• John McGary, Woodford Sun Staff

Here's Johnny - Giving myself the finger

I have a bad habit. Okay, even the most occasional Dear Reader knows I have more than one bad habit. This one, however, nearly cost me a finger and kept the other nine off computer keyboards for more than two days. I have resolved to give up this particular hobby and hope that anyone at work or on the streets and roads of Woodford County who sees me engaging in it will yell, "Hey, Mac - wanna lose a finger?" I am referring to my habit of picking my ... nails. I don't know why I do it. Some people bite their nails, but I've always preferred the efficiency of my fingers and the nails to which they're attached. Apparently, I don't wash my hands often enough, either, so when one dirty fingernail reaches under another, bad things happen. I'm trying to do better on both fronts. Late last week, my left index finger began to swell along the thumb-side portion of the nail and I thought, "You've done it again, dummy!" Actually, the thoughts aimed at myself were far harsher, but unprintable in a family-owned newspaper. Last week's little drama marked probably the fourth or fifth time I've been afflicted with a staph or strep infection in a finger because of my unwillingness to use a nail clipper like ordinary folks. These occasions all ended the same way: with a trip to a doctor for antibiotics and a self-administered lancing to relieve the pressure. Though I've interviewed plenty of doctors over the years, the knowledge gleaned in those Q & A's hasn't translated into an effective method of lancing my own digits. It took a half-dozen exploratory stabs Fridaynight before I hit paydirt, but I had to keep at it because the finger throbbed so badly that I was unable to sleep. Why am I telling you this, aside from my need to find 700 to 800 words and arrange them in a semi-coherent fashion? Because it's a chance to help keep my favorite people in the world - my Dear Readers - out of the hospital and able to type or play Rook or just do jazz hands with all ten fingers. I think I'm going to survive, but I've put that hand-modeling second career on hold until my left index finger isn't purple and I've read a modern nail clipper manual. Once again, it's the media's fault I don't know enough about the inappropriate texts between former Kentucky House Speaker Jeff Hoover and a woman on his staff to offer any deep thoughts on the matter. However, I was amused and irritated by social media posts from a former Republican state representative that blasted Courier-Journal columnist Joe Gerth's suggestion that Hoover resign - as Hoover did the following day. The former state representative said it was terribly unfair to ask for Hoover's resignation before all the facts were known. However, when he was repeatedly reminded that fellow Republican Gov. Matt Bevin and some of his other GOP pals in the General Assembly beat Gerth to the punch, the former lawmaker was strangely silent. Seems to me that the ex-lawmaker might have more productively registered his feelings about rushing to judgment with Gov. Bevin and Republican House leaders. For all too many Republicans at the local, state and national level, the motto seems to be, "When in doubt, blame the media. When not in doubt, blame the media. And when you need to change the subject, blame the media." As a member of the media - and a veteran, I might add - I resent such thinking. Veterans Day As mentioned just 10 words ago and in perhaps a dozen Here's Johnny columns, I am a veteran. I play the Veteran Card whenever possible, especially when engaged in civic discourse with the sort of people who complain about the media, and am amused when they give me a bit of a pass, as they usually do. On these occasions, I play the Veteran Card in part to ward off stupid sweeping comments like, "Oh, you're just saying that because you're in the media." No, Mr. Make America Great Again, I'm saying that because I've thought about this particular issue a good bit . and because I'm a Navy vet. Dear Readers may recall me opining at least twice on this page that it seemed unfair that the one veteran at The Sun has to work on Veterans Day, just like those who didn't risk life, limb and sanity in their nation's military. Well, this year, I'm off on Veterans Day. Somehow, and apparently at my request, the Powers That Be made Nov. 11, 2017, a Saturday. Thank you, Powers That Be. My left index finger should be completely healed by then.

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