OPINION COLUMNS

Try starter fluid?

By Gerre Joiner | Published Saturday, September 22, 2012

The coffee-sippers are interesting people. One in our group exhibits a great mechanical mind if he doesn’t run out of Whataburger napkins on which he diagrams his mechanical strategy.

Gerre Joiner

Another has spent years in aviation maintenance and can fix anything (including dentures, if you ask him). There are cowboys, welders, educators, mechanics and clerks. We have ministers, realtors and insurance men. Law enforcement is well-represented in our group.

Sometimes, we talk about horses and sometimes about cars. Sometimes it’s mules. Sometimes, it’s coon dogs.

I’m one of the young guys at age 64. Compared to most of my friends at Whataburger, I’m a “techie.” The group looks to me and my iPhone to break the tie when there’s no clear winner in a heated discussion. It’s not out of the ordinary for someone to say, “Gerre, look that up on your telephone.”

I usually find the answer on “the internets” (often with a picture to boot) and everyone passes the phone around the room … just to make sure. The overwhelming train of thought is, “If it’s on the Internet, it’s the truth.”

One day a friend and I were talking about lawn mowers. Seated closest to us was a good man with terrible hearing. Friend No. 1 and I talked. Friend Two tried to listen. Then Friend One and I changed the topic to computers.

Occasionally, Friend Two feels obliged to add to the discussion, which he did on this day when he asked, “Have you tried starter fluid? Always works for me.”

Guys who weren’t even listening to the conversation got a good laugh out of that. Friend Two still doesn’t know why we were laughing.

Gerre Joiner is a semi-retired church musician and has lived in Decatur since 1999.

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