When Pete leaves Petunia

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This week we bring you a column George Ostrom picked out from 1968 ...

Can’t figure out what to write about this week. Let’s see, what’s in the latest papers and magazines.

See where some good lookin’, talented and intelligent girl got selected as Miss Wool for Montana and she’ll represent the state at the nationwide contest to see who is Miss Wool U.S.A. (Take away that beautiful wool dress and what have you got? A good lookin’ talented girl in her underwear.)

They never had contests like that in the “good old days” when I was sheddin’ my pin feathers. (That was during the Hoover administration). If they’d have had a similar program in those days, the winner would have been called Miss Flour Sack.

There are a lot of well dressed wimmin’ these days who got their first fashion inspirations from desperate modifications of Gold Medal material. True genius reaches its zenith under adversity.

Seems like every time I read the local daily, there is some slob being prosecuted for non support. This has to be one of America’s ten worst dilemmas.

A typical case history would show that Pete and Petunia fall madly in love. Then, through one of nature’s more interesting processes of osmosis, some children come along. (It should be noted that I use the plural form “some.” Very few non-support cases involve just one child because, for some unexplained reason, the family provider usually deserts only after compounding the basic problem.)

Now Petunia realized that love is a bit more than holding hands at the drive-in, but how does she get Pete to quit holding hands and start bringin’ home some cash for pablum and rent? Pete is immature, so he thinks, “that’s Petunia’s worry,” and he shoves off.

Months, or even years later, Pete is arrested and charged with non-support, and here lies the dilemma; if we send Pete to jail, he obviously can’t work to earn money for pablum and rent, but if he is scolded by the court and turned loose, he runs away again. Either way, Petunia doesn’t get a dime and the whole procedure costs the taxpayer money through law enforcement, court costs and welfare payments.

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