CATEGORY: COL Columns (Journal)

AUTHOR: MCKENZ

HED:Observations, opinions and other stuff ...

By Danny McKenzie

Daily Journal

If I'm sure of one thing in this life it is simply this:

The young people of today are second to none. Being the father of a pair of them, I know full well that our young people can - and do - perform at amazingly high levels.

Pick a topic: technology, medicine, fine arts, sports, agriculture, law, politics, religion (and so on, and so on, scooby, dooby, dooby) - today's youth has excelled and is excelling in all fields.

That said, would somebody somewhere please explain just why so many of our young people smoke?

Step onto any campus - university, community college, high school, junior high (oh, yeah) - and the first thing you're likely to notice is a young person sucking death and disease from one end of a cigarette. And if statistics from three years ago are still valid, what you're most likely to notice is a young, white female inhaling toxic chemicals.

Why?

I stand by my opening statement, today's young people are as bright as ever - probably brighter. So why can't they separate themselves from the rest of the nation's young people and choose not to smoke?

As a parent - and former two-packs-a-day smoker - I am absolutely thrilled that neither of my offspring smokes. I'm not naive enough to believe that I know everything that is going on in their lives, but I do know they don't smoke.

They don't stink.

You would think that as intelligent as our young people are, they not only could figure out that tobacco is deadly, but also that they can't fool anyone into thinking they don't smoke. People who smoke smell like they smoke ... and parents of young smokers know it.

Maybe that's it. Maybe we parents are afraid to take a stand. ...

On the other hand, it is interesting to note that during the early morning drive-and-dodge that is the entrance to Tupelo High School, the most polite of the drivers are nearly always students.

The young people will, almost unfailingly, stop and let someone turn left in front of them, but woe be unto the driver who dares dart in front of an adult driver.

It's also interesting to observe the countenance of the drivers. The youthful ones are nearly always smiling and laughing; we older ones are nearly always frowning and grousing.

Must be something about getting old. ...

And on the other hand, would somebody please explain to me just why, in this land of prosperity that is Northeast Mississippi, so many people are so chinchy when it comes to buying automotive vehicles and refusing to purchase blinkers?

It is absolutely mind-boggling to see so many people turning, left or right, who obviously don't have blinkers on their cars or trucks. Since we all know this is the most enlightened area of our state, the unannounced turns have to be because the vehicles are blinkerless and not that the drivers aren't intelligent enough to operate the turn signals.

It's not just the old or lower-priced vehicles either. There appears to be just as many new Lexuses, Range Rovers, Cadillacs, Expeditions, and excessively large trucks without turn signals as there are old Chevys, Fords, Plymouths and Dodges.

Surely there are answers to these questions.

Surely.

Danny McKenzie is managing editor/news at the Daily Journal.

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