Column: Stop! New jail locations found

Published 2:16 pm Thursday, May 29, 2008

STOP WHAT YOU’RE DOING Mower County Commissioners!

Stop what you’re doing City of Austin!

Stop what you’re thinking Austin Area Chamber of Commerce! This will not mean the end of the world as we know it.

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Get ready Austin Main Street Project! There is a glimmer of hope.

Cancel your sale Mike Robbins!

Continue what you’re doing Austin Board of Education superintendent search committee.

Readers have spoken: Both of them.

“We don’t need a new jail downtown!” they say.

The businesses can stay where they are.

Readers say the downtown Austin Utilities plant would make an ideal jail. It’s being abandoned. It will sit empty until becoming any eyesore or a parking lot.

Not big enough?

If there’s need for more room, try the former CashWise Food building.

Same scenario. It’s doomed to stand empty. A reminder of the days when Austin consumers had a true choice in grocery shopping.

If the county still needs more room, try any of the buildings that will be empty after the new Wal-Mart store opens in Austin.

There will probably be some in Adams, Brownsdale and Lyle plus other small towns unable to compete with the discount giant.

Wait and see what happens, these readers say and it ain’t all good.

Time for some sophisticated humor. (The kind they love at Adams.) And you guessed it: It has to do with President Bush:

Air Force One arrives at Heathrow and President Bush strides to a warm and dignified reception from the Queen.

(So far so good.)

They are driven in a 1934 Bentley to the edge of central London where they change to a magnificent 17th century carriage hitched to six white horses. (Here’s where it gets … shall we say … offensive.)

They continue on toward Buckingham Palace, waving to the thousands of cheering Britons; all is going well.

(Don’t say I didn’t warn you.)

Suddenly, the right rear horse lets fly with the most horrendous earth-shattering gas-passing (I had to change the word to protect retired school teachers.) ever heard in the British Empire. The gas-passing shakes the coach. The smell is atrocious! Both passengers in the carriage must use perfume-dipped handkerchiefs over their nose, but the two dignitaries of state do their best to ignore the incident.

(The punchline makes up for the crudeness.)

The Queen turns to President Bush saying, “Mr. President, please accept my regrets. I am sure you understand there are some things that even a Queen cannot control.”

Bush, with his usual diplomatic aplomb, replies, “Your Majesty, do not give the matter another thought. Until you mentioned it, I thought it was one of the horses.”

(Admit it: you’re smiling or laughing aloud … Of course, some of you are wishing Dr. Wallace Alcorn wrote a column on Thursdays as well as Mondays.)

The weather is alternatively very good or very bad in Minnesota, which reminds me of this story:

An inquisitive fellow died one day and found himself waiting in the long line of judgment. As he stood there he noticed that some souls were allowed to march right through the pearly gates into Heaven. Others, though, were led over to Satan, who threw them into the burning fire. But every so often, instead of hurling a poor soul into the fire, Satan would toss a soul off to one side into a small pile.

After watching Satan do this several times, the fellow’s curiosity got the best of him. So he strolled over and asked Satan what he was doing.

“Excuse me, Prince of Darkness,” he said “I’m waiting in line for Judgment, but I couldn’t help wondering. Why are you tossing those people aside instead of flinging them into the Fires of Hell with the others?”

“Oh, those.” Satan groaned. “They’re all from Minnesota. They’re still too cold and too wet to burn.”