Item: I stopped at the nearby Price Chopper grocery store on the way home Friday night to pick up a handful of items, including a dozen apples. The apples were in the plastic bag I got from the produce section, and I was using the “ring-it-up-yourself” section of the checkout counter. Just after I had rung up the apples, the bag broke, with the apples scattering. Some young woman behind me kindly helped me pick them up, saying, “Don’t worry, I’m clean.”
Her perspective: She was either kidding OR she was assuring me that she didn’t have some skin-borne disease.
My perspective: Assuming she wasn’t kidding, and she didn’t appear to be, just what diseases was she talking about? I wasn’t worried about her, since she had self-certified her cleanliness, but should I be worried about others? I do wash the fruit in case there are pesticides or the like, but is that enough? As Paul Simon said, “Paranoia strikes deep in the heartland.”

Item: On Saturday, Carol went to a retreat, so I took Lydia to the state museum. On the fourth floor was a carousel, which we rode twice. There’s also, of all things, a Subway sandwich stand. We got a “meal deal” which we split, that included a couple cookies. I asked, “Is there any peanut butter…” The sales clerk said, “I’m sorry we don’t carry any.”
Her perspective: She thinks I’m disappointed that there are no peanut butter cookies.
My perspective: I wanted to make sure that there weren’t any peanut butter cookies because Lydia is allergic to peanut butter.

Item: Drivers are driving less on the Thruway, the Interstate system that runs from New York City to Kingston to Albany (I-87) then Albany to Utica to Syracuse to Rochester to Buffalo (I-90).
My perspective: Ah, less wear and tear on the roads. Good for them.
The Thruway Authority’s perspective: we’d better raise the rates 5% in January 2009, and another 5% in 2010. And while we’re at it, we’ll lower the E-Z Pass discount from 10% to 5% starting in June 2008.
The governor’s, the legislature’s and the public’s perspective: Outrage.

Item: John McCain goes to Selma, Alabama where on March 7, 1965, peaceful civil rights demonstrators were attacked by state and local lawmen.
McCain’s stated perspective: “I’m aware of the fact that there will be many people who will not vote for me. But I’m going to be the president of all the people and I will work for all of the people and I will listen to all of the people, whether they decide to vote for me or not.”
My perspective: I remember Selma ’65 quite well, since it occurred on my 12th birthday. As the Democrats continue to fight, my sense that McCain will win the general election, no matter who the Democratic nominee is, grows stronger by the day.


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