John Boehner (R-Ohio) (see what I did there) cried his way through a series of interviews in various locations on "60 Minutes" on Sunday night. The "real men don't cry" stigma has lifted. I think some water works are acceptable at your daughter's wedding, at the birth of a child, talking about tough times with a friend or if you are a Texas Longhorn fan and your team isn't bowl eligible this year. But I think it is still held as factual that crying all the time is a sign that a person is overly emotional and not exactly in control.
Winston Churchill said, "All men make mistakes, but only wise men learn from their mistakes."
While that is true, I would take that one step further to say that a truly wise man learns from the mistakes of others. Thanks to an event last week, I will be able to avoid a mistake in my near future.
When my wife and I travel to Ethiopia next month, I will know to leave my dried hedgehogs at home.
A 59-year old man from Ghana was recently detained at Dulles Airport in Washington, D.C. He was found to have of chicken blood, dried hedgehogs, dried chameleons and elephant tails in his suitcase. I hope he had them in a really good plastic bag. Otherwise, I wouldn't want to get stuck in a seat by him on the 18-hour flight back home. I've never smelled elephant tail, but I have no reason to believe it would be a positive experience.
So thanks to this man's mistake, I have now told my wife that the dried animals have to stay here. We'll just have to buy some more if we find them at the market.
It's hard to imagine that TSA officials see many dried animals during their normal workdays.
But it is good to know they are ready, just in case a Ghanan has some elephant tails in his suitcase.
More elephant news
Speaking of elephant tails, John Boehner (R-Ohio) (see what I did there) cried his way through a series of interviews in various locations on "60 Minutes" on Sunday night.
He cried on election night when he realized he would get to be speaker of the House after a huge Republican resurgence.
He cried in a church in his hometown talking about crying on election night. He cried talking about trying to help young people. He cried when reporter Lesley Stahl asked him why he cries all the time.
Stahl said in a discussion after the interview that she thought Americans would relate better to Boehner since he does absolutely nothing to hold back tears and lets people see him for who he really is.
The "real men don't cry" stigma has lifted. I think some water works are acceptable at your daughter's wedding, at the birth of a child, talking about tough times with a friend or if you are a Texas Longhorn fan and your team isn't bowl eligible this year.
But I think it is still held as factual that crying all the time is a sign that a person is overly emotional and not exactly in control.
How uncomfortable is it when someone cries over some nonsense in your office? Can you imagine how hard it will be during a tough budget negotiation when Boehner sits at the table wiping away tear after tear because the Democrats won't agree to tax cuts for millionaires? Isn't supply side economics a good reason to cry?
Boehner will have to learn to suck it up a little - especially if Sarah Palin maintains her position of power in the Republican Party.
He'll never be asked to spend any quality time with her in Alaska.
She won't stand for him huffing and puffing while she's trying to bash a halibut's brains in or gut an elk that she felled after only a dozen shots. (I'm not saying I could do better. But what does a Mama Grizzly have to do to get an Alaskan elk to run away? Shot after shot whizzed by his antlers, and he never even flinched. I've seen a statue of an elk with better reflexes.)
I just hope Boehner can keep it together during the State of the Union address.
When I am trying to write a column about the annual speech, it is annoying enough trying to see who applauded for which lines and who sat uncomfortably silent.
If I have to factor in how many times Boehner cries, I'm going to request hazardous duty pay.
Kent Bush is publisher of the Augusta (Kan.) Gazette.