I know most of you are too busy to bother with very many non-shopping details, but life without shopping goes on, believe it or not.
What follows is an attempt to offer you some guidance. Not shopping advice. I am the last person you would ever want to consult about shopping. Still, there are some preparations you can make for the realities in life that will save you a great deal of bother.
Last week I took my wife to the doctor -- Trip No. 2 -- for the crud we've had for weeks. The good news is we seem to be getting better, and my wife's test for the flu (we both got flu shots a while back) was negative. We're just worried there will be a third wave of the crud. We're bracing.
While waiting for my wife's exam to end, I realized I was just about the only person in the vast waiting room. That's a good sign. That must mean that patients are being seen at their appointed times. This medical practice must take its patients' schedules seriously. Good.
Then I noticed the large flat-screen TV monitors. They were all tuned to the same movie. I wasn't even paying attention to which movie until I heard Miss Scarlett said "Fiddle-dee-dee."
The TVs were showing "Gone With the Wind."
Think about that. Did these doctors really believe someone might have to wait long enough to not only see Atlanta burn once, but maybe twice or three times? It was a chilling and desperate thought.
As it turns out, I waited long enough to see the very end of the movie. And then it started again. Oh, my, I thought. This must be a very thorough exam.
It was. My wife finally returned to the waiting room armed with four prescriptions. Off we went to the pharmacy. We had just spent an entire afternoon dealing, again, with the crud.
Here's another example of how some people are spending their time: hunting deer. But not in Cape Girardeau. What once was seen as a way to lower the food supply for invading mountain lions is now what appears to be an ordinance headed for oblivion. The folks who want to protect the city from marauding, careless archers -- aren't they all? -- are winning out over the motorists whose run-ins with marauding, careless deer on city streets are keeping the local body-shop economy afloat.
On Tuesday morning, at coffee, I heard for the first time that Bass Pro Shop in Springfield, Mo., had offered a $50,000 bounty for the albino buck with the big rack of antlers that has become the darling of the deer lovers hereabout. Countless folks have seen it and photographed it and texted about it.
Being the intrepid journalist I am, I checked on the bounty rumor. As it turns out, that's what it is: a rumor.
The closest I could come to the source of this rumor is a hunting/trapping blog on the Internet on which someone posted a note saying he was going to try to kill an albino deer with a big rack and then offer it to the big sporting-goods stores, including Bass Pro Shops. In his blog he said he thought the albino deer would be worth at least "50 large." I'm not entirely sure of the lingo, but isn't that $50,000?
But the rumor is out there. And some folks aren't as intrepid as I am. They might kill the albino deer and then find out no one wants it, much less is willing to cough up "50 large."
After the coffee group soaked up the rumor about the hefty bounty, we all said we'd go buy a rifle if it were true. Can't you just imagine the army of hunters who would flock to northern Cape Girardeau where the albino buck is regularly seen? Talk about deer-hunting safety, or the lack thereof.
Joe Sullivan is the retired editor of the Southeast Missourian.