If I die anytime soon - and I have no plans to do so at the moment - please see that the first paragraph of my obituary reads, "He was past president of the University of Georgia National Alumni Association." You can save for later paragraphs the part about my being often mistaken for Brad Pitt and my uncanny ability to put commas where they don't belong.
Last Saturday while the Bulldog nation sweated out a 35-32 victory over the Tennessee Volunteers that should not have been as hard as our scholar-athletes made it, former head football coach and athletic director Vince Dooley's first team at UGA was recognized on the occasion of its 50th anniversary. As nice as that was, more - much more - needs to be done to honor the legendary Hall of Fame coach.
I have one of the most interesting jobs in the world. One day I am advising world leaders on the nuances of international monetary policy. The next day I am consoling a distraught reader who thinks I need to "look within myself spiritually." The last time I looked within myself, I saw my navel. It was full of lint. Never again.
The Woman Who Shares My Name instructed me that this week's column was to be about positive things. She says she is tired of bad news and thought you felt the same way. "Surely, you can find some positive things to write about," she said, "and temporarily take people's minds off all the terrible things going on in the world. I think your readers would appreciate that."
Remember the story of "The Little Engine That Could?" That could very well describe the city of Dalton, a town of some 34,000 nestled in the corner of Northwest Georgia, not far from the Tennessee line.
Can it be? Is it September already? One of my favorite tunes, "September Song," was written by Kurt Weill and Maxwell Anderson for a Broadway musical in 1938 called "Knickerbocker Holiday. The lyrics could apply today to the current political season in Georgia - "For it's a long, long time from May to December, but the days grow short when you reach September."
It is a potential killer whose numbers rival the deadly Ebola virus and it doesn't get near the attention it should. Unlike the dreaded illness currently ravaging West Africa this is one with a quick cure.
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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.
As if public education in Georgia doesn't have enough problems, there is now a high-profile ruckus between Gov. Nathan Deal and State School Superintendent Dr. John Barge. It has gotten so peevish that there is talk that the school superintendent may challenge Deal in the Republican gubernatorial primary next spring.
You may have read that the United States Supreme Court is going to hear a case about whether or not prayer can be uttered in town councils across America. Last year, a federal appeals court ruled that such a nefarious deed violated the First Amendment's ban on an "establishment of religion."
Dear Public School Teachers:
I read recently in the Atlanta newspapers that our intrepid public servants just keep on going - on trips, that is.
After much posturing, the General Assembly passed a sleeves-out-of-their-vests piece of legislation on lobbying reform in the last session and wants us to believe it has answered our concerns. Not so.
There is no way I could produce such pithy and thought-provoking essays each week without the help of my columnist commandos.
I try to make it a habit to hang around with smart people. Given that my IQ is not much larger than my waistline, this isn't difficult to do.
When Jimmy Carter ran for the state Senate in 1961 and was defeated, he claimed voter fraud. Carl Sanders, president pro tem of the state Senate, supported Carter's claim and provided legal counsel from the Democratic Party. Carter prevailed.
This is a story about heroes - good people doing good things. The cast of characters in this performance shares one thing in common: They are strangers to one another.
I have said it before, but let me repeat: I have no problem with charter schools. I did have a big problem with the ham-handed way last November's charter school referendum was rammed through by proponents.