The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

November 15, 2012

Rooney-style reflections

Daily Item

---- — Who does not remember the famous Andy Rooney commentaries at the end of CBS' 60 Minutes that always began with "Did you ever wonder why…"?

I met Mr. Rooney at a party for his granddaughter in Washington, D.C. about eight years ago. She graduated from George Washington University with our oldest daughter and they were roommates. Rooney was a WWII correspondent and prolific author. I had read a number of his books. What a surprise it was to see Mr. Rooney sitting in a lawn chair quietly chatting with a relative when we arrived at the party in a D.C. suburb. He was quiet and diminutive in size with a white shock of hair and slightly bowed from age. He reminded me of a benign elf. We were introduced and I told Andy my story of our recent trip back from California and our stopover in Chicago where our flight was delayed for a mechanical problem. As my wife and I sat by the large glass window in the waiting area, we watched a mechanic remove a faulty pilot's chair from our plane. I remarked to Andy that I said to my wife at the time if the mechanic came back with a lawn chair replacement we were going to take a different flight. I am not lying when I say I made Andy Rooney chuckle slightly.

Remembering Andy stimulated me to also think of some things that might have moved him to comment on his Sunday night visits.

Let's start with the automobile designers. Did you ever wonder why the dials on a car's dashboard are moved around each year? Is it to justify the exorbitant prices of automobiles?

I propose that the dials on the cars and home appliances of auto designers be secretly changed every month and let them hunt around in frustration.

Did you ever notice that the BMW or Corvette that passes you on the turnpike at 90 mph is never the car stopped by the police? For one day I would like to wear a state trooper's uniform and stop every sports car that scares the daylights out of me and issue them $1,000 tickets. What a joy that would be.

One of my favorite pastimes is looking for salespersons at the local mega-department store. If they aren't taking personal calls with their backs to you, they are congregating in that employees' black hole that none of us can find. Try shoplifting. It's the only way to get any service.

I'm amazed at these white collar criminals who are in perfect health all the while they are defrauding the public of thousands of dollars and then, suddenly, become too ill to be tried after they are caught.

The last one. How about a law that requires deducting one vote from a candidate for every campaign sign left on roads, lawns, highways etc. after the election. How quickly do you think these messes would be cleaned up then?

Surely, at one time or another you've wondered about some of these things.

Thanks, Andy.

Vince De Cerchio,