If It Looks Like A Duck, Swims Like A Duck, Quacks Like A Duck, Then It Probably Is A Duck

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I’ve said it before. I’ll say it again. I’m not the sharpest Crayola in the box. With me, the paper still gets colored, but some of the lines may look a little blunt around the edges. I’m certainly not one of those people who self-reportedly know something about everything and anything. On too many occasions there is one in every crowd. Across the years I’ve lived in multiple locations across Texas. I’ve found them in the workplace, neighborhood associations, service clubs and even in line at the grocery store. I’ve even found them at church.

You know the type I’m talking about. In any grouping of people, irrespective of the topic being discussed, there is always someone who puts an authoritative spin on the discussion. They matter-of-factly present their frame of reference as though it is the Gospel and “God help anyone who disagrees”. How’s that for being blunt and colorful? The group discussion quickly becomes a forum dominated by the self-proclaimed “know-it-all”. That’s when I start looking for the nearest escape route. Enough is enough!

Truthfully it has been a very long time since I’ve encountered that kind of experience, but I definitely have a frame of reference. I know what I’m talking about and you do too. I can almost see you nodding your head in acknowledgement. We both know what I’m talking about. I’m just hoping your frame of reference isn’t one of your in-laws.

When it comes to group conversations, I will acknowledge up front that I’m somewhat at a disadvantage. I am not a sports enthusiast. Consequently, I am absolutely at a loss when it comes to name recognition of the latest draft pick. For that matter, when I hear the word draft, I don’t automatically tie it to sports activities. I don’t tie it to beer either.

In my own defense, I do regularly scan the Internet for world and local news. I think it is important to have some level of awareness of what is taking place. I haven’t yet decided that I want to be licensed to carry, but the thought that every other Texan soon may be could potentially improve my driving. You know what they say about road rage. I don’t want to make anyone mad.

Actually, I want to have at least a generic understanding about current issues. I’ve always heard that a little information is a dangerous thing. In fact, as a young adult I learned first hand that one needs more than a little information when it comes to working with electricity or trying one’s hand at plumbing. Consequently, I now intuitively know the importance of using a licensed professional.

When it comes to general issues, I want to know enough that I don’t come across as though I just fell off the turnip truck. No one wants to be uninformed, naïve and gullible. At my age, I’m not a newcomer and I certainly don’t want to be confused with a country bumpkin who just arrived in the big city on a truck full of turnips and didn’t have the presence of mind to keep from falling off. Someone describes it as “a bewildered hayseed ripe for fleecing by an urban con artist”.

Recently I was in a conversation when someone mentioned the closing of Wal-Mart in Midland. Reportedly the store closed without giving employees notice and plumbing problems were cited as the reason. City officials in Midland have indicated that no permits have been requested, and they too, are at a loss related to explaining the closing.

It has been my observation that folks can generally be grouped in one of two categories when it comes to Wal-Mart. One group believes that Wal-Mart has anything and everything one needs. The other group wouldn’t consider shopping at Wal-Mart. Generally, folks fall in one camp or the other. Seldom is there a middle ground.

We lived in Midland for twelve years. We found it to be an exceptional community with great people, but at times there was a hint that folks could be a little pretentious. That was particularly true of junior high school age children. I call it “Midland proud”. I remember the first time we flew to San Diego to visit my son and his wife. My daughter mentioned to one of her friends that we were going to California for spring break. By happenstance, her friend’s family was also going to San Diego that same week. Andrea asked if they were flying Southwest Airlines. The long and short of the answer was that commercial transportation was lower-middle class. They were taking the family plane.

I really couldn’t contribute anything to the discussion related to the closing of Wal-Mart in Midland. I was a startled to learn that Wal-Mart stores were also closed in Longview, TX, Pico Rivera, CA, Tulsa, OK and Brandon, FL. They too, reportedly were closed for plumbing issues.

According to Business Insider, “Some critics are skeptical that Wal-Mart closed the store because of plumbing issues. Officials in the five cities in which Wal-Mart closed stores say the company hasn’t sought permits for plumbing work, according to ABC News…

The UFCW — a labor group representing Wal-Mart’s laid-off workers — contends that the company closed the stores in retaliation against workers organizing for better pay, which is something Wal-Mart has been found guilty of doing in Canada. The group has filed a claim with the National Labor Relations Board demanding that the company rehire the employees”.

The Business Insider goes on to report, “The closures have also fueled a bizarre conspiracy theory that the US military is planning to enact martial law this summer under the guise of a Special Operations exercise called Jade Helm 15.

“According to the theory — which has no apparent basis in reality — the military will use the shuttered Wal-Mart stores as “processing” facilities for Americans once martial law is hatched”.

I guess when it comes to speculation concerning Wal-Mart, I am a country bumpkin that fell off the turnip truck. I am absolutely clueless. At the same time, I remember reading years ago, “If it looks like a duck, swims like a duck, and quacks like a duck, then it probably is a duck”.

Maybe we should all pay closer attention to the news. A little information is a dangerous thing. I find myself wanting to know more.

All My Best!

Don

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