The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current, November 06, 1998, Page 5, Image 5

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    The bottom line
Columnist spells out his values, beliefs and philosophies on life
senior English major and a
Daily Nebraskan colum
I believe in the home run.
I believe in the perfectly made
I believe America has been smoth
ered in ignorance and misdirection for
too long.
I believe Americans can’t make
tacos worth a lick. Gimme a four
alarm fire-breathing hot sauce special
from Paco’s Tacos any day of the week
and twice on Sunday.
I believe George Carlin knows
more about America than a lot of
I believe God created the world
we live in, and we have the power to
strengthen or destroy it
I believe history is a great dung,
and we don’t understand it as well as
we think.
I still don’t know why the caged
bird sings.
I have never seen a shooting star
whip out a gun or fast food enter a
A “universe” implies part of a
short song to me.
Daylight Savings sounds like a
. place I might go to ask for a loan.
I believe America needs an extra
light between yellow and red.
I believe in free verse poetry.
When I’m plunging through
“Moby Dick” at 2:34 in the morning,
I want some Pepsi 1000, not glorified
As.long as it is round, I believe the
world will never end.
I believe ignorant people in posi
tions of power are as hazardous to
your health as 10-year-old broccoli.
I believe we should insert an extra
Saturday in the middle of the week.
. I believe in books. I see an 800
page novel and think “Now there goes
somebody who saved a lot of money
in therapy.”
I believe too much order is a bad
thing. People should be able to hop
around naked on one leg pouring
syrup all over themselves while they
recite the Pledge Of Allegiance. Why?
Because they just might feel the need
I believe in taking the road less
I believe in doing nothing every
now and then.
I believe there should be a huge
pit in die middle of every city where
you can go to dump out excess materi
al from your head when your brain
gets too full.
I believe in hip hop, rap and the
rights of the artists America loves to
hate. I believe in free speech, but also
that it will never truly exist
I believe the speed limit is the
fastest a car will go.
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they arrest someone for being “legally
drunk.” Should you get a ticket for
being “legally parked?”
Is it lawful to play football on a
highway in the No Passing Zone?
I believe if someone collected all
the pennies left on America’s floors
and sidewalks, he would be a million
I believe in tropical beaches and
blue oceans.
I believe in sleep, though I never
get enough.
I believe a hot dog is a German
Shepherd standing outside and wag
ging its tail in 120-degree heat
I once watched a movie called
“The Neverending Story.” After it was
over, I felt betrayal and misled.
I believe in old-fashioned hard
I believe there are few things as
beautiful as a soft, pastel sunset, a per
fectly hit fastball or a group of chil
dren playing tag.
I believe in art and subjective
I believe in people, not in prestige.
I believe in making deals with a
handshake and in keeping promises.
I believe in true causes that exist
solely for the betterment of society.
I believe in nobility, simple logic
and pepperoni pizza.
I believe in America. I believe in
the Declaration of Independence.
I believe in doing things for no
I believe fortune cookies taste
good, but the paper in the middle sure
eats up the lining in my throat
I believe Americans overstate a lot
of things, and news is dramatized to
no end.
I believe anything is the greatest
thing since sliced bread.
I wonder if Juan Valdez is a coffee
I wonder why they call it “Wall”
Street Is it a wall or a street? Make up
your mind.
I wonder what they call you when
youtum21. If you’re not a minor any
more, does that make you a major?
I believe self-help books are gen
erally meant to help the author more
than anyone else.
I believe in thick, perfectly fried
buttermilk pancakes that fill
you up so much you can
barely walk.
I believe my birthday
should be a national
holiday, but only in
the interest of
providing an . . ^
extra day •
off work M.
*• ,
for my fellow Americans.
I believe there should be a consti
tutional amendment excusing all 6
foot tall, brown-haired English majors
in Lincoln, from ever having to partic
ipate in final examinations.
I believe there should be a text
book entitled “Running Through a
Dark Forest with a Tuna Sandwich
Stuck to My Ear.” Why?
i^^Because it would
be a much needed break from the
daily grind of “Physics 101” and
“Math for Dummies .”
I believe in Finely-tuned pianos,
long, hot showers and that American
politics are quickly becoming a cure
for insomnia
Cooper’s Law: The power to
believefuels thefire of success.
And dial’s the bottom line.
Till death do us part
Deshler murder wasan act of love, not a malicious one
TIM SULLIVAN is a third
year law student and a
Daily Nebraskan colum
nist. .
“Good morning, Mr. Ohlrich,” he
said, barely conceding the contempt
he felt in his heart for the man in the
witness chair.
“Good morning, Mr. Sullivan,” he
replied, his eyes still watery from die
tears he had died as he told his story in
response to the defense attorney’s
“You were married to your wife,
Phyllis, for 56 years, right?”
“Yes,” die 76-year-old, bdding,
bespectacled man replied.
“You and your wife of 56 years
resided in Deshler, right?”
