What's crackin, folks? It's Friday, and I don't care if Jimmy cracked corn, smoked crack, or whatever. I'm just thrilled it's the end of the week. Plus Mrs. B and I are slowly and methodically, but surely closing in on our next dog. We're going for the same breed as the late great Cheko the Dog, 'cause we both dig Border Collies and Australian Shepherds and Cattle Dogs. Plus we'll be able to rescue one from one of several farms here in Florida whose sole purpose is to rescue, mind, nurse back to health, and adopt out abandoned dogs of those breeds, of all ages. As soon as we have the new pup I'll post a pic or two...so you'll get a good look at teeth you'll feel if any of you ever shows up at Burnettiquette World Headquarters uninvited. Kidding!
Anyway, thanks much for everyone who came by and weighed in yesterday on the post about tough love, the Rev. Jesse Jackson, Barack Obama, black communities, and the media. It was one of my highest traffic days ever. Still, it was a tough topic to write about. I found myself in one of my "Mookie Moments." That's what I call those times when I'm conflicted over something I believe and how that belief, if shared publicly, is going to be received. It comes from the old Spike Lee film Do the Right Thing, in which Lee's character Mookie found himself torn during a neighborhood riot between loyalty to his boss, pizza shop owner Sal (Danny Aiello) and loyalty to the friends and neighbors who were tearing up the neighborhood over the police killing of a young man in the neighborhood. Whenever I write about a topic involving race I always have a nagging in my gut that someone who relishes racial strife is going to try to take and twist my words to support his or her position. Most of the time that doesn't happen. But I can't lie. I still worry about it sometimes. Still, we all have responsibilities. And I feel like mine sometimes include talking about uncomfortable things.
Moving right along, if you need some inspiration heading into the weekend, take a minute and read this article, but not 'cause I wrote it. It's about one of the most generous people I've ever met.
So onto travel stuff. Not next week, but the following I'll be in Chicago most of the week. If you're in the city, and I can break away from the convention I'll be attending, and you have access to the Loop, let me know and I'll try to meet you to tip a pint and share a nosh or something.
Finally, the story I'm most curious to get your opinion about going into the weekend: Love!
I'm being a "little" facetious. If you live outside South Florida, then you might not have heard that the new police chief for the City of Fort Lauderdale, Frank Adderly, was awakened the other morning to the sound of gunfire in his home. His wife, Eleanor, was standing at the foot of their bed firing in his direction. I word it that way on purpose, because she missed him by inches and later insisted to authorities that she wasn't firing "at" him but was just trying to scare him. Naturally, the chief didn't know right away that he was just supposed to be scared. So he jumped up and ran. And although it wasn't included in the police report or our articles, I'm sure he had either some begging or choice words for her as he ran. She fired at him more as he fled the house, and missed each time. The chief made it to a neighbor's house, where he called for help, and his wife was arrested.
Here's what I'm baffled by: The chief and his supporters seem to be downplaying the whole thing and characterizing it as simply a domestic issue, a spousal argument gone awry. He even quickly posted her bond and told the judge he didn't want her to be punished. I could be crazy, but I kind of see this as attempted murder. But the state attorney's office only charged her with assault with a deadly weapon and and firing into a dwelling. Some folks in the police department and courthouse in Fort Lauderdale say its favoritism. Probably is. I don't know. But I'm still hung up on the fact that the chief and friends are sorta downplaying this thing. I guarantee you if Mrs. B ever fired a gun at me, I'd assume she was trying to kill me. I like to think she'd never do that. But...I'm kidding. Seriously, if you just want to scare your spouse I recommend you sneak up on them and yell "boo!" 'Cause despite the attitude the chief's supporters are taking toward this incident, pointing a gun at your significant other and pulling the trigger is not a normal domestic dispute. What do you think?