Forgive me, Father, for I have sinned. It has been eight years since I last wrote a newspaper column. (Editor’s note: Robert Shearon wrote one column for the Oh, Dougherty! blog in 2018.)
Like many journalists, I left the profession kicking and screaming, but I landed well in a state job where I worked for eight years before retiring.
I’ve decided to start writing again for 2023 with the assistance of my friend Michael Dougherty, who owns this blog site.
My 2023 started a little early, on Dec. 31, when my wonderful wife, Vickie Wyeth, and I had our church wedding (we’d had a civil ceremony in July due to some legal stuff). It was a beautiful event and it was great to spend time with family and friends on such a joyous occasion.
Three days later I was in the hospital — not quite at Death’s door, but maybe in his driveway. So, here are my observations on being in the hospital.
If you don’t have to be in a hospital, don’t. I needed it, unfortunately. The emergency room is a hellish place when you are in a lot of pain. Hours after arriving I was put in a room in the emergency area.
Hospitals are understaffed. I think the nurses and technicians did their best, but getting anyone’s attention was an iffy proposition. Except if you fall out of bed, landing face-first in an open-back gown. I tried to get up, and couldn’t. That was scary. My roommate in the semi-private room called the nurses and I swear every medical person on that floor came down to witness this old man laying flat on his face with his moneymaker on full display. Two burly guys hoisted me up and got me into the bed and told me not to try to get out of bed after that.
As I said, though, many witnessed this, and for the next two days, everyone who entered my room told me they had seen me on the floor. I hope they enjoyed the show.
Anyway, the hospital staff got me home in time to start watching the epic story of George Santos. In a non-dystopian world, Santos would be just a comical footnote in the history of the U.S. House of Representatives.
That he is still there, after apparently lying about everything in his life so far, is not that surprising, due to his being a Republican. Members of the GOP are numb to awful behavior after four years of the Trump presidency. Twice he was impeached, and twice the Republicans let him off the hook. They just don’t care how their members act, as long as they oppose abortion and have an unhealthy fixation on Hunter Biden.
Under Speaker Kevin McCarthy, I expect the House to be a circus for the next two years. But that is a topic for a whole ‘nother column.
Robert Shearon spent 30 years in journalism, working as a reporter, editor or publisher at newspapers in Arkansas, Mississippi and Oklahoma. His e-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org