SlowNewsDayFullby Robert Gillis
Published in the Foxboro Reporter and the Boston City Paper 8/2015

In response to your literally thousands of cards, emails, and letters, and at the request of my 42,000 Twitter followers, I present you with a brand-new slow news day, random thoughts, end of summer edition!

Speaking of summer, every year in late August, we all realize the summer days are precious. That said, I JUST PUT AWAY MY SNOW THROWER FOUR MONTHS AGO. To say I am not ready for another winter is a galactic understatement. And informed sources (two people at work) tell me that the Farmer’s Almanac predicts a winter for the upcoming 2015–2016 season that is going to be WORSE than the last one, which, as you just might recall, was, in about two centuries, the worst one on record. (One hundred eight inches of snow in Boston – that is the *REAL* number.)

So while the Halloween candy is being placed on display as I write this (August) and the Christmas sales will likely begin around September 20, I would like to remind you that it SNOWED on the first day of spring around here (really), and that it snowed a week after spring started (really), and considering there was real doubt on all our parts that spring or summer would even take place this year – well, I’m just not ready to let it go just yet so I thought I would share some fun memories and silliness.

The beginning of the summer brought a very close call: I was shopping at a local supermarket when I saw a small display announcing that that particular day was “national blueberry pie day” – a fact of which I was completely unaware. Now, you know me to neither rash nor impulsive, and I’m not given to wild, unsupported statements, but this is the greatest thing in the history of EVER.

Sign at register asking people to NOT use their cell phone at Bread and Roses In Ogunquit, Maine.  Their coffee and pastries are awesome too!
Sign at register asking people to NOT use their cell phone at Bread and Roses In Ogunquit, Maine. Their coffee and pastries are awesome too!

I noticed that there was exactly one pie left – and being Christian I realized that wasting food would be wrong so I immediately purchased that blueberry pie. So, I made the sacrifice, did what was RIGHT, and bought the pie, and enjoyed a small piece for dessert that evening, followed by one for breakfast, and finished it the next night. I was very grateful that I had not dishonored the people who founded this great country of ours by not properly honoring national blueberry pie day, and I was happy that no food was wasted that day.

Speaking of food, a Maine coffee shop / bakery I frequent has a sign by the cash register that reads as follows: “We will gladly assist you when you finish your call. Please step outside if you must use your cell phone.” Every time I am in that shop, I think the manager and the staff for that sign and I sincerely wish that every business would adopt that policy.

On that note, to the persons (and there are a LOT of you!) on your cell phone yakking away at the checkout counter of any store, literally throwing your credit card or money at the poor cashier trying to wait on you – please understand that I hold pond scum in higher regard than you. You would not tolerate the cashier talking on the phone while waiting on you. You’re being rude. As I’ve said before, unless you are a thoracic surgeon on call, or carrying the nuclear codes, get the hell off the cell phone when you’re conducting business in a store.

Speaking of technology part one: I have no Twitter followers because I am not on Twitter.

Speaking of technology, part two: one of the most exciting news events of the summer occurred on July 14 when the New Horizons arrived at the planet Pluto. Yes, I said the PLANET Pluto. When I was a kid there were nine plants. As a Scorpio, Pluto is MY planet and I took great offense to the so-called experts at the international astronomical whatever you call it organization who decided back in 2006 that Pluto was now going to be designated a “dwarf” planet.

The spectacular success of New Horizons – a tiny probe the size of an automobile launched over 10 years ago into space, journeying over three billion (that’s billion with a B) miles and finally capturing true images of Pluto were awe inspiring to say the least.

Pluto has FIVE moons, a fascinating topography, mountain ranges that rival the Appalachians and even a heart shaped land mass…

…and it is a planet. To those who say otherwise, I say, “Good day.”


The PLANET Pluto.  Because I said so.  PLANET.  PLANET.  PLANET PLUTO.  Image by because if *I* had taken this imagine I would have a LOT of explaining to do.
The PLANET Pluto. Because I said so. PLANET. PLANET. PLANET PLUTO. Image by because if *I* had taken this imagine I would have a LOT of explaining to do.

The planet Pluto is very far from the sun and cold, and speaking of Frozen, being only one of about five people in America who have not seen it, I watched the movie “Frozen” for the first time this summer.

I knew of the awesome Idina Menzel from RENT of course, and her Christmas CD is really good. The movie is impressive and I get why it was so popular and yeah, now I can’t get “Let It Go” out of my head.

Two questions about the film: Elsa can CREATE LIFE? Man, did they gloss over that little detail. Also, after the king and queen died and the sisters lived in the castle for many years, who was running the kingdom? How did the people survive and conduct trade? How did they conduct business and rule of law? Is it possible I am overthinking this?

Yeah, probably. I’d recommend you see it but you already have.

And don’t judge me: I really like the song “Let it go” now and bought it off Amazon that day and crank the volume in my car while I play it. Yes, I know that is not what the cool kids do, but I love the song.

Don’t judge me, part two: Taylor Swift’s latest CD, “1989” is outstanding. Best songs: Style, and Welcome to New York. Great work Taylor! Why you don’t return my calls is beyond me.

Well, hope you enjoyed a “lighter” column this time around; there’s been too much “down” news and we need some humor once in a while. Remember, it’s not autumn until September 21!

Enjoy the rest of the summer!


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