Another letter, this one from Minnesota:
I lived in Moorhead for five years as a child. So I’ve been following the flooding story with great interest. What your reader said, about food donations in Fargo, is not at all misleading.
Just a few years ago, it took a special drive by the state-senate majority leader – my own state senator at the time – to pass a law exempting church potluck suppers from the health-department chokehold. Action also had to be taken in the legislature to keep the health department from banning folks from selling home-canned pickles and jams at fairs.
Maybe I’m crazy, but I feel safer eating something cooked by “church-basement ladies” than I do eating items cooked and handled by restaurant workers who can’t be bothered to wash their hands after taking a dump.
P.S. Last time I published something that included the phrase “taking a dump” — it was in a recent column, actually — I got many letters from people curious about language: “Why is it taking rather than leaving?” Well, idioms are idioms. (A weak answer, but sometimes the only one.)
P.P.S. I promise I will not publish something containing the words “taking a dump” for at least — oh, I don’t know: a month.