There will be a river of ink spilled and a million blisters hatched from the hand-wringing over what surely is our next COVID-19 controversy.

When wearing a mask — or not — simultaneously represents a statement of personal freedom or common courtesy to your fellow humans, can you imagine the reactions to a coronavirus vaccine?

Oh my.

President Donald Trump has more than hinted that a vaccine could be ready by Nov. 1. Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee now says getting the vaccine is a "personal choice" in a time when personal choices are rarely personal and no longer private or without controversy.

(That said, people, get the dang vaccine. It's not that hard.)


Speaking of the opposite of simple

OK, you know that David Allen Coe song that needed another verse with "Dogs, Momma, Trains, Prison and getting drunk" to be the perfect country and western song?

Sure you do.

Well, along those lines, Rosana Hughes of the TFP came close to the perfect local news headline earlier this week.

"District Attorney Steve Crump denies allegations of affair, blackmail in Cleveland, Tennessee, woman's murder conviction," the online tag read.

That's attorney, deny, allegations, affair, blackmail and murder. If we could have added a reference to a pet, the pandemic and paternity, well, even ol' David Allen would have been speechless.


It's debatable

Because everything these days becomes an argument, I'll close today needing your opinion on which criminal act was more stupid.

Behind dumb door No. 1 is a 27-year-old man who took $100 in Florida lottery tickets as a distracted gas station cashier was not paying attention. The criminal was caught when he tried to cash in some of the winners — wait for it — at the same store.

And behind dumb door No. 2 is a trio of crooks — also in Florida, which seems to always have a serious series of stupid — who stole more than $150,000 in cash and property, but were easily caught and apprehended because — wait for it — the three anything-but-clever criminals were "already on pretrial release for previous crimes and wearing court-ordered GPS ankle bracelet monitors," Officer Christian Lata told the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.

Maybe in this one instance, in terms of cracked crooks, they all can claim the title.


Obit observations

OK, we bounce around here to the places and people that catch our eye in the obituaries of the Times Free Press.

Some are war heroes. Some have families that extend to numbers that make a reunion about the population of Walden.

Some are characters or Christians or comedians, in the then and in the afterlife. And some check some if not all of those boxes.

I bet Bettie Chastain clicked more of those descriptions than not.

Bettie died Tuesday. She was 85.

In addition to being called the "Mayor of Collegedale" by her neighbors and friends, Bettie was a hairdresser for 68 years, which means unless she started clipping locks when she was a preteen, she was working up until very recently.

Imagine the stories, right? Or the laughs? If pay was not a consideration — and money is always an option — being a bartender or a hairdresser may be the most engaging and enjoyable way to spend a professional life.

Rest easy, "Mayor of Collegedale." Find a chair and some hair upstairs.

Contact Jay Greeson at

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Jay Greeson