Gas Pains

Tom grew up in Milwaukee, bartended in Wauwatosa in the '70s and moved here in 1984.

Commentary, observations and musings about the outdoors, life in general and maybe Tosa politics and personalities will be the order of the day. He savors a lively debate as much as terrific cooking.

The Meaning of Nice

Random Musings and Idle Chit Chat

I was doing my treadmill thing at the gym over the lunch hour today and my mind kept wandering over the meaning of nice.

Not the meaning of life - but the meaning of nice.

There are televisions suspended from the ceiling in front of the treadmills and M*A*S*H was playing on one of them.  I'm a big fan of M*A*S*H.  It was (and still is) a nice show.   I've seen all the episodes multiple times the consequence of which is I stumble through life will all manner of generally useless M*A*S*H trivia rolling around in my head.  Which is sort of nice.

When I was in high school I only dated girls from different high schools.  It was a rather nice plan.  I had a bunch of girl friends.  Mind you, most were not all at the same time.  I remember high school as a nice period in my life.  There was this one girl that I was sort of serious about and one of our routine activities was to watch the weekly M*A*S*H episode on television together.  We would snuggle on the couch which was nice.  She was also a gymnast.  Very nice.

Speaking of nice fond memories I have an old muscle car from 1968 which is a nice drive. It gulps gasoline which is nice for the oil companies.  If I take it out for a spin people will always say nice things about it.  Even gnarly bearded guys on Harleys will pull-up alongside at a stoplight and say something like - Nice ride, dude - and give me a thumbs-upBy the way, giving someone a thumbs-up is not a nice gesture in some cultures so always check into this before traveling.

People tell me I have a very nice wife.  I concur.  They also ask why such a nice woman puts up with me.  If asked, my wife might say - We are a nice match.

My daughter has a nice husband, I work with nice people and I have a nice dog.  I have a nice old cat.  I have a pretty nice life.

Heck - even a Bud Light can be nice if you are hot and sweaty and it is served nice and icy-cold.

You see - nice can mean so many different things on so many levels.

You're probably thinking - What's your point, Tom?

I was at the Hart Park Town Hall Meeting last night and chatting with a guy I know who manages a Gentleman's Club. He always has a nice smile on his mug.  Some of you might be envious of the nice working conditions in his line of employment.  I cannot comment as I have no personal knowledge of such establishments.

One of my Community Voices friends was there too - Christine.  She's nice.  Seriously, have any of you known a Quaker who wasn't nice? 

Anyway, some fella tapped me on the shoulder, introduced himself and said - Be nice.  That's it.  Just those two words.

Of course - I said.

What's that about? I wondered. 

Why wouldn't I be nice?  A bunch of my friends were in attendance.  The Chief of Police was there.  And you know me - I don't want any trouble.  Especially when law enforcement is hanging around.

Nonetheless it was a nice meeting.  The Mayor did a nice job with it.  I had a nice opportunity to make a public comment.  I had some nice conversations with city employees and aldermen.  Hart Park is going to be a nice place when all the pieces come together.  On balance, a great park and an opportunity to be heard are what make Tosa such a nice place to live.

Yet I wondered about that comment.  Be nice.  I'm a sensitive guy after all.

I'm thinking - Maybe this fella reads my blog and thinks I'm not nice?  Could that even be possible?

So I asked my wife.  She thought the comment maybe wasn't nice, but added - I wasn't there to hear it so maybe he was just making a joke.  You're probably over-reacting.

OK.  Maybe a joke or perhaps something not so nice.

So I asked this wise guy friend of mine what he thought.  He's more of a wise guy (think three wise men) as opposed to a wise-guy (think three stooges) so his opinion carries some weight.

Tom, words mean something and he wouldn't have spoken them unless he intended to send some sort of message.

Geez.  Thanks for the sinister opinion wise-guy.  Nice. 

Now before any of you twelve readers get all conspiratorial about who you think tapped me on the shoulder it's none of your damn business.  I don't want to see any speculation or conjecture in any comments either.  I would hate to have to delete a comment.

Besides, it is not important.  So be nice. 

What is important is that we all recognize that blogging sometimes lurches between extremes of the sublime and the sarcastic.   

For some bloggers over-the-top outrageous is acceptable.  I won't go there.

I admit to pushing a few buttons or pushing the edge of the envelope now and then.  I'll continue to do so from time-to-time. 

And you can feel free to comment. 

What I will not do is write about someone's personal life, relationships, family or employer so as to make this forum a blunt instrument of intimidation or threat. 

That would not be nice and therefore it is verboten.

So, to the nice fella I met yesterday I extend a hearty - Have a nice day!

And for everyone else these words of advice:

It's nice to be nice to the nice.  Frank Burns - M*A*S*H

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