact on communities downwind. In TC, the wind most always blows from Manistee. So...
Start choking. This is an issue our city and county commissions need to examine. And our legislators too.
Put Nixon on the Nickel
There‘s been some talk lately about kicking Franklin D. Roosevelt off the dime and replacing him with Ronald Reagan under the rationale that FDR is just a tired old liberal.
In truth, it‘s hard to measure up to Ronald Reagan. All Roosevelt did was save America from the Great Depression and the world from fascist maniacs during World War II.
By contrast, Reagan had these accomplishments:
He invaded the small island of Grenada to divert Americans‘ attention from the fact that several hundred U.S. Marines were killed in a car bomb attack in his misguided mission to Lebanon. Killing some Cuban construction workers made Americans feel good about themselves again.
He traded arms for hostages in Iran and then gave the money to the ousted Noriega regime in Nicaragua against the law laid down by Congress. Again, it made us Americans feel good about ourselves.
He outspent the Russians on military hardware, causing them to say “uncle“ on the Cold War. Give him credit there.
But wouldn‘t it be better to have Richard Nixon on the nickel than Reagan on the dime? No offense, but saving the WHOLE WORLD and AMERICA too should give Roosevelt dibs on the dime for at least another 100 years.
And, though he has been vilified, Nixon did more good things than Reagan.
Nixon gave us “Earth Day“ and a raft of environmental legislation and agencies that got America‘s rivers and skies on the clean-up path.
Nixon was the first president to visit communist China, putting us on the path of peace and trade.
Nixon launched nuclear arms control talks with the Soviet Union that eased us back from the brink of global annihilation.
And he had a “secret plan“ to end the war in Vietnam, which only took him seven years to wrap up... maybe that one wasn‘t so good.
So, Nixon on the nickel, FDR keeps the dime, and give Reagan a new coin all his own just to keep “his“ people feeling good about themselves. Some would argue for the two-cent piece, but it would be kinder to come up with a new 12-and-a-half-cent coin for the Gipper, making two bits for a quarter. After all, the guy did take a bullet -- that should be worth something.