On the Right Lane: Please romaine calm

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 “The most terrifying words in the English language are: I’m from the government and I’m here to help.”
                                                                                              President Ronald Reagan

Isn’t it amazing at this stage of human history when mankind has successfully placed spacecraft on the surface of Mars, comets and the moon but the U.S. government can’t figure out where the E. coli contamination of romaine lettuce is coming from?

What disturbs me about this story is that I would rather believe our government is adept at knowing the source of any food type. I guess romaine lettuce is a good example that at some level government doesn’t have a clue, and that’s scary to say the least. I certainly hope terrorists around the planet aren’t paying attention to these broadcasts. Recently our country celebrated Thanksgiving where, if one paid any attention, turkey might sound good, but if it was processed wrong the consequences of salmonella poisoning wouldn’t be so nice. I began with rubber gloves and after, every surface our turkey touched was cleaned to the utmost.

I will digress a bit to say I have never experienced E. coli. I was fortunate while serving in South Vietnam to miss out on food poisoning. The gravy served on Thanksgiving Day of 1968 had been contaminated by something nasty. I absolutely love gravy whether it’s for chicken, turkey, beef or pork; you can ask my wife, but please don’t tell my doctor. For some reason I can’t explain, I passed on the gravy that Thanksgiving Day. Hundreds of other soldiers really regretted opting for it as they ended up in a hospital. Another thing I should have passed on was amoebic dysentery, which made food poisoning seem like a pleasure, and I will leave it at that.

Many stores now have self-checkout for customers. When I shop I usually limit the amount of things I purchase so that I can use the good old express checkout and not have to wait for someone with a cart full of whatever. It’s really not hard to use the self-checkout, but I have this lingering fear that something will not scan. The stores are smart to use such technology because machines don’t call in sick, get paid, need vacations or harass customers. They either get fixed or replaced. The sad part is you can’t converse with them, although I fully expect that to happen in the near future.

Some time ago I watched something on the news about a chain store company that was going to use robots to assist customers in finding things. I hope that works better than my experiment with voice recognition software. That was  driving me crazy and I deleted it, although only God knows what else was deleted with it. To be truthful I was going to try one of robotic vacuum cleaners, but I went robotic when I finally saw what the prices are on those devices.

I went from food to robots, so instead of turning green I’ll say I was very happy when the new Windham town councilors had their first meeting. The Town Council chairperson announced that if councilors wanted to conduct any funny business, they could get up and leave. That’s fine with me. Just like spoiled food, wouldn’t it be nice if we could throw bad councilors out of office, too?

Lane Hiltunen of Windham wonders when the next food fight will happen with the Windham town councilors.