Do you know the feeling you get when you finally make it home after a long, hard day at work, sit down on the couch, kick your shoes off, exhale and lean back only go get bombarded by your kids with 4,011 questions, requests and demands? Let me just say this, after King Andy’s latest mandates, the kids (Edmonson Voice readers) have bombarded me with questions, requests and demands that nearly crashed my email server and gave me a new appreciation of my own children and their comparable graciousness and patience.
The number one question on everyone’s mind is, “Mongoose, what do you think about the mask mandate?” So instead of responding to countless individuals individually, I felt its easier to hit Reply All and settle the minds of the masses in this form.
Coke or Pepsi, Ford or Chevy, Republican or Democrat, Apple or Android, mask or no mask, as Americans, we tend to be constantly divided between two choices. It is upon rare occasion in which we have a third category to choose from and oftentimes aren’t given the choice and are forced into Pepsi for instance, because they don’t have RC. Americans, for the most part, love freedom, choices, and the freedom to choose an option that isn’t even on the menu. When we are not given options, we sometimes feel like a stray dog that’s been backed into a corner and if you take one more step we gonna bite you.
So enter Governor Andy Beshear... Andy gets dolled up and camera-ready every day to deliver the most up-to-date (and now known to be fraudulent) "Rona" numbers to people that just spent two hours watching morning and game shows, four straight hours watching soap operas, and two more hours watching QVC. The sad part is, the soap operas are probably the most honest thing they've seen all day. Andy speaks to his audience like Judge Judy scolds the wayward poodle owner who didn’t clean up after Fi-Fi doodied on the neighbor's porch. Meanwhile, model citizen Karen swallows every word that Andy, in his own brand of condescension, dictates. Never attempting to taste it, gulping it down, believing every word with the same blind faith teachers have, that they’ll have a pension rivaling that of Warren Buffett. This same audience hanging on every word is most likely to be of the same who berates someone without a mask at the grocery store, posting about it on Fakebook, Instagag, Snapshot, Tweeter, and with Andy-like condescension and disdain for anyone who dare question anything that the Emperor decrees.
I don’t know Andy Beshear personally, have never been within 2 miles of him to my knowledge, but I do know politicians --and I know others that believe everything this side says and disagrees with everything the other side says. I will admit I am generalizing, stereotypical, assumptive-- whatever you wish to call it-- but I truly believe Andy and his followers' passion for mandated masks is not fueled by the desire to keep everyone healthy. It is because Andy and his followers believe those that question anything they deem necessary are too stupid to make their own decisions. They are the same group of people that mandate warning labels on coffee so we dummies know its hot, the same group that argues that backyard BBQs spread coronavirus--and not yelling, screaming, spitting protesters-- and we all know you can’t catch the virus at the liquor store, but church is worse than a Chinese wet market that specializes in bats.
My advice to Andy and his disciples is this; stop treating everyone like they are stupid, we all know stupid people, but very few of us think we are them. If you truly worry about our health and safety, lets discuss it with open minds, we both may learn something and might even be able to help each other stay safe. Andy keeps saying, “keep politics out of this”, I keep saying, “don’t be a hypocrite and follow the law”, lead by example, if you want everyone wearing a mask I better never see you without one, I also want to hear you condemn rioters with the same disgust you condemn revival goers, if you want to criticize the Attorney General for suing you don’t give him something to sue you for and go back in time and un-sue Bevin if you think the Governor has that much authority.
Now, to specifically answer the question, ‘What does Mongoose think of the mask mandate?’, wear one if you want, stay away from big crowds if you want, get sick if you want, don’t ask me to pay for you getting sick and don’t TELL me I have to wear a mask, don’t TELL me I have to wear a seatbelt or a helmet, let me make my own decisions. I don’t wear a mask but I also don’t go near large crowds or reuse tissues or lick toilet seats. I’ve made it this far in life, undoubtedly coming in close contact with things far more dangerous and deadly than the Covid. I do wear my seatbelt and a helmet though, if that matters to anyone.
My mom works at Walmart and she takes all the precautions they say to do. She wears a mask, gloves, and she uses hand cleaner all the time. She's been stopping by my house on the way home to see her grandkids but this really bothers me. My husband says she don't need to be here but I just can't hardly tell her no. I know she has a risk of carrying coronavirus but she loves her grandkids. What do I do.
Dear Mommas at Walmart,
Like the great George Jones said (RIP) and I said to someone else recently, you have choices, what you have to decide is if the reward is worth the risk.
Let’s say you’re at home alone with a newborn baby, you just mixed up your last batch of formula, the nearest store is 5 miles away and its snowing. You have a choice to make, you can let the baby go hungry or you can brave the snow and go buy some. If those are your only two options you will (I hope) go to the store and feed that baby. That doesn’t mean you slip on some flip flops and jump in the ’69 Camaro with a supercharged big block and racing slicks, no seatbelts or car seat and floor it to the store-- you have to make an informed decision and weigh all your options again asking yourself –is the reward worth the risk.
