Adele Elliott: Poison pens

October 6, 2012 7:18:07 PM

Adele Elliott - [email protected]


"Never argue with a man who buys ink by the barrel." 






This has been a bizarre week in my little part of the world. 


Things began with the unexpected reports of a peacock on the loose on the Southside of Columbus. He was seen first on Third Street South, later on College Street. Although I was never lucky enough to see him in person, several Facebook photographers posted him strutting down the street. Some complained about his wild screeches. I would gladly have endured the alarum calls, if only I could have seen this wonderful sight. 


I considered this a good omen. However, I was wrong. The week turned ugly very fast. I will not go into a laundry list of horrors that included 4 inches of water inside my car, a traffic ticket, and an IRS audit from the year of Katrina. I will only say it was "horriatious" (a non-word I learned on "Bridezillas"). 


It seemed that everyone was in a feisty mood. First, I re-posted an innocent good-luck wish to my Facebook friends. Evidently, it annoyed several people. So the suggestion that October is a lucky month is totally incorrect and is made-up bull. Please forgive me. Good news, I have not posted or re-posted anything in a week. 


But the biggest ado came from my column of last week. I complained about receiving photos of U.S. Ambassador to Libya Christopher Stevens being dragged through the streets of Benghazi just before he died. My point was that I was repulsed by the images, but defended the rights of the person who sent them to me. As I write this, there are 22 comments on The Dispatch website calling me everything from stupid to a liar. And, yes, we all have the right to do that. Those insulting remarks reinforced my point. 


I have been writing this column for about seven years now. It is an "opinion" column. I am not a news reporter. I am allowed to express my opinions. But I have my photograph and byline on everything I write. Strangers recognize me on the street, which is sometimes very creepy. That is much more difficult than anonymously posting a rant filled with typos, misspellings and indecipherable punctuation. 


I do not know what inspired such rage this week. Perhaps it was the much-touted presidential debate. Maybe each side was "getting up" for the game. Unfortunately my deadline is Wednesday evening. As I write this, I have no idea who won. 


The vitriol may also be blamed on the position of the planets, or the phase of the moon. Who knows? 


Truth is not a static thing. It relies on so many elements, like point of view, education, family background. That quote at the top of my column? It has been attributed to many people. The list begins with Mark Twain and includes William I. Greener Jr. and Tommy Lasorda. What is the truth? One truth is that I buy a great deal of ink and do not plan to stop using it. 


I try not to "lie" (except about my weight), but truth can be elusive. The people who saw the peacock with its tail open would give an entirely different description from those who saw it closed. Both would be the truth. 


I did not see the peacock; however, I truly believe that it walked the streets of Columbus for a day or two. But, boy, was I wrong about it being a good omen. I hope that darn bird found his way home. I just cannot take another week like the last one!

Adele Elliott, a New Orleans native, moved to Columbus after Hurricane Katrina.