The Whitehall Ledger - Serving Southern Jefferson County in the Great State of Montana

By Jack H. Smith
Ledger Publisher 

Column: Would you read?


October 5, 2016

My eyes are heavy while I'm writing this column, and with every word I type I can feel myself slouching further down into the chair. I've got a horrible cold and the medicine I took this morning is making it difficult to keep my eyes open.

As I was getting ready for work this morning, I started thinking to myself what would be a more idea situation, being home sick, or at work feeling 100 percent?

My initial answer was that not being sick would be the way to go. There is nothing fun about a cold. My head hurts, I'm dizzy, I'm congested, I'm hot, I'm cold, I'm not congested anymore, I'm tired, I'm wired, I'm congested again, and I'm pretty tired of coughing. This is not fun.

There would certainly be some advantages to being home. I could sit in my pajamas and catch up on the list on my DVR, I could feed the cold with a variety of delicious snacks, and I wouldn't have to do really much of anything. As great as some of that sounds, I would much rather be at the office feeling like a million bucks and not like I do now.

I often times find myself debating between things like this, and this was honestly the simplest subject I delved into in the past week.

Last week, the baseball world was both shocked and saddened at the sudden death of Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez, who passed away in a boating accident at the age of 24. I was listening to news coverage of the tragic accident when an announcer mentioned that just last year Fernandez had asked on social media if people could read the book about their life, would they read the ending?

This absolutely blew my mind.

The wheels in my mind really started to turn as debated whether or not I would like to know my fate. I threw out any notion that this could be a "Back to the Future" situation where I could change my fate and just really analyzed the question he asked. Would I like to know the ending to my story? After a lot of thought the answer was an emphatic no. While I'm sure it would be nice to be able to say final goodbyes to friends and family, I just don't think this would be anyway to live life to the fullest.

When Fernandez proposed this question he was just 23, and I wonder what his reaction would have been knowing he would have only a year left of life. I would just rather not know, that's too much to carry.

Truth be told, thinking about this and the whole radio segment really started to bother me and I was hoping for something to stop the wheels from turning.

It turns out it was the same radio show that moved my thinking to another subject.

The subject matter on the show had been serious all week.

They had discussed the accident and it's impact on baseball and South Florida, and there was also a lot of talk about the Presidential debate that I couldn't force myself to watch. They must have needed a break from the serious thought, and devoted a whole segment at their outrage that Mickey Mouse was only number 19 on a TV Guide list of the most important cartoon characters of all time.

This was perfect. I could think about something else, and I was outraged.

How could that mouse only be 19? This was a perfect way to think about something that wouldn't keep me up tossing and turning all night.


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