I hate to break it to you and everyone else, but WE ARE ALL GOING TO DIE someday, no matter what we do. If you want to live, wear your seatbelt, look both ways before crossing the street and don’t jump out of an airplane without a parachute. If the reward of you seeing your mom and your mom seeing your kids is worth the risk of you or your family possibly getting sick and your mom is wearing her seatbelt/mask, gloves, sanitizing--then stop worrying about it and give her a big hug the next time she comes over.
Life is meant to be lived, the next breath any of us take could be our last, 4 months ago I don’t think we sat around worrying if it could or couldn’t be and if Dandy Andy comes on TV tomorrow and says, “go back to normal”, what has changed? There is NO cure, there is NO vaccine, there are only good habits and good choices that can be made that will help us stay healthy and no matter what the end result for all of us is death whether its today or 50 years from now—something is going to kill you, I promise.
I never thought I'd see the day where the government would take away every freedom we have, including going to church in the name of safety. Do you think things will ever get back close to how they was?
Dear Member When,
Lots of nopes to answer your question more specifically. They say it takes 3 months to learn a new habit or to make a lasting lifestyle change. Well, its been about 3 months, I can honestly say I haven’t shaken a hand in 3 months and lets say Big Daddy Andy says today at 4:00, “its over, you can go back to the way it was in December”, can you picture yourself shaking hands with a stranger you meet on the street? Can you picture yourself consoling an acquaintance at the funeral home by letting them cry on your shoulder? Can you picture yourself going to a rock concert, taking your shirt off and diving into the mosh pit? How about taking your shirt off at the funeral home? Wait--hang on--I got that one mixed up...anyway, I would have never pictured myself doing that before, but you see where I’m going with this.
The other big nope is the freedoms we have willfully handed over in the blink of an eye. The tin foil hat side of me looks at this like a test run. ‘Hey lets see how far we can go with this, can you believe these people quit going to church for 3 months because of a souped-up cold! All we did was threaten to take down their license plate number! Imagine what will they do or not do if we issue bigger threats?!’ Tin foil hat or not, the reality is we’ve all rolled over like scared, beaten-down stray dogs.
I've just about had it with the idiots at Walmart and bigger places that are still open. I've tried staying inside as much as possible but I still have to go out and get necessities. When I do,l theres always some moron who coughs without covering their face, someone not knowing what 6 foot is, or people that are still congregating in the aisles. What's the best way to get these people's attention without being too rude?
Dear People at Walmart,
I can proudly say I haven’t entered a Walmarts in 6 years, 247 days, 3 hours, 22 minutes and I haven’t kept up with the seconds. Two words; click list, or whatever the walmarts calls it. I will tell you its changed my family’s life.
Let me lay out some advantages to you:
I've had all I can stand on this government shutdown of everything and we need to get back to work. There aint gonna be no kind of vaccine for months maybe a year. at what point do we start our lives again.
Dear Twisted Sister,
For some reason, immediately after reading your letter a Twisted Sister song popped into my head; ‘We’re not gonna take it, no we ain’t gonna take it!’.
That song has been popping into my head on a regular basis lately given the circumstances and I suspect you’ve reached the point a growing number of Kentuckians and Americans have reached, you’re tired of sitting at home, tired of being told what you can and can’t do, tired of relying on the government for handouts and tired of teaching your kids this new way of doing math that is five times harder to do than the way you learned to do it.
However this is very encouraging to me. See, this country is supposed to be the land of the FREE and the home of the BRAVE! There is still, thankfully, a large number of Americans that do not want handouts, we want to provide for our own families by the sweat of our brow, the best way we can, and as independently as we can. We want to be able to make our own personal decision as to what we are willing to risk to do so, not let someone in Frankfort or Washington tell us they know better.
What I find fascinating is the same group that hollers, “my body, my choice”, also hollers, “you can’t be doing that” and all I want to do is get a haircut and earn an honest living.
I’m not going to sit here and belittle those that are genuinely concerned or those that go down the hoax road or conspiracy path but I will tell you this: Life is a series of continuous choices, each and every one has positive and negative repercussions. You, as a functioning adult must continually decide if the reward is worth the risk when faced with these choices, the hope is you’ve been taught to critically analyze each individual situation and make an informed decision. Sadly a growing number of people haven’t been taught this skill and an even bigger number haven’t been honing this skill and simply do whatever the President, Governor, Mayor, news anchor, or Edmonson Voice opinion column writer tells them to do without even thinking about whether it is the best thing for them as an individual to do.