; “Yes,” he said, his lip quivering
“The two of you were married in
1942, shortly after Phyllis graduated
from Deshler High School, isn’t that -
5 “Yes, that’s correct”
Sullivan paused a moment then
asked, “Phyllis suffered from colon
cancer for about a year, didn’t she?”
“Yes,” the sobbing, stoop-shoul
dered man replied^
“And her pain from the colon can
cer grew worse for her since her
surgery in May of this year, right?”
“Yes, and she told me....”
“Objection, your honor! Move to
strike the witness’ answer beyond the
word ‘yes’ as non-responsive, your
honor, and to instruct the jury to disre
“Sustained,” the judge said, “The
record shall be so stricken, and the
jury is instructed to disregard die
answer of the witness with the excep
tion of the word ‘yes.’”
Happy with the judge’s ruling,
Sullivan continued.
Mr. Ohlnch, listen to my ques
tions carefully, and answer only the
questions you are asked Do you
“Yes, sir.”
“Good Now, Mr. Ohlrich, on
Tuesday, Oct 27, Phyllis was a patient
at Thayer County Hospital, correct?”
“And on that date, you went to
visit ha; didn’t you?” *
“Yes, I did,” Bob said, visibly try
ing to stifle tears.
His voice rising now, Sullivan
asked, “And'when you went to visit
her, you woe carrying a small-caliber
handgun with you, right?”
Sobbing now, Bob mumbled his
answer “.. .Yes, yes, I was.”
Sullivan looked at the jury. All of
die women were weeping, and it was
clear the men on the jury were fight
ing back tears, except for one, who
was shedding tears faster than ary of
the women.
Sullivan looked back at the wit
ness stand. Ohlrich had removed a
handkerchief from his pocket and was
now wiping tears from his cheeks.
“Mr. Ohlrich, you walked into
your wife Phyllis’ room at Thayer
County Hospital on Tuesday, Oct 27,
pulled die small-caliber handgun from
your pocket and shot your wife in the
head, didn’t you?!”
uneoi me manners oi me jury
began coughing and wheezing uncon
trollably. Bob looked at the juror, and
seeing Bob look toward the jury,
Sullivan (fid too. They were all in tears
“Mr. Ohlrich, did you hear my *
question?” Sullivan asked, turning his
attention back to the accused murderer
on the witness stand
“Yes, yes I did,” Bob said, still sob
His voice taking on a softer tone
now, Sullivan pressed on. “Mr.
head, didn’t you?”
Tears pouring from his eyes, his
head bowed and his hands covering his
face, Vernal “Bob” Ohlrich said “’Vfes!
My God, man, she was in pain!”
Sullivan stood there, his jaw sag
ging, wondering where to go from
there. What to do next
He’d already lost the jury. He knew
this case was a loser. He knew that
It didn’t take him long to decide
what to do about it, though.
“Your honor, may I approach the
The judge looked at Sullivan for a
moment, as if he were wondering what
Sullivan would do next more than
Sullivan had wondered himself. “You
may,” he said.
Sullivan picked up a box of
Kleenex from the counsel table. Not
an exhibit, not the gun. A box of
He walked to the witness stand,
looking each member of the jury in
the eye as he crossed the well of the
Placing the Kleenex in front of Mr.
Ohlrich, he asked, “Phyllis sang in a
quartet called ‘The Four Bells,’ didn’t
Bob took a tissue from in front of
him and blew his nose, then looked at
Sullivan with a look of apprehension,
wondering what Sullivan could possi
bly be thinking.
“Yes, yes she did,” he said, with
trepidation in his voice.
“And she taught Sunday school,
Still-hesitant, Bob answered,
“She also attended St Peter
Lutheran Church with you, just a
block west of your home, right?”
“Yes,” Bob saidt starting to weep
“You have known your neighbors
Harvey and Marlene Weideman for a
long time, haven’t you?”
“Your wife once took flowers over
to the Weideman’s for their son Mien
he broke his leg?”
“Yes. Yes, I remember that That’s
“You and Phyllis spent a lot of
time together at the American Legion
Club in Deshler, didn’t you?”
In dismay now, wondering where
Sullivan could possibly be going with
this, Bob said; “Yes.”
“Your wife was in a lot of pain
before this happened, wasn’t she?”
Perturbed now, almost angrily,
Bob said, “Yes. Yes, Mr. Sullivan, she
suiiivan paused ior wnai seemed
like a lifetime to Bob, to the judge, to
the jury and to the people watching
from the gallery.
Then he closed the notebook con
taining all of his carefully crafted
questions, looked at Bob and asked
him one last question.
“\bu loved Phyllis very much, did
n’t you?”
“Yes,” Bob said, and broke down,
sobbing uncontrollably now.
Sullivan looked at the jury, then at
the judge, then at the spectators in the
courtroom. The judge was waiting.
“Your honor, the State moves to
dismiss. This man has suffered
Then he sat down.