The first of each month sees a check-in with Fountain County Indiana’s Liars Roundtable, so I swept into the Crossroads restaurant in the small town of Attica. With the lunch rush over, the wait staff was catching up on bussing tables and rolling silverware in napkins in preparation for the early-bird supper rush of late afternoon.
At the Roundtable, eight men sat enjoying their coffee and conversation and waiting on my arrival; Quintin, ever the dapper gentleman and strong silent type, made sure to pull out my chair and I plopped unceremoniously on the plastic cushioned seat. With a whoosh of air, we were off to the races.
Fake News or Not and the NFL
I opened with a softball question: “Do you watch cable or national news?” Most at the table said they tuned into their local affiliate and read the newspaper for their daily dose of doom and gloom. But Quintin watches NBC because he grew up watching the station, and Richard says he prefers MSNBC, but only at night. “There is too much chatter,” he said.
“The president will speak for three minutes, and the talking heads will analyze every word for another 20 minutes,” Donnie added.
David said that he turned off the “Clinton News Network” way before Trump, and, without prompting, Mike added his two cents. “I support the 1st Amendment 100%, but the media has a responsibility to report just the facts; we are smart enough to draw our own conclusions.” That statement was met with unanimous nods and the passing of contraband donut holes in fellowship.
When the topic of the NFL came up, heavy sighs and head-shaking went around the table like a stadium wave. “Protest all you want. Just not the men and women who protect your right to do so,” was Howard’s take on the matter. And the table reached consensus.
Who’s Afraid of Little Rocket Man?
No one at the table was concerned whatsoever about North Korea or Kim Jong Un, which is interesting, as every leftist in the country and few wavering Republicans seem terrified of a nuclear strike and wish Trump would cease baiting the little leader.
“He’s a dictator,” Mike said. “He wants to stay in power and bully the rest of the world so starting a real war with Trump would end him lickity-split. Trump is toying with him.”
The Mixed Bag of Big Issues
Another round of coffee refills was the perfect time to ask the table what they believed was the greatest problem facing our country today. Mike was out of the gate at record-breaking speed and without hesitation on this question. “Too many alt-left professors brainwashing our kids, this younger generation that thinks Socialism is the way to go, and the darn Republicans doing nothing to help Trump pass his agenda.”
“All these people still mad at Hillary losing. Wasting time on this Russia nonsense and making mountains out of molehills. When Obama was in, we accepted it. Held our breath and crossed our fingers we’d survive him, but we let him do his job,” was Jim’s observation, to which Mike added, “Trump has a lot of Obama to undo.”
Not to be outdone on the topic of a tainted government addicted to power, Donnie mentioned that it appears our disgraced Members of Congress (Conyers and Franken) have what the table dubbed “Tiger Woods Syndrome.” It seems when Tiger was caught messing around on his wife, he said in an interview: “I thought because I’m rich and powerful and famous and I’ve worked hard. That I can do whatever I want, that I can have it.” That may sum up Hollywood as well.
When the clock above the cash register showed 4:00 p.m., my Roundtable interviewees began to gather their jackets, measure out gratuities, and head for home. Several joked they had to make a drug run (picking up prescriptions at the pharmacy). Others headed to the grocery store for last-minute necessities for supper, and Jim was attempting to convince Quintin to follow him to a game of Pickle Ball, a racket and whiffle ball game that is all the rage in Attica. Quintin declined, saying an 11-year-old girl beat him last time and that his ego was in recovery. But Jim kept at him, saying, “(Senator) John McCain should go home too, but he keeps showing up.”