Puns and Commercial H20

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Note: George is out this week. We bring you this column from 2006.

Among dozens of entries on the Sheriff’s log for last Sunday was one where an irate citizen called in to report the theft of firewood. While reviewing the logs on Monday with the media, the sheriff was asked by a reporter what the thief would be charged with. Another reporter said, “Anyone knows that’s choplifting.”

OK! So I got booed. That pun was not any worse than the sheriff telling us it was easy to determine which of the neighbor’s dogs killed some Helena Flats chickens, “It was the one with fowl breath.” He is also the one who claims his deputies respond to reports of “loose” cows or horses by giving the animals Kaopectate.

Big news in the valley last week was the voting by students in the Flathead High School District on a name for the new high school’s sports teams. I was very nervous about letting the kids make such a decision. Often we have found that students might not take their responsibilities serious enough. One of the very best illustrations of the fact goes back to Colorado University. Remember that deal?

Students enrolled in the U of C were given the high and glorious honor of choosing a name for their new multi-million dollar dining hall. They were told to name it after some “appropriately” famous state citizen.

Winning name by a landslide was “The Alfred Packer Grill.” True! Alfred Packer is a famous Coloradoan; however, the problem for some people is, Al was well known for one reason. He is the only person in the history of the United States ever convicted and sent to prison for … cannibalism.

He just wasn’t the kind of guy you would want putting the bite on you.

Thank goodness! The Great Falls Tribune has resumed publishing of “News of the Weird.” They’d missed it about three weeks running and I was ready to organize a full scale “reader’s rebellion.” The column this week had an item on bottled water, which reminded me of all the people I see around the Flathead drinking commercial H2O.

Why would anyone living in the Flathead Valley BUY drinking water?? If you can’t drink the water here, there isn’t anyplace where you could. There have been recent government purity checks, which showed some commercial bottlers weren’t getting their product nearly as clean as it states on the label.

“News of the Weird” reports the City of Los Angeles through the Department of Water and Power has spent one million dollars in the last two years in a campaign to convince the citizens the municipal water system delivers “top quality” water. While that was going on, “employees of the city” spent $88,000 of the taxpayer’s money buying commercial bottled water.

After reading that news it was easy to surmise, the local people we see drinking commercial water here … just moved up from L.A.

G. George Ostrom is an award-winning columnist. He lives in Kalispell.

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