Some Questions Never Asked

In the two hour, 100 mile drive from Westfield to Boston, how many different license plates can you count? My record: 18. But I don't count trucks.

Did you know that there is actually a pamphlet for politicians that tells you how to "Grip and Grin," tips on surviving handshaking on the campaign trail? There is. Put out by the Occupational Therapy Association.

Did you know I got a call from an association surveying all Korean legislators? They were very disappointed to find out that this Hahn is not Korean. Wouldn't they be surprised to think I was and then see a six foot Swede?

Have you ever met a farmer who breeds pigs for research? A cat-chiropractor? Or a family who raises miniature horses? I have, just recently. It's folks like them that make life interesting.

Have you sent your donation yet to help save the historic carriage house in Montgomery? It's been used as a salt shed, and it needs help.

Where are you most likely to get germs? From body fluids that can contain illness-causing bacteria or viruses? From blood, urine, mucus, saliva or sweat. Found, in this order, on playground equipment, bus rails or armrests, public restroom surfaces, shopping cart handles, chair seats or armrests, escalator handrails, customer-shared pens, vending machine knobs, public telephones, and elevator buttons.

Did that ruin your lunch?

Did you know that 75,000 Massachusetts teenagers have experienced a significant problem due to gambling? Did you know you can contact the Massachusetts Council on Compulsive Gambling at 800/426-1234?

Why did the legislature have to mandate prompt payment of insurance claims? Because acute care hospitals carry $688-million in accounts receivable from HMOs, according to the Massachusetts Hospital Association.

Where and when was the nation's first police department established? In Boston, in 1854.

Did you know that more than half of Massachusetts' residents live within 50 miles of the coast?

Did you know that there are no "cat control" laws in Westfield? Do you know how mad I can get at the neighbor's cats when they spray my doors?

Have you tried to teach your baby sign language? It works. They can sign before they can speak.

Have your requested a citation from the House of Representatives for a special occasion? Just call your representative or senator if the event is a birthday 80 or older, or an anniversary of 50 years or more.

How much does Westfield spend on education each year? $41,132,983. Of that, $44,170 (a tenth of a percent) is for charter schools.

How did one political party in Mexico attract women voters? By hosting a party featuring the "Sexy Boys," who stripped down to boxer shorts that spelled our "Vote for the PRI," and then stripped down to g-strings, and then stripped down to nothing at all. The party also hosted a circus and distributed some big-ticket items like TVs, refrigerators and dining room sets. The party lost the election.

Did you know there was a bill introduced this year in the legislature to "prohibit the sale of minor children"? I'm told it really just mandates reporting the death of a child.

Where does Massachusetts rank when it comes to per capita personal income? Tenth in the nation. Top top nine are California, New York, Texas, Florida, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Ohio, New Jersey and Michigan.

What are some other rankings? Per capita, 30th in spending on education. 10th on environmental spending. 3rd in fire protection spending and 8th in police protection spending.

What is the economic impact of Barnes Airport? Massachusetts Aeronautics Commission says Barnes is worth $48.7-million to the state.

How many Massachusetts drivers fail to buckle up when they are in the car? 37 percent.

Why did one of the candidates for Governor of Washington state drop out? Because, he said, "Everybody is saying now we have a horse race. Life's too short for me to be a horse."

Where do Massachusetts residents die? Almost 47 percent in a hospital, 29 percent in a nursing home, 22 percent in their own home or hospice, and just over one percent die out of state.

What questions do you want answered?

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