• Chuck Grassley: What's Right With Him, Sort Of

    • Posted on Oct 17, 1980


    Here, as promised, are all the good things I can think of about Chuck Grassley as a candidate for senator.

     This is in keeping with the Thumper Rule: "If you can't say something nice, shut your rabbity mouth."

    Let me note first that plenty of good things could probably be said about Chuck Grassley as a father, a family man, a teacher, a factory worker, a non-Harvard grad, and so on.

    None of that concerns me. Let's look at three nice things about Chuck that relate to his senatorial potential: 1. He talks like he's from the Midwest. Listen to Chuck's r's and l's sometime. "And I'm herrre to tell you that I'm rrright." That's the way most of us talk out herrre, and Chuck has it down.

    2. He dresses like he's from the Midwest. His Sunday-go-to-Washington clothes are sheer flatlands: clip-on ties, white socks, shiny black leather flat shoes. All sensible; no fancy windsor knots or cordovans for Chuck. 3. Finally, he has the right name for an Iowa senator. Remember Bourke Hickenlooper, a former representative? Then there was Gross, another perfect name.

    With Grassley, we have a name that's earthy, one that could use and even produces at times, fertilizer. His barber must joke about having to mow the Grassley. So would other senators, maybe. There never accuse me of negative political criticism. I've found good even where it's least expected.

    Go comment!
    Posted in
    • Cedar Valley Chronicles
    • Politics
    • Humor
  • Invitation from ‘Glo-Worms’ almost breaks Cawelti’s rule

    • Posted on Oct 14, 1980

    Most people have a few simple built-in rules by which they live. 

    "Do it right the first time so you don't have to do it again" ; "You get what you pay for."

    Nothing worthwhile comes easily"; and almost all of the Ben Franklin rules are common words to live by. 

    Rarely something happens which challenges a long-held rule. But when that happens, one must either break the rule or change it. One rule I've believed for years has just been challenged and I'm somewhat shaken. The rule: "If it looks too good to be true, it is too good to be true."

    For years, that little rule has guided me steadfastly through cons and con-persons, through phone sales and trumped-up huggermuggery of all varieties. 

    Now I'm wondering if it's always right. The challenge just came in the form of an invitation from "Karen M." I'm looking at it now. It's printed on a soft light blue stationary, bordered by fuzzy curlicues, the top one of which is a little drawing of two love-birds nuzzling. Rather cute.

    The letter is dated "3:15 a.m. Saturday," and between every other printed paragraph, Karen has hand-written a message in blue felt-tip pen. The messages read, in order, "and I do mean enjoy!" — "You lucky dog..." "...don't stop!" — "...someone like you?" — "...turn me over." 

    Which I do, and there on the letter's backside is a quote from the Master, Kahlil Gibran: "It is the pleasure of the bee to gather honey of the flower, but it is also the pleasure of the flower to yield its honey to the bee." 

    The letter is signed "Bye for now, Karen." with a flourish. 

    WELL NOW. Karen tells me that some woman sent my name to her "because you have something that our members want..." But I'll never know who sent it in, or exactly what she wants. Indeed, Karen says rather disarmingly, "Rather than drive yourself crazy trying to figure out who it was, why not just be glad that someone out there seems to think that you have what it takes!" 

    Ahem. Only those who are chosen by a female member of the group are invited to join, and from then on, if you pardon the expression, it's gangbusters. If it's true, that is... 
    Oops. There are two catches. Membership is $20, or $30 for "Executive," and $40 for the "Executive Bonus" membership: That last one probably includes trapeze privileges. 

    BUT $20 isn't all that much, even if Karen only notates more letters.

    It’s the other catch that’s stalling me. The name of the group is “The Glo-Worm Society.” Now, “Men Alive!” or “The Swinging Fingers” or “The Yes-Yes Club” would be tolerable. But “Glo-Worms”? I mean, that’s Mills Brothers stuff, late ‘40s (pap, not pop) music. Besides, it creates a downright grotesque image.

    So I’m passing up my chance to become a Glo-Worm. I suppose they have honorary non-voting memberships, or short-term Glo-Away arrangements, but still I’ll pass. I can’t imagine some sweet thing asking whether I’m interesting in Glo-ing out without me guffawing rudely.

    So my original rule stands; but for a name, it might have fallen. Thanks to whoever named the “Glo-worms”; they made my rule prove exceptional.

    Go comment!
    Posted in
    • Humor
    • Cedar Valley Chronicles
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“Even before the advent of the Internet, Cawelti’s columns went 'viral' in the Cedar Valley… the role of a columnist is to be thought provoking, to take tacks that shed a different light on an issue or possibly cause a reader to reevaluate a position. At the very least, it should bring clarity to a particular perspective, whether you buy into the commentator’s worldview or not.

Scott's work does just that.  Enjoy this collection of his writing.”

-Saul Shapiro, Former Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier Editor
Read Shapiro's entire introduction.


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