Seems like I got out of the habit of doing occasional "What would you do?" columns. It's time for their return.
Put yourself in these four situations, three taken from local police reports we considered too minor or personal to publish as news items, and inagine a little bit. Keep in mind that these may be far from "minor" for those involved.
Getting their kicks, Part 1: A friend's visiting a Bedford County home. He's had a little too much to drink and starts cursing his host's wife. She walks away. He kicks her in the rear. Her husband orders the "friend" to leave. "Friend" leaves.
If you're the husband, what's your next step: A) Hit the guy the next time you see him? B) Ban him from your home? C) Call the cops? D) Laugh it off as just "one of those moments"?
The husband called the sheriff's department. A deputy explained their rights. No charges were filed.
Getting their kicks, part 2: According to a Shelbyville police report, one woman "struck (another) in the buttocks with her foot, at which time she dropped a plate of spaghetti on the floor." The accused kicker said the alleged victim "slammed a plate of the noodles and tomato sauce onto her knee," embedding shards of the plate.
How do you handle this: A) Escalate the situation into a food fight? B) Get out of the apartment where it occurred, but try to grab some of the spaghetti to enjoy later? C) Begin an investigation into the possibility of spaghetti causing anger, then blame the pasta company and sue? D) Run out of the apartment screaming for help, with the spaghetti sauce appearing as blood to worried neighbors?
One of the women called police, who talked to both. As of this writing, neither has filed charges. Maybe they made up over a plate of...spaghetti? Boston butt roast might be more appropriate.
Too much bureaucracy. One guy has simply had enough. While visiting Shelbyville's state employment office, he's told he can't register for unemployment without two forms of identification. He's only carrying one, not listed on the police but which I'd bet is his driver's license. He's given an application to fill out and return. The man loudly curses the office worker before storming out.
Should office employees have: A) Yelled back, risking their job? B) Hidden behind desks and screamed for help, an understandable reaction these days? C) Simply stood their ground but remained polite? D) Decided they couldn't take verbal abuse and quit?
Police were called. Someone in the office gave a description of Yeller's vehicle. Yeller was stopped a short distance away and admitted losing his temper. No charges were filed.
You've been manipulated. Two particular news stories were made available to us by the Associated Press over the past week.
One concerned prickly comments between Ryan Secrest and Simon Cowell on "American Idol." They "get on each others' nerves...a lot," the story says.
Another claimed a new study shows a particular substance in chocolate -- flavoids -- makes the mind function more clearly.
Do you: A) Sit glued to the TV wondering what the "Idol" feud may develop into while consuming lots of chocolate for the flavoids? B) Take the ultra-liberal view: Turn off the TV and eat your veggies? C) Collapse in an exhausted stupor with newspaper in lap and TV in view while not really absorbing either? D) Just ignore it all?
Keep in mind that the 'Idol' "feuders" are showmen and may just be putting on an act., plotting their next moves over post-show drinks. (If it's truly not an act, maybe they should spend some time with the Bedford County Kickers). Think of it as a fake subplot while the singers are slowly eliminated. The flavoids study was partially funded by a candy company preparing to market a new product line containing the substance. Realize the motives -- profits -- behind the actions.
David Melson is a Times-Gazette copy editor/staff writer. Your comments welcome: email@example.com .