Low-hanging fruit is an apt description for choosing column subjects from time to time.
For instance, who could resist at least a comment or two (or three or more) on Pope Benedict's sudden and surprising decision to "pull a Palin" and quit?
I mean, seriously, if that doesn't do something to make you at least think about the superficiality of man's creation to provide pretend answers to hard questions while conquering the fear of death by pretending it does not really occur, then nothing will.
But then, right when I was about to delve into the meat of the dodgy dogma, something quite unexpected happened. While I am sure many of you would love to hear me say it was divine intervention or a verifiable contradiction of the known physical properties of the universe, as always, it was not.
Nope, for the first time in about a year and half (yes, sadly I track stuff like this) I caught a cold.
Not just any cold though, but the nasty bug that's been going around Happy Valley for the last month or two. Beginning with Mr. Scratchy Throat, it quickly built to the kind of cough that makes your head pound with each hack, followed by a slight fever and a never-ending desire to lie in bed and appear comatose.
"Leave me alone!" I shouted to an empty house, as everyone else was gone last Tuesday afternoon.
What made it even worse was my 14-year-old came home from school that evening with the same silly thing, coughing and hacking like he'd found and partook of an entire carton of Marlboro's.
As far as I know the boy doesn't even smoke.
So instead of having fun at the expense of those who believe infallibility can be imbued either direction by a vote of hands (much less even exist), I spent the next few days hanging with my youngest, tackling such heavy subjects as, "Hey, what'd wanna watch next?" and "Why do you always look at it after you blow?"
We caught up on episodes of the latest season for "Archer," which for those in the know is a cartoon for kids the way Vail is a ski mountain for baby dolphins.
And then we watched movies.
"Warriors," the futuristic street-gang epic loosely based upon Cyrus the Younger in the battle of Cunaxa (401 B.C.) in his attempt to seize the Persian throne. A true cult classic since 1980, it's full of enough subtle imagery, gratuitous violence (without actual blood and guts), and subjective subtext to satisfy anyone of testosterone producing age.
"Contact," one of the best sci-fi's to ever grace the screen, and of course written by the first true hero in my life, Carl Sagan. My son loved it, too.
The original crappy "Red Dawn," (much better than the even crappier remake a few months ago). He thought it was cool because the invasion takes place in Colorado.
Anyway, day three was all I could take, as I pretended to be well enough to take my bride out for Valentine's Day and eat and drink until my body said, "No mas," which was barely passed the first appetizer.
The stubborn crud stayed with us both for a few more days, but hey, at least we weren't on a Carnival cruise (yes, I'm picking fruit again).
Richard Carnes of Edwards writes weekly. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.