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Articles By Author - David McCoy


We're all fat now

When I was a kid, I was beyond skinny. I was a beanpole, a stick, a rail of a boy who could eat and eat and still be blown over by a strong March wind. Calories weren't my problem. In fact, calories meant one thing to me: "fat people." In my partial view of reality, the only people who talked about calories were "fat people." March forward a few too many decades, and I'm talking about calories, and I'm one of those "fat people." Maybe you are too? We're all fat now, from what I read ...

June 28, 2015 | David McCoy | LIVING


Lower your windows

We live in sealed houses, ride in sealed cars, shop in sealed stores and generally live our lives isolated from the ugly, mean, cruel outdoors. We love our air conditioning, and our air filters, and those little dispensers that spray nice smelling air into our lives, but we might as well be on Mars, ensconced in a terrarium just like some fancy turtle that can do long division. If we claim our lives "are a zoo," is it any wonder? We've built an indoor zoo and we live there year 'round, caged for our own protection.

June 14, 2015 | David McCoy | LIVING


My shampoo doesn't trust me

Okay. I know shampoo isn't a sentient product with a mind of its own, so we can both agree that any statement about it lacking "trust" is just poetic license. Well, I'm fine with that because I've always wanted to be a poet, and I wondered where the licensing bureau was. Now, back to the shampoo. My fancy shampoo has a little electronic tag on it that says it's being "protected." The store that sold it to me most likely put the little tag on it so no one could stick the big bottle of coconut ...

May 31, 2015 | David McCoy | LIVING


Learning the ancient lands

All around are stones. The buildings are mason-crafted from sandstone. Many of the street walks are cobbled in smooth rock. And the land of Edinburgh is itself a mass of stone, a fortress of a city spied upon by the castle at the heights. This is Scotland's capital, and it's been my temporary home for a week after an overnight sleeper train from London. E dinburgh is Scotland, and Scotland has been a mystery all my life, until now. It's not that I have decoded all of Scotland's mysteries; it's just that the land and ...

May 17, 2015 | David McCoy | LIVING


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Archive By Author - David McCoy


McCoy: The right skills for a crisis

I've been re-reading the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy series, and my brain is reeling with spaceships, robots, time travel and towels. But one passage I read is more a real-world warning than it is science fiction. Arthur Dent, the protagonist, is stranded on a remote and primitive planet. Nothing in his training has prepared him for a world that's this simpleminded, and despite his supposed learning and skills, he feels useless. Instead of doing what most useless people do - going into national politics - he opens a sandwich shop. He's a survivor and he's found ...

December 01, 2012 | David McCoy | Columnists


McCoy: Successful aging

You might say "successful aging" means finding another candle on the old birthday cake, but I don't believe success can be defined in such simple terms where quantity equals quality. I think successful aging means something more complex, like coming to grips with your mortality and the small, but important role you play in life. You also have to wise up about your dreams. I abandoned my childhood dream of becoming an astronaut. I also gave up the extremely unrealistic dream of owning a vintage Italian car that didn't leak oil and make me swear. Does that mean ...

November 25, 2012 | David McCoy | Columnists


McCoy: The last unspoiled holiday

Thanksgiving is one of the last unspoiled holidays we have - a holiday that's still celebrated roughly the same way it's always been celebrated. Sure, there's always the unwavering Arbor Day, but when was the last time your boss gave you a day off to have a fancy dinner party with a bunch of trees? No, Thanksgiving is one of our last major holidays that would still be recognized by the originators. Do you think Joseph and Mary would recognize a modern Christmas? "Mary, who's the fat guy in the red suit? And were there any flying ...

November 20, 2012 | David McCoy | Columnists


Dreams of lost loves

Maybe it's an ailment only men will understand, but let it be known that I suffer from recurring dreams about my old cars. It'll be three in the morning, and I'll be enjoying a nice snooze under a warm blanket when my subconscious will grab its little photo album of all our old cars. "Oh, look! There's that tiny MG you had! And here's that ancient Mercedes. Remember that one?" And I will remember each and every one of those cars, and the memories will become solid again, and I'll drive around Dreamland in ...

November 10, 2012 | David McCoy | Columnists


McCoy: My long lost quarter

Numbers don't mean what they once did, do they? When I was a child, a quarter was real money, a dollar was manna from heaven, and a 20 meant you'd just celebrated a birthday. We kept our 10s and 20s in a bank that called itself the "Home of the Thousandaires." Becoming a thousandaire was a realistic goal when your deposit slip was nothing special. I'm sure a few of the people I knew dreamed of becoming millionaires, but the only millionaires I knew were the Clampetts who lived in a mansion in Beverly Hills. For me ...

