Questions in search of answers

Is there a chance that spring will finally come? Or will we skip spring and go directly to summer? Will we cheer when El Niño makes its exit and takes all its rain and snow and miserably cold temperatures and we get instead, so we’re told by weather gurus, an exceedingly hot year? Will there really be fewer insects as a result of all the cold temps this winter? If so, dare I hope there will be fewer mosquitoes to bite me?

Is there any supply/demand reason for gasoline prices to keep edging upward, or are oil company profits not obscene enough? Are Delta farmers producing substantially more twin children these days, or did there just seem to be an unusually large number of them at the Mid-South Farm & Gin Show this year? Is it something in the water? Do you think House Republican Leader John Boehner spends all his spare time in a tanning booth, or is he just naturally a deep, dark bronze from the Ohio winter sun? Is his dermatologist already ordering up a Mercedes?

If any number of weeds can thrive in sub-freezing winter temperatures, or wheat for that matter, and given the miracles of genetic modification, why can’t we bioengineer corn that will thrive in snow? Or tomatoes? Is there really, as physicists posit, an end to the universe? If so, what is beyond the end of the universe? If all the misinformation, slander, and outright lies being forwarded daily around the Internet were laid end-to-end, would they stretch beyond the end of the universe?

Will the voters of Arkansas, a state heavily dependent on agriculture, really, as some polls suggest, toss out of office someone who is chairman of the Senate Agriculture Committee, a position of much importance to farmers not just in Arkansas, but the Mid-South and the entire U.S.? Does most of the non-agricultural voting public in Arkansas even know that there is a Senate Agriculture Committee, or that bread and milk are not manufactured in the back of the supermarket?

Were you astute observer enough to notice that on the cover of the 2010 Delta Agricultural Digest the photo of the combine is reversed? Are you the one — yes, one and only — person who phoned to tell us what a boneheaded mistake we made?

In a region with barbecue joints galore, why is it so hard to find decent barbecue? If the head honcho of my group health insurance company got $120 million in compensation over five years, was he six times more effective than if he’d got only $20 million? Did fewer of their clients die, or be denied treatment, or be bankrupted than if the company didn’t have two corporate jets worth $65 mill?

(With apologies to Padgett Powell, whose recent novel, “The Interrogative Mood,” consisting of nothing but questions, is one of the most unusual books in a long while.)

e-mail: [email protected]

Hide comments


  • Allowed HTML tags: <em> <strong> <blockquote> <br> <p>

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.