Bigger issues than smoking need resolving

Ryan Houk

The world has gone to pot, and I don’t mean that in a good way. I have sat by every week while the world falls down around us, and I’ve tried to offset it with good-natured humor. This week, however, the gloves are coming off. As a wise man made out of orange brick once said, “It’s clobberin’ time.”

North Korea is probably going to nuke us. I don’t know much about it. That just seems to be what’s going on. And while we wait for South Korea, China and Japan to tell us how to talk them out of it, Kim Jong Il silently plots his revenge for Team America: World Police. I can’t really say I blame the guy. Sometimes I get “ronery” too.

Speaking of weapons of mass destruction, when did we start using babies offensively? Chytoria Graham of Erie, Pa., innovated the idea, and she might be the best thing to happen to warfare since R.J. Gatling.

During a fight with her baby’s daddy, Graham picked up her 4-week-old son by the feet and used him as a baseball bat. The child suffered a fractured skull and internal bleeding. His mother went to jail. Somehow, the punishment doesn’t seem to fit the crime. I’m afraid the other species are never going to let us live this down.

Elsewhere in childhood tragedy, Terrell Owens is writing kids’ books. And while it may be clich‚ to say sports players make crappy role models, this takes the sentiment to undiscovered heights. Have we seen this guy on the news? Parents everywhere had better start taking back everything they ever said about Eminem and violent video games. I mean, who’s next? Mark Foley?

And while I’m on Republicans, when did it become such a good idea to be an alcoholic?

Want to inappropriately proposition congressional pages? Great. Want to accept illegal gifts from some Mafioso-looking super lobbyist? Fine. As long as people can blame it on your alcohol problem if they can’t cover it up. Next thing we know, they’ll get away with mishandling national crises and shooting their lawyer friends with shotguns. Wait.

But it’s not like the Democrats are better. They’re trying to take away my cigarettes. I stopped into a gas station yesterday, and I saw a pamphlet that read, “Stop the Total Smoking Ban in Ohio: Vote Yes on Issue 4.” But the pamphlet was paid for by Smoke Less Ohio. Something didn’t make sense.

A poster on the door cleared things up for me. Apparently the non-smokers want me to believe a “90 percent non-smoking, 10 percent choice” compromise is in my interest. They warrant I should appreciate my 10 percent because it could be zero percent. Thanks, non-smokers.

First of all, what’s with the trickery? Second of all, what kind of compromise is that? There is not one other debate of personal rights that would propose those terms. Sure, secondhand smoke may cause cancer. But I’m pretty sure cell phones and tanning beds might, too. You stop texting and tanning, and I’ll think about kicking the cigarettes. Until then, there is a baby-beating, nuclear-bombing, accidental-overdosing truck-load of more important things to worry about. And it’s looking pretty bleak.

At least we’ll always have Chingy.

Ryan Houk is a junior English major and a columnist for the Daily Kent Stater. He can be contacted at [email protected]