I had a whole thing lined up for the intro about social media posts warning people about what’s in their food and how if you’re not dead yet you shouldn’t care, but I cut it. It’s too “old man shaking his fist at the sky” for me, someone who firmly believes he is still a Young Man. Here’s some other stuff instead.


Seniors: The county is working on a bit of paperwork to allow Lewis County’s senior centers to serve alcohol during fundraisers (with a permit), part of an effort by the Lewis County Seniors board to raise money to keep the senior centers operating after the county cuts off funding in 2018. 

It’s good to see the county working with the seniors — though, let’s be honest here, it’s pretty much the least they could do at this stage. It’s like kicking your 18-year-old son out of the house but then telling him you’ll give him a ride down to the bus station so he can start his adult life somewhere far, far away from home.

The real question, though, is why not have liquor at the senior centers all the time? It could even be part of a community service program, where kids who get MIPs are sent to the senior center to keep the old folks company and watch them drink responsibly. (This is, admittedly, a pretty far-fetched idea.)

Old Man: “You think things are bad now? You kids don’t know how bad it used to be!” 

Young Man: “Oh, boy, tell us about how bad things were in the old days!”

Old Man: “Old days? Hell, two weeks ago you couldn’t even drink in this place. I had to sneak in rye like I was in reform school again. THOSE were dark times, my boy.”


Suitgate: The Prosecutor’s Office Suit Debacle has been pretty funny, and I was initially (like plenty of other readers) a bit miffed that the discussion was even happening. Lawyers make all kinds of money! Why do we need to clothe them with OUR tax dollars? That’s the money we use to put orange jumpsuits on prisoners, gosh darn it! 

But, The Chronicle Editorial Board’s rationale for the request was sound — namely, the prosecutor’s office can’t offer as much money as private firms, and a suit-fund is a nice little bonus that doesn’t take much out of the county coffers. And asking Men’s Wearhouse to pay for it, as a citizen member of the budget committee did, was an innovative solution to a curious budget item. (It wasn’t as if Meyer himself cruised into the Wearhouse, made his inquiry, and then dropped an ominous “Nice store ya got here. Be a shame if something … happened to it,” on his way out. Or if he had a few deputy prosecutors walk in and start knocking over mannequins, slashing ties and telling the assistant manager at the front desk “Mister Meyer’s a patient man, but don’t confuse his, shall we say, tolerance for weakness. He expects your reply by tomorrow.”)

Meyer, however, could have taken a much more passive-aggressive route, and made a show of arriving to court in the shabbiest, grungiest, most ill-fitting, threadbare cheap suits he could find for a few weeks. Just imagine Mr. Meyer meeting with the county higher-ups a few times in, say, royal blue polyester pants with frayed cuffs, a brown jacket tight enough to rip down the back on command, a bow tie clearly stolen from a rented tuxedo, patent leather shoes with slapping soles and a yellowed dress shirt complete with coffee and ink stains (and, of course, mismatched socks). I think the prosecutor’s office would get their suits in no time.


Pageantry: The Miss Lewis County pageant has come under fire from (*checks sources*) um, one of our own columnists, I guess, for continuing to include a swimwear portion in the annual scholarship competition. 

I won’t criticize the pageant, as it has given us, time and again, a smiling, shining manifestation of the image the fine folks of Lewis County want to present to the rest of the state — not to mention provided a hefty amount of scholarship money to deserving young women. If the contestants are fine putting on the type of outfits they wouldn’t be allowed to wear to school and being judged by a table of adults, it’s certainly not my place to complain about it. 

But if the folks in charge were, hypothetically, to modify that portion of the evening’s events, I have an idea. The stated goal of the swimsuit portion of the pageant is a display of personal fitness, so why not take a cue from professional sports? 

The NFL combine uses a series of evaluations to determine prospects’ draft stock, and that’s a fine place to start. Test the ladies in the 40-yard dash, the bench press, the vertical jump, the broad jump and a few shuttle drills, and if they want to do the whole thing in a swimsuit, that’s up to them. It might be a bit strange to see the first time through, but the judges standing on the sidelines with clipboards and stopwatches, muttering about “poise on the podium” and whether they have the clutch gene or intangibles, would be priceless.

“Her 40 time’s trash, but she’s got a great motor. Never gives up on a parade. Just flat-out loves to wear the sash.”

“Yeah, but this one, lotta off-the-stage issues. Got a checkered past. Not a high-character pick if ya ask me.”

“And THIS girl. Tremendous upside. You’re talking about a kid who looks great getting off the float.”


Aaron VanTuyl is the sports editor and a columnist for The Chronicle. His “Lewis County Power Rankings” are meant as a satirical look at the news of the week. Send feedback to avantuyl@chronline.com.

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