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Posted: March 11, 2014 10:00 p.m.

Pecan Pie for the Mind

You've got a lovely glow today

People who work around radioactivity wear those little gadgets called dosimeters to detect if they’ve been exposed to an unsafe level of radiation. I think it sure would be helpful if we had dosimeters for other uses in our lives. For instance, wouldn’t you like to know that you’ve been exposed to an excessive level of shopping on any given weekend? And what if a dosimeter could warn you when you’ve ingested a near-lethal dose of AM talk radio? I think we could find about a million uses for these little gadgets. ... or at least enough to fill out the rest of this column.

What if dosimeters were used in weddings? The bride and groom could exchange rings, and then they could clip little monitoring badges on each other. The badges wouldn’t check for radioactivity; they’d listen for sarcasm, nagging, and a few other common marriage flaws. I bet we could lower the divorce rate! If your honey’s badge started glowing red, you could zip into marriage counseling before it was too late.

And what if we could make dosimeters that were smart enough to detect really awful grammar? Anytime someone says, "Tom, Betty and myself are here," the badge would glow fire-red, and we might be able to rid the world of such nonsense. Personally, I’d be afraid to wear one of those badges.

I’d love to make children wear little monitors. I witnessed a kid today who was clearly at the end of his rope as he exploded in anger. What if he had been wearing a warning badge so his parents could have spotted this coming long before they sat down to eat with a pre-teen time bomb? I understand there are now diapers that change color when they get wet. Technically, all diapers change color when they get wet, but we won’t talk about that. If we can make diapers detect wetness, why not give the next generation a whole range of monitors from the moment they’re born?

The only problem with this dosimeter idea is that we’d likely need a different dosimeter for each thing we’d want to detect. The average human might need 50 different badges just to get through the day. Why, we’d look like walking Christmas trees, glowing red, and blue, and green. Most babies would have an extra yellow glow around their diapers, but like I said, we aren’t going to talk about that.

David McCoy, a notorious storyteller and proud Yellow Jacket, lives in Covington. He can be

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