Exploring the intimate lives of Mr. Potato Head and his bride — oh, and Texans still really, really hate “Fled Cruz”

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Texans have been up in arms about “Fled Cruz” for some time, as evidenced by this well-attended protest in 2018 on the Square in Denton, a city in North Texas. Photo by Heather Mount on Unsplash

Instead of “doomscrolling” my way through this pandemic, I’ve decided “weirdscrolling” would be a better hobby. Here are 10 more of the odd — but entirely true — news clips I’ve come upon recently. After last week’s reception, this looks like it might just be a regular deal. Volume 2 of weird but not quite “fake” news, coming at you!

American toy company Hasbro says it wants to be more “inclusive,” so it’s decided to drop the “Mr.” from its spud-centric toy that has been called “Mr. Potato Head” since 1952. At press time, however, the company appeared to be…


Paraphernalia collected from D.C. protests will be exhibited in gallery space

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A visitor to the temporary fence erected around the White House perimeter last summer views signs, banners and artwork reflecting the strength of the Black Lives Matter Movement. Photo: Author’s archives

They continue to come from the city; the suburbs, and far-flung destinations far from the Nation’s Capital. Tens of thousands have stood in the center of D.C.’s Black Lives Matter Mural since June, on a two-block stretch of what used to be called 16th Street NW. The yellow image painted on the asphalt — indeed larger than life —intersects with Lafayette Square across from the White House. It was designed as a symbol of hope in the wake of last summer’s confrontation with hate.

The mural stops at the expansive green space where the police and military, summoned by the…


As we celebrate Women’s History Month, I’d like to recognize my Mama

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In honor of Women’s History Month, I’d like to nominate my Mom (left), who taught me standing up for what was right is the right thing to do, for special recognition. (Photo of the Krenzer Twins: Author’s archives)

I grew up on the cusp of learning how to iron my man’s shirts and the promise of the ERA. I credit my Mama for leading me away from the former and firmly in the direction of the latter. I knew I could do anything I wanted to or was capable of because she did it in the years leading up to my liberation.

June M. Krenzer was born in small-town Indiana, the daughter of a German immigrant and his wife, who heralded from Pennsylvania Dutch stock. …


As Virginia eliminates the ultimate penalty, I wonder how we would treat the D.C. Snipers today

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We lived through three weeks of pure terror when the D.C. Snipers came to town in 2002. Even the most simple task, like filling up at the pump, was fraught with fear. Photo: Author’s archive

We lived in fear for three weeks. We huddled out of sight at gas stations. High school athletic teams played their games hours away, with no fans to cheer them on. We were told to run in a zig-zag pattern between the car and our destinations to make it more difficult for the sniper to get a bead on us.

John Allen Muhammad and his teenaged accomplice, Lee Boyd Malvo, were christened the D.C. Snipers. They killed 10 people in the D.C. area in October 2002. Muhammed was executed for one murder in 2009. Malvo, who was 17 at the…


But some of these weirdos are operating with alternative facts, for sure

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Virginia State Senator Amanda Chase must sit inside a plexiglass enclosure during senate sessions because she refuses to wear a mask. She’s the GOP frontrunner for governor. Weird, huh? Photo c/o Ryan M. Kelly with permission

Instead of “doomscrolling” my way through this pandemic, I’ve decided “weirdscrolling” would be a better hobby. And you know what? Today I’m introducing 10 of the more odd — but entirely true — news clips I’ve come upon recently. And the week’s not even over yet. Good Gracious, as my Nana would say.

Amanda Chase — a Virginia state senator who wants to be governor — filed a lawsuit in Richmond Circuit Court, trying to prevent the state GOP from holding a nominating convention. Chase would rather run in a statewide primary, seen as more beneficial to her success. In…


“Bar” should ditch the long “explainers” and focus more on personal details

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I love the personal stories President Obama weaves throughout his new memoir, A Promised Land, but got really bogged down in the policy details of this 706-page memoir. Photo: Author’s archives

I blame Barack Hussein Obama.

I’m a former journalist and high school English teacher by trade; a politics wonk by choice. But asking me to wade through 706 pages crammed full of mostly policy “explainers” was just too much.

I’ve really been off my reading game of late. The woman who has, at times over the years, read up to three books in a week took almost three months with Obama’s tome, A Promised Land. And I can’t hold COVID-19 stress and pandemic worry too much to account for my lack of focus. …


Snowflake Cruz has a bone to pick with Dad

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What kind of monster would leave this cute little poodle/Bichon Frise/whatever in a “FREEZING” cold house while taking the rest of the fam to Cancun? Ted Cruz, that’s who! Photo: Michael Hardy/Twitter

Hi, there. My name is Snowflake Cruz, and I have a bone to pick with my family — well, my Dad, mostly.

I’m a little white rescue dog — my family adopted me in 2014. Journalists have gone above and beyond to document me and my well-being after my family skedaddled off to Cancun — but these scribes haven’t done a very good job at identifying my sex or my breed. A lot in the press say I’m a poodle; I fear that might be “fake news”.

I’m no expert on dog breeds, but sources say I more closely resemble…


In summertime D.C., we make baseball love, not (too much) political war

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The Washington Nationals and their wonky sidekicks, including Screech and the Racing Presidents, won my heart years ago. (Photo collage/author’s archives)

I’m in love with 29 men. Thirty, if you count the guy who’s in charge. All of them — except for their boss, the manager — are quite a bit younger than I am. Most of them are married. Quite a few of them don’t speak English very well. And I am enamored of them all.

The Washington Nationals are my guys. And when catchers and pitchers reported to their Florida oasis for Spring Training last week, my heart went with them.

I’ve loved these grubby gents since they first arrived in my former hometown, Washington, D.C., in 2005. I’ve…


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A snowy D.C. suburb, circa 2014. Photo: Author’s archive

Brooke Ramey Nelson

A Native Texan and Mizzou Journalism grad, Nelson has worked in newspapers, politics, PR and as a high school publications adviser and AP English teacher.

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