Grandad was a devotee of the Toronto Telegram, a newspaper that died somewhere around 1970. I think he cried, especially since its demise meant that he would have to get his daily information fix from the much-hated Toronto Star (some sort of political affiliation thing). He read the paper cover to cover every day, and studied much of it.
After dinner, we would sit around the table, Grandad would go through the pipe lighting ritual, and casually mention something he had read about that week, usually with a contentious twist. He would sit back and listen to what would inevitably result; “the discussion”. As a child, it was my duty, at pain of removal, to keep my opinions to myself, and my mouth closed. I was expected to observe and learn. Mostly what I remember is his undisguised pleasure in the chaos he usually managed to unleash. He loved to ‘stir the pot’ as he called it.
Every group of friends should have such a talented person in it, but such people are too rare these days. Everyone has an opinion, and most people, you can tell, are not really listening to others. They are busy thinking about what they are going to say when it is their ‘turn’.
Anyhow, on a totally unrelated topic, a friend sent me (the guy behind the façade) an email of witticisms. Within, was the following, a "gem of wisdom" he could never suspect would be read so deep at so many levels by me.
(reaching for my pipe and matches)
“Women will never be equal to men until they can walk down the street with a bald head and a beer gut and still think they are sexy.”
Have a good week!