I read the news today, oh boy. It’s not my habit – I actually prefer to live in a vacuum. However, I still take the paper to do one little puzzle, and on occasion I like to see what’s going on in the world.

The front page was heady with this breaking news: Conan O’Brien is getting a show on TBS. I thank my lucky stars I picked this day to read the paper because this is news I need to know. I like O’Brien – not to look at but he’s pretty entertaining and seems like a nice guy. He’s not using the f-word all the time, which is forbidden on network TV but he might be able to get away with it on cable. However, Steve Koonin, whose name appears to rhyme with Conan which is probably the main reason he’s giving O’Brien a show, says that “Conan’s not a dirty comedian.” I hope this means that neither his tongue, nor his odor, will be foul.

Meanwhile, the Catholic Church continues to dig itself in deeper. Cardinal Bertone, the Vatican’s secretary of state, says homosexuality is the problem with pedophiles. I’m Catholic, and I just have to wonder. When is someone going to muzzle these guys? You cannot justify abuse on any level, and to even hint at a link with homosexuality is going to get you a lot of enemies. It is never politically correct to say anything about homosexuals.

According to another headline, at least the Church has laid down some “official” laws to make sure abuse no longer happens, but that’s been in place for awhile, at least at my church. I had to sign all kinds of papers and have a criminal background check when I taught Sunday school a few years ago – I’m surprised they didn’t fingerprint me. The Vatican is heading in the right direction, but it will be one step forward and two steps back if someone doesn’t tell those Cardinals to put a sock in it.

I wrote sometime in the recent past about being scared of road rage. Turns out it’s happening all around me. A motorist has filed a suit against a police officer for road rage. The motorist claims the off-duty officer flashed him the finger in traffic and called him an expletive. I’m not sure what an expletive is, but it’s probably not something Conan would say. Anyway, the motorist decided to follow the guy, who he didn’t realize was an off-duty officer, to get his license number. When he pulled over, the off-duty officer pulled over too and got out of his car, holding his gun by his side. He yelled at the motorist that he was an expletive and couldn’t expletive drive.

Then the newspaper, being impartial, gave the officer’s version. He said the motorist ran a red light and nearly caused a wreck. When this occurred, the officer, who’s name, can you believe it, was “Nice,” pulls alongside the motorist and says, “Nice, thanks for almost hitting me back there.” The officer also claimed he drew his gun as a precaution. I would almost believe him except he’s been involved in a couple of other incidents, one involving a prisoner’s death for which he was cleared. Even though that seems to reveal a pattern of violence and hot headedness, it didn’t carry as much weight in my mind as him using his own name, “Nice,” to describe something that he found to be very irritating  – a guy running a red light. If he thinks this is “nice,” what does that tell you about how he feels about his own name? I’ll let the psychologists sort that out. I’m still trying to figure out why an off-duty officer would get into a fracas with a motorist that led to drawing his gun and perhaps getting into a gun fight – WHEN HE’S GOT A 6 WEEK OLD BABY IN THE CAR WITH HIM.

For one thing, he shouldn’t have been allegedly shouting expletives in front of the baby. I wonder if Conan should have a talk with him.

Well, that’s all the news I could take for one day. When they say “no news is good news,” they sure got that right.