Letter 9 (page 3)

Interesting things

There is a new supermarket near us which has a do-it-yourself checkout system in addition to the regular checkout lanes.. After swiping a credit or debit card, you scan your own groceries and put them into plastic bags. To make sure that customers scan every item rather than putting it directly in the bag, a store employee watches video monitors for 4 lanes.

Seen on bumper stickers:

  • Welcome to Colorado. Now go home.
  • The more I drink, the better you look.
  • Be kind to animals. Kiss a rugby player.
  • Don't drive faster than your angel can fly.
  • EARTH FIRST. We'll mine the other planets later.
  • I may be FAT but you're UGLY and I can lose weight.
  • Just pushing 50 is enough exercise.

We've been laughing at a show called America’s Dumbest Criminals which has stories like the man who broke into an electronics warehouse by making a hole through the roof and lowering himself on a rope which was 5m too short! A security camera captures the man falling to the floor then crawling away in obvious pain without realising his wallet (with his ID inside) has fallen out of his pocket! Not long after, there is a call for an ambulance by a man with a broken leg. He claimed to have done it playing soccer ... in his bedroom ... at 3am. There is also useful information on what not to do if robbing a bank ... things like don't rob your own bank and then come back a few days later with the stolen money and try to deposit it in your own account!

Briefly:

  • A Denver 5-year old took a loaded handgun to school a few months ago. He even fired one round at home but the parents claim to have slept through it.
  • A group called the National Center for Policy Analysis has recently published a report saying at least 170 million people - and perhaps as many as 360 million - have been murdered by their own governments in this century. This is more than four times the 42 million deaths from civil and international wars.
  • America’s lawyers have outdone themselves again in greed & stupidity. A 6-year old was killed when he flew out the rear door of a Chrysler minivan which popped open in an accident and Chrysler was ordered to pay US$262.5 million to the family (though the lawyers will take a big proportion of that). Presumably the child was not wearing a seat belt, though it is not required by law in most states.
  • One high school principle is making students who habitually miss school to sign a declaration that they understand their lifetime income will be at least $300,000 if they don't finish school.

And finally

In the last letter we said we would be coming home for Christmas. Unfortunately, we've had to postpone it and it now looks like we'll be coming in March instead. We'll send another letter before we arrive so we can organise a picnic or something. I am still pursuing a "green card" or permanent resident status, which will allow us to come and go as we please with some limitations. The application has been slowed down by the fight with the same lawyer who made a mess of Lan’s visa and the complaint & court claim we filed for damages, so I'm guessing it will be the end of 1998 before we get it. Since we will be here for Christmas, we've decided to go see the Grand Canyon where I hope it will be warmer.

We do hope you have a good Christmas.

Go back to:

Photo
Drag to resize window