I enjoy your advice column and while I don't always agree, I know what I'm getting when I read your responses and appreciate that. What is your thought on the way Governor Beshear is handling the virus pandemic?
Dear Won't You Be My Neighbor,
When the virus (I call her ol' Corona) made her way into the Bluegrass, there was obviously some action that needed to be taken. Ol' Uncle Andy, Dandy Andy, Andy Besheep-herder, or whatever you want to call him, took action and started shutting things down. At first, I thought that was smart and watched his sermons--I mean, conferences, every day. Then, as his popularity grew, so did the long arm of his governmental overreach.
His hour-plus long conferences became 5 minutes of useful information, and one hour of "YOU. CAN'T. THINK. FOR. YOURSELVES. PLEASE FOLLOW INSTRUCTIONS ON THE SCREEN. I AM HERE TO SAVE YOU."
He comes from a platform of big government, small people, and he's certainly shining in the spotlight now. Corona is serious and we all need to be exercising safe practices. The Good Lord gave everyone a certain amount of common sense--some more than others. If you want to lick toilet seats for laughs, well then, Corona's waiting to be your next best friend. I personally don't need anybody (especially someone in office) telling me how to wash my hands or--for the love of Heaven--ensuring me that we're gonna get through this together, as if I'm in preschool getting ready to step on the bus for a field trip to Mammoth Cave.
Our economy is wrecked, 30 million people are on unemployment, churches and schools--all shut down. Vaccine or not, at some point we have to get back to our lives, and I think we're way past that point--and while that may not be normal as we know it--we have to rely on the aforementioned common sense to help us get back to work, back to church, back to school, and back to life. I for one am tired of everyone getting excited about watching Mr. Roger's Neighborhood every day at 4PM.
My son and his wife have a three year old daughter and she's the cutest thing we've ever seen, unfortunately, she's a holy terror. They keep a phone stuck in her face all the time playing some cartoon and she simply will not mind. We are not allowed to punish her if she disobeys when we keep her and it's put a strain on our relationship. She simply does whatever she wants, when she wants because that's how she "expresses herself." As a grandparent, when do I put my foot down, or do I?
Dear Spoiler Alert,
I remember thinking to myself as a younger man, “if my kid ever acts like that I’m going to knock the taste out of their mouth”, then I had kids... I’m not saying they’ve never been disciplined because trust me, I’ve used all the tools—belts, switches, backhands and all sorts of tough love, but even then I’m sure there are times others say the same things in their heads that I did. The fact I try is more than most these days.
Did you know that the Apple company, best known for computing and communication, is also the largest babysitting company in the world? I credit their success in the babysitting business to the fact mom & dad are too busy with a phone in their face to actually raise a kid so they shove an iPad in the kid’s face to babysit. What a perfect business plan, perpetual demand and consumer training beginning with newborns.
The truth is, you could try to step in and let them know their kid is a wild hyena but it’s probably a waste of breath. It sounds like you disciplined your child and that's why you're now noticing so much--remind your son of this. Also, maybe if you text them they’ll at least ‘hear’ you.
I run a small business here in the county and I try to shop local as much as I can. Also, living in Edmonson County I know everybody and they know me. I have a couple friends that run businesses here but honestly, some of the places in Bowling Green and Leitchfield do better at it than they do and offer better prices. Am I supposed to pay higher prices or get less of a product simply because they expect me to buy from them?
Dear Locally Owned and Broke,
Capitalism is one of my favorite things to talk about, not the letters but the economic system. The beauty of it, in theory at least, is ithat it rewards those that work the hardest while motivating all to work harder-- meanwhile making goods and services more affordable across the board. Capitalism tries to make everyone winners unlike socialism that tries to bring everyone down to the loser’s level.
I try my best to support local businesses as often as I can to a certain degree. I don’t mind paying for convenience but I assign the amount I’m willing to pay for the convenience within myself.
Humility and appreciation go hand in hand, if a business, local or not, appreciates my patronage, I will reward them by continuing to patron them. If I stop doing business because I’m not being appreciated others will most likely follow suit. Said business will either learn humility and change or run off all the customers and cease to exist.
“So Mongoose you’re saying teach them a lesson and don’t do business?”, No, I’m saying let capitalism work.
Decide for yourself how much more you’re willing to pay, how much less service you’re willing to receive, how much you are willing to be belittled and make your own decisions. Once a business decides it’s owed your business, we as consumers lose the advantages, addressed in the first paragraph, capitalism has afforded us.
On a side note, “shop local” does benefit the community, no question there, but think of this, the big chains stores also benefit the community by employing a larger number of community members and offering goods cheaper due to volume buying etc..
As much as I hate The Walmarts and don’t shop there, they are the largest employer in the U.S. and looking at “The People of Walmart” website is pretty dang funny.
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