Hockey pucks and school shootings

TRAVERSE CITY — Oakland University is passing out hockey pucks to faculty and students to chuck at would-be mass shooters on campus. If that wasn’t so sad, it’d be funny. We seemingly will do anything to avoid re-instituting the assault weapon ban and taking other common sense steps to control guns and ammunition. Are we that cowed by the gun nuts? I guess the answer is yes.

– And from a practical standpoint, what’s the likelihood that the puck-throwers will actually hit a shooter? Have you ever watched people throw out first pitches at Tigers games? They’re as likely to hit someone in the stands as the catcher.

– Yes, I know the idea is to “distract” the shooter, not to knock him out. But if that’s the case, how about Silly String? What’s more distracting (and delightful) than Silly String?

– I ran a “One Thanksgiving Food to Rule Them All” bracket tournament on my Facebook page last week. In the finals, oven-roasted turkey defeated mashed potatoes and gravy to take the title, which surprised the heck out of me. I thought most people were like me and thought turkey was, yeah, the bland center of the meal but the true stars were the sides. What is wrong with you people?

– Don’t you think Hugh Jackman, who is often called the nicest guy in Hollywood, gets sick of being so nice all the time and sometimes wants to just rip the tag off a mattress or flip someone off in traffic? I would but that’s me.

– Electric scooters are taking over downtowns coast to coast, including Detroit and, I hear, Ann Arbor. Would you ride one? I’m not so sure I would. I have terrible balance. Plus, you know, I have legs and feet. (Plus, riding a scooter seems like kind of a millennial hipster thing to do, and if I rode one maybe I’d suddenly have the urge to grow a lumberjack beard and put avocado on my toast, so, yeah, no thanks.)

– I’d get one of those Peloton stationery bikes because I like spin classes but the idea of paying thousands of dollars for a bike that doesn’t go anywhere is a bit weird.

– After Nov. 1, Michigan is really the Zero Humidity state, isn’t it? My hands! My hands!

– By the time “Game of Thrones” comes back, will anyone care? I couldn’t keep the plotlines and names of the characters straight as it was. How lost will I be after a year off? (When the lovely yet formidable Marcia and I watch, we say things like “Hey, there’s that guy who did that thing … you know, in that one episode.” Middle age is an ugly thing sometimes.)

– Dare I say the Detroit Pistons don’t entirely suck this year? They seem like a team that’s a trade or two from suddenly blossoming into a contender.

– The Rolling Stones just announced their 2019 tour. I gotta go. You never know which tour will be the last. I know some people tease them about their age, but I’ll tell you what, if I hope when I’m 75 I can still jump around like Mick can. Dude’s 75!

“In the depth of winter I finally learned that there was in me an invincible summer.” – Albert Camus.

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Andrew Heller, an award-winning newspaper columnist, appears weekly in the Daily Press. He graduated from Escanaba Area High School in 1979. Follow him at and on Facebook and Twitter. Write to him via email at