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The flags are at half-mast at Casa Diablo on the passing of the wonderful former Vo Dilun governor, J. Joseph Garrahy.

P&J had the pleasure, at times, of working with and for Joe over the years — and tweaking him a bit in this space. We recall, with particular affection, his hastily assembled trip to the editorial offices of the Wall Street Journal after a piece in the paper described the Biggest Little as a lowly "smudge in the fast lane to Cape Cod."

P&J imagined the former Narragansett Beer salesman packing himself and a few cronies into a limo with a cooler full of 'Gansetts, racing down to the Big Apple, and bursting into the doors of the WSJ so Joe could give them a good piece of his mind.

Largely forgotten among all the tales we've been hearing these past few days is Garrahy's role as an environmental champion, from cleaning up the sludge balls emanating from the Fields Point sewage treatment plant to promoting bond issues to help conserve open space.

But it wasn't just about individual issues with Joe. P&J also saw, on occasion, a steeliness emerge from behind the rimless glasses and avuncular smile when someone tried to push him the wrong direction. He had the resolve and firmness required from the man at the top — and he always made the right decision at crunch time.

P&J remember the last piece of sage advice that Joe gave us, drawn from those deep reserves of humanity, kindness, wisdom, and political savvy: "On short putts, keep your head down until you hear the ball drop in the cup." Thanks for the memories, governor, there isn't a bad one among them.


JUSTICE IS BLIND

This next piece is about as un-politically correct as you can get, and Phillipe and Jorge will doubtless be deluged with complaints by highly offended readers, but we're prepared to turn a blind eye to the criticism this once. And at any rate, blame Phillipe, not Jorge.

The Week magazine notes that Redbox, where P&J get many of their rental movies for a buck, is being sued by a sightless person because the touch screens used to rent a movie do not have tactile buttons or audio instructions.

This begs the question of just how many blind people are "watching" movies these days. Yes, incredible Dolby Surround Sound makes modern cinema a treat for almost anyone, but it seems a bit of a stretch to suggest that Redbox is intentionally spoiling anyone's evening on the couch. (Although we might suggest that bringing home any movie starring Channing Tatum, January Jones, Adam Sandler, Tyler Perry, or any of the current or former Saturday Night Live cast members in heavy rotation at Redbox is a guaranteed lost evening whether you have 20/20 vision or not.)

Indeed, one might argue Redbox is doing sightless people a large favor by shutting off access to the low-rent, fart-joke, exploding-monkeys, retread crap that Hollywood is churning out by the commode-full these days.

But we can nonetheless sympathize with the many blind people who have driven down to their local Redbox and driven back home empty-handed . . . .

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