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Doug Blough

Even when one has led an exemplary life — gone to church, loved his mother, befriended strangers with leprosy — one (me as an example) occasionally stares into the rear-view mirror of a life and feels a certain shame. Whether an unkind word, a cruel prank, or an armed robbery, sad regret can set in.

Can you hear me now? That’s a rhetorical question, but one I’ve heard too many times, usually right after I ask, “What was that?” It’s humiliating, debilitating and several other words that rhyme.

With President Trump pumping new life into the deadly coal-mining vocation, I’d be remiss not to relate one of my family’s favorite mine disaster stories.

It’s been a sports-eventful summer for this normally-sedentary TV addict. My nephew Trey’s early bachelor party last month entailed 18 holes of Cody golf followed by a “cornhole” tournament. (Google it; the sport is sweeping the nation.) I’ve also recently gotten back together with my teenage love, bowling. After my all-time high of 227 weeks ago, my love has increased 10-fold.

Well, for months I’d been itching for another Billings trip, and I got ‘er done the weekend before the Fourth of July. And again I feared my manhood might be in question over my excitement to “shop ‘til I drop.” But why should that be so shameful anyway? I mean, who doesn’t like to look good once in a while, decked out in some spanking new duds?

I hate being cut off, like last week in Bloedorn Lumber when a burly, elderly customer began telling me, Sean Johnson and a rival roofer a lengthy, tedious joke.

Once again I’ve had a few random epiphanies that I can’t let go to waste. That’s the thing about brilliant observances when you’re old, alone and eccentric — one finds few opportunities to share with neighbors when one lives in a dumpster.

I don’t normally devour the Trib sports section; it can be a bitter reminder to athletic has-beens on Social Security. Besides, one can’t read everything; there are only so many hours in the day and so many TV shows to watch.

It’s well known the three things mankind needs to sustain life are oxygen, water, and a cell phone. The phone is an invaluable necessity, IF one learns to use it correctly. A phone in the wrong hands though is like a monkey with an M-16.

All noble Americans agree that slavery is the most disgraceful chapter in America’s history book. I stress to millennial relatives that the “n-word” is among the most hateful they could ever carelessly utter. I’ve never used the word and never will.

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