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“Running Commentary”

Saltwater And Orange Fizz


Once upon a time, men were strong and women were weak. Boys were athletic; girls were dainty, meek and mild. Interestingly, despite extensive research, no one can say when those concepts of strength and weakness no longer stood up to empirical evidence.

New research supports an alternate theory: men were never the stronger sex. NEVER!

Women were, are, and have always have been stronger than men.

Hmmmm … whoda’thunkit?

Well, me, for one.

Long ago, I came to the realization that no matter how fast I run, no matter how many push-ups I can do, my overall strength at crunch time pales in comparison with just about every woman I’ve ever met. I know when I’m beat.

Any man unwilling to admit that women are the stronger sex? It’s only further evidence of man’s inherent weakness.

Don’t believe me? Look no further than the subject of illness. When a woman gets sick, you know what she does? Everything! She just “sucks it up” and does whatever needs to be done.

Women make coffee, clothe and feed the kids, fix lunches, plan dinner, walk the dog, balance the household budget, dress to the nines, and then go to the office and act as if nothing is wrong.

And women never complain because … well, exactly whom would they complain to? Men?

Conversely, with the very first sneeze or sniffle, men are reduced to their basic default level – big babies. I speak with authority on this subject because I have met the enemy, and he is me.

At the first sign of a tummy ache, men curl up on the sofa and WANT TO DIE. “Work? In MY condition? Are you SERIOUS?” Just lying on the sofa is about all we’re capable of doing. And so what if we watch Judge Judy reruns while lying there – it’s not like we’re really enjoying it.

Yesterday morning I was exhausted, despite a full night’s rest. Why? Because the day before, I had performed some unusual and extraordinary feats which depleted all my energy levels. I can’t remember everything, but I recall picking up all the clothes in my bedroom … I did half a load of laundry … and after lunch, I washed a few dishes.

I get tired just thinking about it.

Now, I may not be the brightest bulb on the tree, but I know I’m susceptible to any kind of bug when I’m tired. By evening, I could feel a cold coming on. I had a cough and a slight headache.


Fortunately, my cries did not go unheeded. My sister Faith gave me a little capsule called “Airborne” and said, “Take it.” I asked no questions; I swigged it down with water. My mother gave me a lozenge containing zinc. I asked no questions; I took it.

Then a friend gave me a package filled with orange fizzy stuff and enough Vitamin C to launch a small rocket. I took it; and, although I’m somewhat bigger than a small rocket, I too was duly launched, barely missing a ceiling fan.

Every once in a while, I do what I’m told.

I hate being predictable.

Meanwhile, feeling sorry for myself, I was watching TV the other night when the office manager from my old Philadelphia law office called to say hello. Being honest, I told her I was near death.

A dear friend, Donna suggested I put some salt in warm water and gargle the solution. Once again, I did what I was told. I promptly went to the kitchen and … Wow! That was great! I felt better right away.

Next day , I called Donna to thank her for the suggestion, because the saltwater actually tasted pretty good. I felt better immediately.

Donna said, “Wait a minute – did you gargle it?”

I replied, “Gargle it? I thought you said to drink it.”

This morning, I related that story to my mother, and she called me a “Silly nut.”

Well, mmmmaybe. But I think I’m onto something. If a schoolteacher from Padook can put a few herbs in a capsule and make millions selling Airborne, why can’t an old piano player sell bottled saltwater?

Can anyone prove it doesn’t work? Who knows – maybe it’ll cure what ails yah. Coming soon to a store near you – “Mikey’s Curative Saltwater.” Don’t knock it. It worked for me.

Now, I know what you are thinking. You are agreeing with mother. And you are beginning to think that women are not only stronger, they’re also smarter. Right?

Sorry … gotta run …

Judge Judy is coming on.



Epilogue: Michael has fully recovered from the saltwater. Contact him:

Concordia Blade-Empire

510 Washington St.
Concordia, KS 66901