Bob Billingsley

The goal of Billinsgley’s Bullets column is to introduce you to “sideways” thinking and to make your day a little easier to handle. If you believe that a lot of life is a tad silly, you are reading the right column. When in doubt be kind.


Billingsley’s bullets: Is eating grapes a criminal act?

By From page A6 | July 21, 2011

When I worked in the produce section of a supermarket in high school, I noticed several customers tasting grapes before they paid for them. If you eat grapes before you pay for them, is that a crime?

If eating unpaid-for grapes is a crime, how many grapes have to be consumed? Just one, or more? Do more than 10 grapes make it a felony? Before you decide to taste the store’s grapes, call the District Attorney’s Office to determine if your freedom is at stake.

• I was hoping Donald Trump would be in the running for the president’s job. I wanted to see his hairstyle daily. It’s impossible to see where his hairstyle starts or ends. Is it really his hair or a wig?

Donald said he could have won the election, so why did he withdraw? Maybe he knew that I would investigate his hair situation, and he would have to select me as his vice presidential candidate or I would reveal the truth about his hair. Now I can tell my grandchildren, “I could have been president or at least vice president.”

• Our Mother Lode Community Action Team volunteered to pick up trash on Highway 50. As soon as we started, I realized that having your back turned to traffic, going 65 mph, was not too confortable. The vehicles were too close, and I couldn’t see them while I was picking up trash. They had total control of the situation, and I was at their mercy. I decided not to volunteer again.

In recent weeks, TV newscasters, radios and newspapers have revealed what a dangerous job it is to be a Caltrans maintenance worker. Within 48 hours, three Caltrans workers died while working. Some 178 workers have died since 1924. One newspaper article noted that 36 Caltrans workers have been killed in the last two decades. During the last two decades, 45 California Highway Patrol officers have been killed on duty.

Caltrans workers strive daily to make sure our highways are safe for us to drive on. I plan to be more alert every time I see a worker. Their jobs are obviously dangerous, and they deserve our full attention when we drive into their work area. They also deserve our respect for putting their lives on the line, to ensure our safety. Thank you, workers — be careful, please.

• Meryl Endean forwarded me the following computer message. It was noted that author and lecturer Leo Buscaglia discussed a contest, which he judged. The intent of the contest was to find the most caring child. The No. 1 winner of the contest was the following entry: “1. A 4-year-old child’s next door neighbor was an elderly gentleman who had recently lost his wife. Upon seeing the man cry, the little boy went into the old gentleman’s yard, climbed onto his lap, and just sat there. When his mother asked him what he had said to the neighbor, the little boy just said, ‘Nothing. I just helped him cry.’”

I think the 4-year-old had the perfect answer when he said, “Nothing. I just helped him cry.”

When your friend loses a loved one, you need to show up for your friend and help him/her cry. I have been in situations where I showed up, said a few words, and then stayed and listened to my friend. Words from me were not as important as being there and doing whatever my friend needed me to do. Holding a friend in your arms may be the perfect move, and sometimes nothing else is required.

Other situations also cry out for friends to show up, too. A serious illness, the loss of a job, or even a horrible day justifies your going straight to your friend to help him/her cry.

If your friend just learned that his spouse wants a divorce, get into your car and meet his needs. Don’t think about it. Don’t debate about it …. just go!

Bob Billingsley is a biweekly columnist for the Mountain Democrat.


Bob Billingsley

Bob Billingsley writes Heard Over the Back Fence three times a week, keeping his pen on the pulse of the community. He also writes a biweekly column called Billingsley's Bullets, in which he uses “sideways” thinking to make your day a little easier to handle.
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