I didn’t think I was going to be able to write anything for this week’s newspaper. I’ve come down with an affliction fairly new to humankind, a syndrome that has claimed millions in the past few years and kept them from working and doing productive things.

I’m talking about “binging.” Not to be confused with downing copious brownie squares or ice cream or Eggo waffles with maple syrup. It’s more insidious than simple food, coming in the form of drama, comedy, documentary, and who-knows-what. You guessed it: multi-part stories streaming over the internet. Shows like Ozark or Bridgerton or Schitt’s Creek. Right now I’m in the middle of season five of Better Call Saul and I just have to, have to, know what happens next. Once you get started you’re doomed to go on to the next one, don’t you? Am I alone on this?

If you think about it, for the kids who are graduating from high school this week this streaming thing is normal and may have a hard time picturing a time when TV consisted of three channels – four if you count what was called the educational channel – that were viewed on a furniture-like device, way too heavy and bulky to carry around in your pants pocket.

So. Graduation. The big day is coming around again and between you and me I have a strong urge to cut-and-paste stuff I wrote in this space last year.

Full disclosure, that last sentence was cut-and-pasted from last year.

Come tomorrow, seniors in Socorro, Magdalena, Alamo, Quemado and parts unknown will march across a stage to be released from the confines of what some consider a violation of the Eighth Amendment in the Bill of Rights. You know, the one about cruel and unusual punishment? High school?

Who among us doesn’t remember their high school graduation? Whether it was five or 50 years ago, it’s a rite of passage, like getting a driver’s license, getting married or getting drafted. Oops, wrong generation.

I was reading the graduation rate in New Mexico is somewhere around 75 percent – give or take  – and I’m wondering where all those drop-outs end up later in life. Who knows, hopefully, many will become self-educated throughout life.

Granted, a lot of what we’re taught in school doesn’t seem to be of much use out in the real world, but I must admit algebra taught me how to think critically. Especially after I flunked it and had to go to summer school and take it over.

Some things, however, you have to learn on your own. And here, I yield to the wisdom of Will Rogers:

  • Never slap a man who’s chewing tobacco.
  • Never kick a cow chip on a hot day.
  • Never miss a good chance to shut up.
  • Always drink upstream from the herd.
  • If you find yourself in a hole, stop digging.
  • The quickest way to double your money is to fold it and put it back into your pocket.
  • There are three kinds of men: The ones that learn by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence and find out for themselves.
  • Good judgment comes from experience, and a lot of that comes from bad judgment.
  • If you’re ridin’ ahead of the herd, take a look back every now and then to make sure it’s still there.
  • Lettin’ the cat outta’ the bag is a whole lot easier’n puttin’ it back.

By the way, this Saturday is Armed Forces Day. It doesn’t seem to be as popular as it was when I was little and has gone by the wayside, not unlike ROTC on every college campus. We can thank President Harry Truman who led the effort to establish a single holiday for everyone “to come together and thank our military members for their patriotic service in support of our country.”

Tomorrow, May 20, also marks the 149th anniversary of the patent for blue jeans by Levi Strauss and Jacob Davis. Little did they know their simple dungarees would one day become a fashion craze spawning all sorts of styles for any sort of druthers. You got your boot cut, straight cut, slim fit, low rise, relaxed fit, and skinny, not to mention Dad jeans with the “skosh more room.”

The thing I’ve never been able to wrap my head around is why some want to buy brand new jeans that already look worn out. And pay extra for the faux ripped look. It’s kind of like having someone else chew your food for you before you swallow it.

Anyway, good luck to all the graduates. My advice: if Plan A doesn’t work, there are 25 more letters in the alphabet.