I was at the park the other day, as I often am. I was taking a break from shooting basketball, sitting on a bench having a sip of water and minding my own business when I saw a mother talking to her small son.

Like I said, I was minding my own business but they were having their conversation – argument really – right next to the bench where I was sitting so there was no way I could keep from overhearing it.

The mother kept telling her son, who was maybe 3 years old, that it was time to go, and the kid said kept saying no he didn’t want to leave. That went on back and forth a few times and then, incredibly, she turned toward her car and looked back over her shoulder at the kid and said: “OK, then, stay if you want. I’m going … I’mmmm goinnng.”

And now the kid was crying and she told him again that she was about to leave.

And that’s when I couldn’t stand it anymore so I went up to her and said, as nicely as I could under the circumstances, “Lady, are you crazy?? You can’t leave a 3-year-old alone in the park! That is so irresponsible. Do you have any idea how dangerous that is? What are you, crazy? He’s like 3 for goodness’ sakes.”

Then she changed her tune and came up with some story about how she wasn’t really going to leave her son there – that she was just pretending to leave him so he would get in the car, and she tried to turn it around and make it sound like I was the crazy one for thinking she would leave her kid at the park – even though she’d clearly just said it.

Lady, if you’re reading this, nice try – but I’m warning you, the next time you try and ditch your kid while I’m watching, you can tell it to Social Services …


OK, listen, I didn’t really say anything to that lady, but I see that same parent/child game played out time after time by mom after mom when I’m at the park, and the next time I am going to say something for real rather than just in my head. Look, if you ask any therapist why their clients are so screwed up, they will tell you that in 90 percent of the cases it’s because of “fear of abandonment” issues when they were a child.   If you ever wondered where that wildly prevalent anxiety comes from – well, there it is.


A few weeks ago, the Guilford County Board of Commissioners had some visitors, a group of students from Grimsley who were there observing their local government in action. I think it was some sort of civic or class requirement they had to meet. After a couple of hours of the most boring commissioners meeting in years, I looked behind me to see how well their interest was holding up and I snuck this quick picture in order to capture on film their level of fascination with their local government in action.

Girls, I hear ya! This Thanksgiving, I hope you said your thanks for the invention of iPhones …


There’s a lot of college basketball on television at this time of year and I enjoy watching it, but I was cringing during the Duke-Kansas game recently when I saw something I’d never seen in all my years of watching college basketball. There’s apparently a new trend when it comes to covering those games.   Evidently, it’s not enough that sportscasters interview coaches right before the game and right after the game: The Duke/Kansas game was the first time in my life when I saw them interview a coach while the game was going on.

Kansas Coach Bill Self and his seventh-ranked Jayhawks were in a tight game in the second half against Duke, which was, at that point, the number one team in the country.

You could tell Self was annoyed by having to do that interview, but he stood there and took the questions while the game was taking place right in front of him. The interviews may be something new the coaches have to do because of the TV contract – I don’t know – but it’s a totally rude and an absolutely horrible idea.

I kept waiting for the ESPN woman doing the interview to ask, “Coach, what’s the biggest problem you’re facing in this game?” and for him to say, “Well, I’d say it’s that every time I try to change up our defense or call a play an ESPN reporter shoves a microphone in my face.”


Speaking of sports and upsets, Chris Blewitt the field goal kicker for the University of Pittsburgh football team was recently called on in the final seconds of the game to kick a last-second game field goal against second-ranked Clemson. With just about the whole world watching, the fate of the game came down to the kick by Blewitt. (And yes, it’s pronounced, “Blew it.”)

He hit the field goal and won the game, but I kept thinking to myself that Blewitt’s last name had to give the coach pause before sending him in. I don’t know if the coach would have felt any better off if he had gone to his reserve kicker. The only other kicker on the team is Roger Canthitthesideofabarn.


I really admire the person who invented “Marco Polo,” the wildly popular water-based game played all the time by children at pools across the country every summer. I did a little research into the history of the game and no one seems quite certain who came up with it but, if you think about it, it must have been invented by someone who was sitting at a pool one day where children were shrieking wildly who said to himself or herself: “You know what? Having loud children screaming constantly to ruin the tranquility of a pool just isn’t enough – there must be some way, on top of the usual loud random screams, that can encourage the kids to shout a loud, constant, monotonous, repetitive chant in which the same words are shouted out over and over again. Hmmm, let me think. By George I think I’ve got it …”


North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory is asking state elections officials to count votes that, according to McCrory and his attorneys, were not counted for him simply due to a spelling error on the part of the voter. For instance, McCrory’s camp found a large number of voters using paper ballots had misspelled “McCrory’s” name “C-O-O-P-E-R.”


I just saw the ads for the new season of Celebrity Apprentice. I figured that Donald Trump would keep doing the show whether he won the presidency or not. (Didn’t you?) But apparently there’s some reason you can’t do both jobs at once. The new season will feature Arnold Schwarzenegger in Trump’s place. Arnold has made about $50 bajillion dollars on the Terminator movies so I know he’s not doing it for the money. I don’t think he cares about that – I think he just wants to be the next president and with this new job he’s next in line.


All right, that’s it for me this week. I need to get outside and enjoy this giant hoax called global warning.