Readers rave, rant and make $1,000 bet

Today's mailbag contains rants, raves and one of the wackiest e-mails I've received in a long time — one featuring a $1,000 bet.

Dear Scott: When I read the article on the airport expansion plans ['OIA may expand, despite closed, little-used gates'], I got this instinctive urge to reach for my wallet and hold it tight.Joe

Trust your instincts, Joe.

Scott: I agree with your basic premise. A south terminal now would be a bridge too far. However, I do favor a transit center connecting the various train systems.Jon

I hear ya, Jon. But can we make sure the trains at the airport actually exist first? Right now, none do. Call me crazy, but I'd like to know we have trains before we build train stations.

Scott: I couldn't believe my eyes when I read your column today. How in the world can a 71-year-old woman be on the exact same page as a young Sentinel reporter? — Barbara

Barbara, I don't know who this "young Sentinel reporter" is. But I know a middle-aged columnist who's now ready to kiss a 71-year-old woman flush on her cheek.

Scott: I agree with you about dropping the lieutenant governor position. And isn't the Republican Party dedicated, loudly and publicly, to reducing government? Here's a perfect opportunity to put that policy statement into action. — Lou

Amen, Lou. This would be the perfect campaign for conservative Rick Scott. He could push to follow the lead of other states that use succession plans involving existing officers — and save taxpayers plenty.

Scott: You seem to dislike everything related to the lieutenant governor. — Sandy

Not true. I dig Toni Jennings. But I do dislike wasting money on bodyguards, international travel and personal aides for a do-nothing position.

Mr. Maxwell: Are you saying the lieutenant governor has no duties? — Annie

No, our state Constitution says that. So did Lt. Gov. Frank Brogan, who described his own position as "the person down the hall who has little or nothing to do."

Thanks for the column Sunday about the distribution of tourist taxes. ["In Vegas, tourist taxes help pay for cops — Orlando should follow suit"] How can we rectify it? — Michael

Call your state legislator at 850-488-4371.

I completely agree with you that tourist taxes should help pay for police services. I think they should also pay for corrections as well. We process quite a few tourists through the jail each year. — Laura

And I thought bad weather could ruin a vacation.

The $1,000 bet

The wackiest letter comes from a guy who calls himself simply "Nicole's husband" — who wrote in to call me a "two-bit hack."

That part's fine. (Though I think I'm worth at least three bits.) But I did suggest that the next time he wanted to critique a newspaper writer, he shouldn't boast about being a nonsubscriber. I mean, if you're not a subscriber, why do I care what you think?

Well, Nicole's husband didn't like that response. But it apparently took him a while to let me know … like two years.

Yes, Nicole's husband responded this month to my email — from Feb. 27, 2011. In it, he said I'm still a hack (shucks), but that he'd like to continue emailing me (the writer at the paper he doesn't read) so that he could teach me to "think like a man."

He then followed with this challenge: "I would bet 1,000 bucks you are not married with kids."

Nicole's husband, you've got yourself a deal!

And since I am (great kids, patient wife), here's what we'll do: You take the $1,000 you owe me and donate it to the Adult Literacy League, which seems appropriate. And then we can continue our lively email exchange … in 2015.

smaxwell@tribune.com

 

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