That’s right. Idiotology.

The study of idiots.

And wow, do we have plenty of case studies among us.

Only in America

Everyone is entitled to an opinion, about pretty much anything under the sun, here in the good ole United States of America.

For some of us, that’s a mistake.

I’ve written before that I have a favorite plaque I love to hang in my office:

“If nuts could fly, this place would be an airport.”

Trust me, my office these last two weeks could easily have made it look like I was trying to put local airport director Bill Hutto out of a job.

Bill is one of the nicest, sharpest people I know in our community, or anywhere, for that matter. Maybe I should be asking him how to best handle those who contact the newspaper with ideas most certainly doomed to crash and burn.

The finger-pointer

Here’s one.

“You guys should be putting in the paper and posting online every address of every person who tests positive for the coronavirus. The rest of us deserve to know.”

Wait a minute!

Hold on!

Before I go any further, let’s get our lynch mob rounded up!

Or, let’s be sure to summon all the Communist conspiracy-theory leftovers from the days of McCarthyism. Or, the vice squad and prosecutors who can help us treat our hurting, sick, pained and quarantined neighbors like sex offenders and mark them for life.


We have friends and neighbors among us who personally are battling illness on the front lines of this global pandemic, other friends and neighbors doing their best to help them, and someone wants to single the victims out like criminals instead of offering to leave on their porch a load of supplies?

We have grandmothers and grandfathers — make that mothers and fathers, and now sons and daughters — who are battling for their lives, and we have insensitive culprits among us who want the newspaper to paint scarlet letters?

We have a Medal of Honor recipient — that’s right, a bona fide war hero and one of our own — in Bennie Adkins, who is fighting perhaps the toughest fight of all his many fights by trying to defeat this coronavirus, COVID-19. He at the time of this writing was being kept alive by a respirator.

You want to know how to find a coronavirus patient? Here’s how:

Just follow the bright, shiny light that is the glow from all the medals pinned to the chest of one of our nation’s greatest heroes.

My guess is, if you follow them all the way to the Bennie I know, even in critical condition and 86 years old, he could still kick you in the butt.

‘THIS’ is us

The good news is: The overwhelming story theme continues to be that of the many of you who are rising to the challenges at hand.

Neighbors are being neighbors again.

Families are being families again.

Businesses are trying desperately to reinvent themselves, to help their employees, to serve their customers the best they can or to fight for survival with a fighter’s spirit.

Recognizable people like my friend and Auburn basketball coach Bruce Pearl are out looking for ways to provide community service while learning to observe the rules of social distancing and no crowd-gathering. It’s tough to find what is and isn’t acceptable to do these days, but Bruce’s motor runs full speed; you can’t completely throttle a man like him.

But what about the no-name heroes, those who certainly have names, but not names you normally would know? My guess is that most of you reading this column right now have done something to help someone else and think of someone besides yourself.

That’s because I know our community. I know how most of you are. You’re good people. And we in the newsroom are trying our darnedest to profile as many of you and tell as many of your stories as we can.

They’re good stories.

Keep the faith

God is good. All the time.

And by God, we’re going to get through this.

Together — even with some of us dragging the idiots along.



Troy Turner is editor of the Opelika-Auburn News. He can be contacted at and followed on Twitter @troyturnernews.

Troy Turner is editor of the Opelika-Auburn News. He can be contacted at and followed on Twtter @troyturnernews.

Troy Turner is editor of the Opelika-Auburn News. He previously served as the news editor in New York for the nation's second largest newspaper company, and as the senior editor at several other news entities around the nation. He is an Auburn alum.

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