Archived Story

Jimmy does not like a lot of things

Published 9:24am Thursday, April 3, 2014

Jimmy does not like a lot of things.

It is not enough to make such a simple understatement. The things that Jimmy does not like are legion and their lists could fill volumes.

To be fair, there are a few things that Jimmy does like, but those numbers are in a quick retreat as age and irritable bowel syndrome advance. The few things that he does like, for the most part, are staid, sedate and not worth mentioning.

Jimmy does not like daylight saving time. It appears to him that we get exactly the same amount of daylight each day, whether we are trying to save it or not. More importantly, there are no banks for depositing the saved daylight. What is he supposed to do with all this saved daylight? He can’t put it under his mattress, stuff it in a can and bury it in the back yard, or use it for barter against the inevitable when the Grim Reaper comes to call.

Jimmy does not like the Eastern time zone. He thinks it is too long. In the far western portion of the time zone the sun comes up in the morning and sets in the evening, much too late for Jimmy’s preferences. If he had things his way, the Central time zone would get shoved a little more eastward. He has no opinions as to what should happen with the Mountain and Pacific time zones because he doesn’t live there and doesn’t care. If Jimmy doesn’t see it, it just might not exist. He has never been to Dubuque; therefore it just might not be there.

In his youth, Jimmy heard the mantra of the era, “You are only down on things you are not up on.”

It was not enough to dislike something solely for the reason that you did not want to like it. It was necessary to “experience” everything as a means of enlightenment, to “know what you don’t know.” How many mothers have berated their children who refused to eat their peas, with “Try it, you might like it?”

Jimmy tried a lot of things.

Turns out, he didn’t like most of them.

The one thing that Jimmy does like is telling people all about the things that he does not like. You won’t have to ask; Jimmy has a knack for starting conversations out with a complaint. As you hear him share his list of objections, you might get the sense that he is expecting you to share in his dislike.

If you are foolhardy enough to attempt to defend the honor of something that Jimmy can’t stand, don’t use facts (real or imaginary) and most certainly do not have an opinion. You will not assuage his position, you will not change his stance, and you will not bring about positive reform.

If you have been to Dubuque and can verify that it truly is there, don’t tell Jimmy.

He won’t care.

Larry Wilson is a mostly lifelong resident of Niles. His optimistic “glass full to overflowing” view of life shapes his writing. His essays stem from experiences, compilations and recollections from friends and family. Wilson touts himself as “a dubiously licensed teller of tall tales, sworn to uphold the precept of ‘It’s my story; that’s the way I’m telling it.’” He can be reached at wflw@hotmail.com.

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