Editor’s Column: Deserts or desserts?

This Sunday commemorates the signing of our nation’s Constitution. I wanted

Niki Turner
to print the Constitution in its entirety as we did with the Declaration of Independence, but space this week has not permitted me to do so.

Small towns are wonderful fodder for fiction, whether mystery, romance, thriller or otherwise. Part of that comes from the tendency small communities have toward nepotism. Nepotism is defined as “the practice among those with power or influence of favoring relatives or friends, especially by giving them jobs.” It’s not considered a good thing, particularly when it comes to government, but it’s more popular than ever these days.
Nepotism comes naturally. It seems normal to hire your children and friends. You trust them, you can boss them around. That might be fine when you’re talking about your local store (or newspaper). It’s not often fine when it extends to your government officials. That’s how we end up with kangaroo courts and good ol’ boy networks.

Just deserts, or just desserts?
It’s one of my favorite typos. “Just desserts” (instructions given for potlucks), means something totally different than “just deserts.” (If you don’t see the difference, please consult a dictionary.) I often wonder if that typo is indicative of our tendencies toward optimism and pessimism.
For example, one of my sons and his wife got stuck on the west coast of Florida this week during Hurricane Irma in the direct path of the storm. They’re fine, the area they are in was one of the safer places between Naples and Tampa, but I spent multiple hours vicariously planning for the worst. I now know more about surviving a hurricane’s storm surge than I will probably ever need to know, given the fact I refuse to travel to hurricane-prone areas during hurricane season. (They’re on their way home this morning, finally, four days later than expected.)
All my “just deserts” thinking accomplished nothing for them in their situation.
My oldest son, on the other hand, is a “just desserts” kind of person, even though he’s one of the few people I know who are well-versed in actual survival techniques in the most outlandish conditions.
“It’s an adventure!” He wrote to his brother, blended with tidbits of helpful, practical information that might actually be applicable to the situation. Not only would he meet the challenge head-on, he would do with the same kind of attitude he adopts when eating free pie: happily.
Do we get our “just desserts” or our “just deserts” in life? Or does it depend on what we’re expecting? Are your deserts someone else’s desserts?

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