Silly me.

It’s been 11 years now that “Silly Me” has been poking around the community, looking for interesting tidbits to share with readers. The result has been 89 “Silly me” columns — so far.

Nothing to brag about but fun to reflect on.

In 2010, Silly Me suggested Mason City should do a little bragging with an inscription on its city limits signs. Why not tell people they’re entering a community that passed a $7.6 million bond issue for its library?

In 2009, Silly Me said if Obamacare is all it’s cracked up to be, why not try it in Illinois and Delaware first (Obama’s and Biden’s home states) to see if it works there before springing it on the whole country.

Years ago, Silly Me pointed out it took the City Council seven months to decide what color to paint a water tower.

Silly Me has touched on health issues over the years, imploring people to stop smoking (“If at first you don’t succeed, quit, quit, quit again.”)

And Silly Me has also battled the ups and downs of dieting, offering tips such as “If it requires a bib, don’t eat it” and “If you can smell the bacon, don’t get any closer to it.”

Silly Me has looked at how other City Councils operate, noting, in 2008, that a councilman in Washington state became so upset at a meeting, he took off his artificial leg and threw it at someone in the audience.

The Silly Me express started in 2002 when the city was about to spend $20 million on a new water treatment plant because the radium level in our water was higher than EPA standards. Radium leads to hardness of water, which, over 50 to 60 years of continuous drinking, may lead to bone cancer.

So, Silly Me suggested, if the problem is hardness of water, why not invest in putting water softeners in the homes of the 11,100 water customers? It would be costly — but it wouldn’t cost $20 million.

Silly Me has shared some embarrassing moments, too, like the time he was trying to locate a 91-year-old retired pilot for a story on aviation.

Silly Me didn’t have the man’s phone number but had heard he hung out at a particular coffee shop. So he called the place but the guy wasn’t there. The woman who answered the phone said she could provide his home number.

Since the woman apparently knew the old fellow, Silly Me asked, delicately, if he was “still with it.”

“He sure is,” she said, “and I ought to know. I sleep with him every night.”


Silly me.

Reach John Skipper at 421-0537 or

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