February 13 Letters to the Editor

Dear Editor,

In response to “How to catch the flu” in the Marfa Meanderthal column on January 30, 2020

I was trying to follow the instructions set forth in your January 30 column on how to catch (avoid) the flu and ventured out for lunch to do so. The first issue up was the cafe did not have electric door openers, meaning of course, I would have to grasp a door handle. Not having a bottle of disinfectant with me, or tissues, (a lesson quickly learned) I felt I had to either knock on window or wait for another customer to come along. I chose the latter. When next customer arrived 5 minutes later, I leaped in behind her, turning to place my hand on upper door frame. Quickly I dropped my foot to catch second door, propping it open with my shoe. I rolled to my left using my back to stay the second door open and enter cafe, without ever touching a door handle or knob! I was very proud of my success so far. Moving to a table, I couldn’t grab the back of the chair as the former customer had handled it (these viruses can last for weeks I hear). So, I leaned down to grab under the seat to pull it out. To scoot closer to the table, I placed both ankles behind the front legs and hopped forward in one leap, knocking over both salt and pepper shakers. Wanting to put both arms on the table I spread out my napkin (as God knows what kind of rag was used to wipe it) placing an elbow on each end. Because it was a smallish napkin, my elbows made a “V” in this position. The waitress asked if anything was wrong and I responded, “not yet” and “were there any customers near me excessively coughing, wheezing or sneezing.”  With what I would describe as “quizzical expression she pointed to a corner table with children qualifying for said inquiry. I thought about leaving, but hey, I’m an adult.  I can handle it. Also, they seemed to be a safe distance away. As I had been holding my breath, I let the air out and took a few deep gasps.

Beginning the ordering process, I interrogated the waitress on the cook’s food handling proclivities and learned she handled the chicken with tongs, thereby making it the safer choice. So many chefs these days that I see on TV don’t hesitate to grab the food bare handed and flop it all around. Who knows, they could have just returned from the emergency room with a new strain of the flu!

The meal was good and uneventful except for the stain on my sleeve when I dropped the salt shaker that I had been handling with the corner of my napkin. Finished, I waved for the check. She arrived with the dreaded vinyl check folder, which is capable of carrying several millions of germs/viruses with ease. In it, I found paper register tape with BBP print on it. OMG! As there were no more pieces of my napkin left, I pulled up the corner of the tablecloth to grasp the signing pen.

Having successfully completed lunch I left using the same entry technique to escape from lurking viruses. I grasped my key fob with a piece of the corner of the menu I had torn off, because after dropping my keys, the waitress had graciously picked them up for me. And there we have it: lunch accomplished with taking the precautions you have helped us to see!


Jack E Cole

Fort Worth


Dear Editor,


The Constitution mandates a “State of the Union” address. Trump lowered the bar further than a professional limbo competition by spewing discredited conservative talking points, while sticking it to the Dems for Impeachment.  Most egregious was giving hate-monger, homophobic, misogynistic, racist Rush Limbaugh a Presidential Medal of Freedom!

Why not one for another rightwing darling, his pardoned Navy Seal joining fellow criminals G. Gordon Liddy (Watergate) and Col. Oliver North (Iran-Contra).  Common theme: “If the President does it, it’s legal!”

That’s the “Unitary Executive,” authoritarian mindset; shredding the Constitution notwithstanding, “Strict Constructionists loving the original intent of the Founding Fathers.” 53 GOP Senators were provided opportunities to show their mettle. Imagine if 52 of them hated “original intent”!?!  Only Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT) exercised a conscience.

My churning began before Limbaugh’s and other theatrical presentations and “pants on fire” lies about protecting healthcare – while in court opposing pre-existing conditions and budget targeting social security. The stench of the “fix-is-in” Impeachment acquittal shall linger in history’s memory.

Dishonorable mention goes to cowardly congressional GOPers disregarding oaths of office and as jurors, and rightwing media’s love affair of a loathsome human being.  Meanwhile, the MAGA base was captivated with the blood-in-the-water “Showtime at the Appalling.” They’re doing handstands favoring Trump’s post-acquittal purges of American patriots daring to disclose impeachable activities.

Sincerely yours,

Rev. Barry Abraham Zavah