Archived Story

Write Again … The bumper-sticker syndrome

Published 10:12pm Monday, August 27, 2012

Perhaps one of the great nuggets of wisdom can be found on a bumper sticker.
I know — most surely I know — that the bumper sticker message I really believe is one of the genuine forces in life that is succinctly conveyed in two words. Just two words.
The use of a euphemism for one of the words is a bit more appropriate in the media. You’ll understand this, I know.
Anyway, I feel these two words correctly identify a cause in a whole lot of situations.
Alright, Bartow. Let’s have it.
Then here it is:  “Stuff” Happens.
Just in my life I know this to be true. Over the past six or seven years, it seems that one health challenge or another has made its presence known to me. I’m talking “up close and personal.”
I’m such a strong believer in this that I’ve even shared this profundity with several of my doctors. On some occasions these learned professional men and women seemed to at least admit of the possibility. I have to believe they appreciate my adding to their diagnostic skills set.
In a nonhealth-related incident ,“stuff happens” visited four of us at one time. It was during the matinee performance of  Men ’ n a Chord at the Dancing with OUR Stars event.
Despite much preparation — and an awareness that singing a capella is a risky endeavor at times — the “bumper sticker” curse struck on the first chord of “The Rose.” This beautiful song that we have managed to do rather well for several years.
What happened? Well, in an observation made by my Beautiful First Wife, and surely noticed by others, we started right off as flat as the proverbial pancake. For my Sally to make such an observation is very much out of character for her.
But she was right. And we knew we were terrible. Plus, barbershoppers are probably more aware of pitch than just about any other performers.
We managed to redeem ourselves a bit at the evening performance. Alas, for all who heard us in the afternoon, the damage was done. Les miserables.
So. That’s just one example of bumper sticker philosophy. I’m sure you have some familiarity with this syndrome.
It just seems to be a part of this wonderful thing we call life.
Indeed it does.

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