November 03, 2012 | David McCoy | Columnists


McCoy: World’s Greatest Dad

I guess celebrities are everywhere, but I was really shocked to learn that the World's Greatest Dad lives in our town! What are the odds of that happening? By definition, there can only be one "World's Greatest Dad," and he lives right here, not over in a Tibetan hut or Australian wilderness protecting his kids from wild dingoes and snakes. I haven't met the guy, but I know he lives here because I've seen World's Greatest Dad shirts, pens and coffee cups for sale in the local stores.

October 25, 2012 | David McCoy | Columnists


McCoy: The trouble with machines

As a kid, I was a sucker for machines. I couldn't pass a gumball rack without turning all the handles; I took apart my toys just to get at the electric motors; and I was simply mad for anything with batteries, gears or knobs.

I would have given away all my Superman comic books for a robot, even if it was missing a dozen transistors. Well, times have changed, and now I'm surrounded by more machines than I ever wanted. And I'd give them all away, if I could.

October 06, 2012 | David McCoy | Columnists


A jaded guide to the 2012 presidential election

To cope with the insanity of modern U.S. presidential elections, I've adopted a jaded strategy that I'll share with you. My opinion is harsh, but I'm calling it as I see it.

September 29, 2012 | David McCoy | Columnists


Are you a nutty collector?

Do you collect things? For reasons known only to God and Alan Greenspan, we humans are the only species that collects things just for fun. Penguins don't knowingly collect sports memorabilia; turtles don't collect stamps; and I've yet to meet a dog who owned any artwork - not even an acrylic-on-velvet painting of a fire hydrant. Animals collect berries, nuts, twigs and other practical things, and except for the pack rat, random collecting is a human act, passion and obsession. I'm an admitted collector. I collect teapots, guitar amplifiers and English grammar books, but, I'm not ...

September 15, 2012 | David McCoy | Columnists


How to argue with an adult

Hey, kids! Last week I wrote about the art of arguing, but I used some Latin terms and talked about the decline of society, so you probably assumed it was "old people advice." Well, it was. How about if I use this column just for you? How would you like a few tricks to use when arguing with adults?

September 01, 2012 | David McCoy | Columnists


The rules of a good argument

It's a fact: If you have an opinion, you can be sure someone will have an argument to match it. And a good argument is nothing to be afraid of. A good argument is a logical analysis of differing opinions. It's called a debate.

August 18, 2012 | David McCoy | Columnists


On patrol with the color coordination police

We all have embarrassing social flaws, don't we? Well, maybe you don't have any, but I'm loaded with them. I'm cursed with an inability to dance; I don't enjoy professional sports; I have no interest in going to Vegas to gamble away my paycheck; and I'm a total bore at political fundraisers. The list could go on and on, but I want to complain a bit about the one social flaw that seems to bite me in the tail every day of the week: when it comes to dressing myself, apparently I have no ...

August 11, 2012 | David McCoy | Columnists


McCoy: What did you really learn in high school?

I was in Athens on Sunday, dining at one of my favorite places and mulling over a cup of coffee and my little slice of life, when I saw something that intrigued me. I watched my waitress stand on a stool and erase a big chalkboard they use for a menu. As she wrote up the new entree item - a tasty sounding omelette - I thought: "I wonder if she ever imagined she'd have a job that required her to erase a chalkboard?" We all erased chalkboards in school, but who knew it could be a good career move?

I ...

July 05, 2012 | David McCoy | Columnists


The saintly and people like me

It's hard enough having one columnist in the house, but imagine the situation over here in McCoy-land. I'm in my fourth year with my humor column - Pecan Pie for the Mind - and my wife - Jan McCoy - is on her second year with her religion column. Our kids duck and cover when they see us, for fear of becoming next week's humorous anecdote or sermon topic. And consider the residents of Covington, where both our columns run in The Covington News. Imagine the trauma that ensues when some devout little lady is looking for "that sweet McCoy's ...

June 23, 2012 | David McCoy | Columnists


McCoy: Life before the mirror

I hate mirrors. There's one in each of our bathrooms, and there's a mirror in the hall, and there's supposed to be one in our bedroom, but I haven't put it up since we moved in last year. Why would I want another mirror? The ones I already have hate me as much as I hate them. It's like they are all saying, "Hey, David...look over here!" and when I do, I see an old man staring back at me. And that old man is me. And I don't like what I see ...

June 16, 2012 | David McCoy | Columnists


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