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Dupré: The ‘Get Off My Lawn’ man’s hierarchy of stuffity-stuff

Certain things in life cause man, even “Get Off My Lawn” man, to re-evaluate or re-affirm the previous conception of his life: marriage, divorce, birth, death, the towering intellectual wisdom of Alyssa Milano, the unexpected cancellation of the television series ‘Firefly.’

After my third son and then my father were diagnosed with the coronavirus I am once more in the process of deciding what is most important in life, and will present my wisdom to you (suck it, Alyssa):

  1. God (often pronounced “GAWD”) – Yahweh, Jehovah, the Everlasting, the Almighty, Author of the Universe, Creator of all that is seen and unseen…perhaps you’ve heard of Him; He’s got a book out (it’s supposed to be a bestseller).
  2. 2. My family – The two that made me; the two others they made to keep me company; the four I made: Jon, Kyle, Ethan and Sarabeth; yes, I’m talking about YOU!
  3. My friends – Whether super-close or I just drop an occasional LIKE on a social media post, I think of you frequently and warmly; except for …well, you know who!
  4. This country, though imperfect – I have the safety and ability to conduct my life the way that I see fit. Does it make me buckle my seatbelt when I really don’t want to or limit my ability to speed like a bat out of hell down the open highways so I can feel the wind whipping through the remnants of my once luxurious mane of hair? Could be. Has it not always lived up to the ideals set forth by its founders for all its existence? Damn right; it has fallen short, BUT it has allowed for growth. The best examples: 1. Women, who were considered people though not worthy of landowning and voting, are doing much more than that in today’s world, with shattered glass all over the floor to prove it. 2. Black people were not even considered human early in our national history. They were property and only legally worth 3/5 of a Caucasian. Personally, I find that repugnant. However, that wrong is still being rectified, as people of color are elected or earn positions of power and authority all over this great nation, from local classrooms all the way up to the presidency and everywhere in between.

Those are the most important main categories. However, it is within the last category, “This country” that some people in our nation have become frightfully confused. I would also insert…

  • “Be excellent to one another!” This can be considered the pop-culture equivalent to the Biblical “Love thy neighbor, ” and definitely belongs at the top of this list. So somehow, Bill S. Preston, esquire and Ted “Theodore” Logan were more intelligent than all the Trolls of Internetland and radical idealogues. Who knew?
  • America guarantees access to the great treasure of education. I feel only students can guarantee that they are leaving school educated. As a young child (elementary school and younger), I would sit in my maternal grandparents’ living room and read their old set of Encyclopædia Britannica, with its distinctive smell and its fantastic grayscale imagery. Remember what the sage Frank Zappa once said, “If you want to get laid, go to college; if you want an education, go to a library.” Well, I was too young to drive to the library – and definitely for that OTHER thing (To be fair, Zappa also said, “Don’t eat the yellow snow,” which wasn’t that much of a big deal in South Louisiana). So, who ensured that I was educated? Teachers, parents, grandparents, and ME. I soaked up knowledge from books, textbooks, magazines, encyclopædias, newspapers, TV news (which you really could trust then), PBS documentaries. I put my hands (and my eyes and ears) on whatever I had at hand. I didn’t need any federal education officials guiding me (Jimmy Carter hadn’t bought off the national teacher unions with a nice shiny, new, expensive federal educational bureaucracy as of yet).
  • America recognizes your rights, but expects you to be responsible; She recognizes your freedoms, but needs you not to infringe on the freedom of others. My father and my son, Ethan, have now both tested positive for the coronavirus. They haven’t seen each other in a while, so one didn’t get it from the other. At least two jack-wagons are going around thinking their supposed “right to not be uncomfortable (cough)” was greater than the responsibility to behave in a manner that minimizes risk to their fellow humans. Masking is done to prevent the virus’ coming FROM you. Let me make this perfectly clear. I don’t believe in the government mandating wearing a mask. You shouldn’t mask up because the government says do it. YOU should wear one because it is the human thing to do. YOU are responsible for your behavior. Giving you analogies appears to go over your heads. Giving you empassioned pleas on behalf of the vulnerable merits a “Meh?!?.” Mandates bring crocodile tears of “I have rights!” They bring on cry-baby fits like a person who hasn’t been told “NO!” enough. I want you to consider the health of your fellow man. Think of children (who can become ill), parents, friends and even the nice lady on the corner that bakes cookies as more important than your itty-bitty, tender little feelings. Personally, I don’t like wearing a mask. They are hot and uncomfortable, fog my glasses, fall down my face while talking, but I wear them when I am out. They certainly don’t make me feel Summer’s Eve fresh, or take 10 pounds off, or make thousands of Julienne fries. I wear it for you, your loved ones, the destitute man down the street that gulps his Boone’s Farm when he thinks no one can see. I wear it regardless of mandate. I wear it to keep you from knowing the uncertainty of what will happen to your son or your father. I KNOW IT. Having an illness that keeps you from wearing a mask is understood. That fact that you have rights and opinions is also understood. However, this is my lawn, and it is not difficult to be kind to each other (see Bill & Ted above).
  • WAY DOWN ON THE LIST from God, Family, Friends, Country, you might find items like Democrat vs. Republican, salty or sweet, Ginger vs. Mary Ann…Waaaaaay down past those, lies the last item on the list – the world’s smallest violin, and you know what song it is playing? “Mr. Snowflake, no one give’s a rat’s tuchus about your tender, itty-bitty feelings, Do-dah, YEAH!”

Gary Wayne Dupré is enjoying his second career as the Administrative Assistant for L’OBSERVATEUR and can be reached at gary.dupre@lobservateur.com or (985) 652-9545. He’s an old man, so STAY OFF HIS LAWN!

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