I had just returned from the local toxic waste site where I had disposed of my holiday fruit cakes and was busy cramming my Christmas tree down the garbage disposal (don't ask), when I heard a knock at the door. I figured it was the Environmental Protection Agency coming to talk to me about polluting the toxic waste site with fruit cakes.
Maybe it's the fact that I have more days in the rearview mirror than I have ahead of me, but at this special time of year I am more aware than ever of the gift of friendships. Friendships are always the correct size, the right color and don't require a set of instructions on how to operate them. They are truly the gift that keeps on giving.
You may recall that I vigorously opposed passage of a constitutional amendment in 2012 creating the State Charter School Commission that would allow an alternative method for authorizing charter schools in Georgia. You may recall, also, that the amendment passed handily. So much for my vigor.
This was written in a cave somewhere in Greater Bora Bora. The column was floated across the ocean in an RC Cola bottle to this newspaper. (I have no idea how the editors got it from bottle to print. I assumed that if editors can figure out where commas go, they ought to be able to figure out how to print a column in a bottle.)
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It was as ugly as a wart hog, but for the 11th time in the past 12 years, 38 of the past 50, and 65 out of 108, the University of Georgia, the oldest state-chartered university in the nation, located in Athens, the Classic City of the South, has bested You-Know-Where Institute of Technology for the State Football Championship, 41-34.
Knock! Knock! Knock!
Last week, family and friends gathered in the small town of Chattahoochee Hills, south of Atlanta, to celebrate a life well-lived. Our late grandson, Zack Wansley, was honored at the dedication of "Zack's Glade," a pristine and picturesque piece of Cochran Mill Park near where he died while training for the Atlanta Marathon in 2008.
I have some good news and some bad news. I read in the paper recently about a proposed venture to send people to Mars. The good news is that it will be a one-way trip. The bad news is that the launch isn't scheduled until 2022, meaning anybody dumb enough to consider the idea of going to Mars and staying there will be hanging around for another nine years on our planet and lowering the collective IQ for the rest of us. Bummer.
Ring! Ring! Ring!
I called Junior E. Lee, general manager of the Yarbrough Worldwide Media and Pest Control Co., located in Greater Garfield, Ga., to see what kind of reactions he was getting from the public to the recent shutdown of the federal government.
Bummer. I just learned that I did not win the Nobel Peace Prize again this year. This is getting old. I was so confident this time that I had my tuxedo pressed and new laces put in my Converse Chuck Taylor All-Star high-top sneakers.
After a friend told me she had waited 3½ hours recently to get her Georgia driver's license renewed and then had to deal with a clerk that could have passed for a robot - and an unhelpful one, at that - I thought this to be a typical example of a bunch of government bureaucrats who don't care because they don't have to.
Despite the rants of publicity-seeking bigots, the blather of Twitter twits and a national news media more interested in scooping the competition than in accurate reporting, the fact is that our American system of justice presumes one is innocent until proven guilty.
It looks like our legislators are about to lose one of their most cherished perks: free football tickets. Bless their hearts.
Dear Syrian Rebels: I thought I'd take a minute to correspond with you as you resume your efforts to overthrow Syrian dictator Bashar Assad. You are no doubt disappointed that the United States government chose not to come to your aid as it promised.
It is flattering to have readers tell me I should run for public office. There are also an equal number of adoring fans who say I should stick my head in a bucket of tar. But that is a topic for another day.
Please indulge me a moment of introspection and feel free to think along with me. Chances are what I am going to say may apply to you as well.