I am throwing my hat into the Presidential Ring. Just because it is a dirty, sweaty, faded, old Auburn ball cap should not matter. It means I have determined, based upon today’s standards, I am fully qualified.
I have a pen and a phone. I have a bunch of pens. They were on sale at Wally World. I also know how to sign my name and, if necessary, my Uncle Seamus knows how to sign your name. I have a phone. However, if I do not pay my bill pretty quick it will be better used as a door stopper.
I know how to play golf. Maybe not very well, but I do have clubs, can drive a golf cart and only occasionally cheat. Admittedly, I do better at the ninetieth hole. But my math skills are lacking, however in politics that is a plus.
I really prefer fishing, it is less violent than golf, but if there happens to be any tree hugging, “Save the Carp” movements out there I certainly do not want to offend them. Nobody has ever heard of a “Save the Five-iron” movement.
I haven’t a clue as to what is going on at the national or international levels. What can you expect from someone whose main sources of news is Facebook and “Saturday Night Live?” I hate going to briefings and rarely attend unless they are serving free pizza and beer. Even then I use the time there to catch up on my sleep.
I can ignore anything or anybody. If you do not believe me just ask my ex’s lawyers. Border, what border. As far as I am concerned all 500 of the University of Veracruz Marching Caballeros Band can sneak across the border in formation, playing their fight song at full blast and I could care less. If Al-Qaeda blew the West Wing of the White House to splinters I wouldn’t even hear the “Bang”.
I am a vacation taking fool. You put a Boeing 747, Air Force One, at my disposal and buddy I am out of here. We for sure are not going to the beach. Me and two or three hundred of my best friends/ campaign donors are going to Tahiti, or the Riviera, or Aspen. The sky is the limit.
I will definitely take advantage of the situation. You put me up, rent-free in a mansion. Have world class chefs making the chow, no PBJs for this guy. A staff of people stumbling over themselves to make the bed, iron my skivvies, follow me around with a porta-bar for eight years and you are going to need the Secret Service to evict me.
I also do not care about anything but Number One. Seniors, the military, the handicapped, veterans, miners, or taxpayers in general are just a bunch of suckers and deserve no respect at all.
With those qualifications the Nobel Peace Prize is in the bag. I wonder how much I can get if I hock it?© 2014, Jim McGowan
I am a devotee of the social media site, “Facebook”. Maybe addict would be a better descriptor. I spend way too much time staring into the computer when I should be doing more productive things such as writing, exercising, chores, etc. (Who’s kidding who, watching TV, napping or drinking adult beverages is more like it.)
Currently there is a rash of folks dumping ice water on themselves for the benefit of ALS, Lou Gehrig’s disease, research. I fully support this bit of craziness. I am also fully aware of how it feels. Back in the day I was trying to recover from a self-inflicted case of ‘Irish Flu’. I had promised my wife that I would do some chores around the house but I was trapped by the rack monster. You guessed it. When the water hit I went through a litany of swear words that would embarrass a Gunnery Sergeant. I did the chores with a headache of historic dimensions.
Cat photos are very popular on FB. OK, so you have a cute kitty cat or twelve. Well, Fast Eddie and Lazy Jake are nice looking wee beasties, a little tubby, but attractive enough. However, I do not need to look at a couple hundred pix of your little ‘Fluffy’. I got bored at around photo number 50.
The advent of the camera in every phone is, I believe, more of a curse than a blessing. There are a bunch of ‘selfies’ being posted. Complete strangers laying on the beach, standing on their front porch, sitting around with their fellow high school grads, Class of ’64, do not make for exciting viewing. Get serious, unless you look like Sofia Vergara or Matt Damon save yourself the embarrassment. While we are at it, shed a few pounds.
Your diet and my diet are of great interest to the health foodies. They generally preach “Never eat this…” Of course meat is strictly forbidden. These folks want us all to be herbivores. Sugar, flour, gluten, whatever that is, coffee, butter, milk, alcohol, salt, fat and the most evil of all, bacon, are definite no-no’s. If I tried to follow these dictates I would starve to death in a week. Then there are foods that will cure every disease known. When you read the fine print you find out that you have to eat the stuff by the bushel.
However, I did see one of these postings that said “Guinness” is good for you. Of course it is, who didn’t know that?
Then there are those that are just plain weird. There is one that is circulating that the recent 6.0 earthquake in California will cause a solar flare that will destroy all electronic and communication satellites and the earth will be covered in darkness. The aliens, no, not those from south of the border, get a lot of ink. They are amongst us even to the highest levels and will soon dominate the world.
The way things are I say, “Give them a shot.”© 2014, Jim McGowan
I have had the good fortune to travel a good deal, mostly at the behest of our Uncle Sugar. However, like most things there was a downside. I was never put up at the Ritz. As a matter of fact I usually found myself as far away from the Ritz as one could get. This put into the original interpretation of the military adage, “Don’t ask, don’t tell” It had nothing to do with one’s sexual preference, but with food.
When you are out stumbling around in the ‘tall and uncut’ menu choices are extremely limited. They are “Eat what is in front of you” or “starve”. Trust me, more than once the thought went through my mind, “You know, I have been meaning to lose some weight.”
Here is a rule of thumb, the hotter the climate the hotter the food. Not temperature hot, but pepper hot. This is due to the lack of refrigeration. In poor countries ice and an icebox are luxury items. Consequently when the chow is on the line between eatable and poisonous, folks had no recourse but to pepper the daylights out of it. Nowadays food preservation is much more common, but the traditional taste lingered on.
I was once down Mexico way, on pleasure not business. I was at a seaside restaurant and I asked the waiter to recommend something that would not burn. He said he had just the thing, assuring me, “Oh no senor our children eat this.” After the first bite I was rolling around on the floor, crying my eyes out, sweating like a race horse trying to pull my tongue out. Whether he was serious or he was pulling one over on the ‘gringo’ I do not know. But he was running back and forth from the bar bringing cold beer to extinguish the fire for the better part of an hour.
In Thailand the team and I got some time off for R&R. I walked into a local place where some of the lads hung out. In there were a couple of the boys. They too were doing the sweat and eye thing and their faces were as red as a fox’s butt in choke-cherry season. One of them gasped, “Mac You got to try one of these,” holding up a small green pepper “They’re great!” I politely declined.
It is not always to do with the seasoning. I was in Honduras working with the local yokels way out in the toolies. We were very lucky if we got meat once a week. Beans, rice and tortillas was the standard fare two times a day every day of the week. (There is no such thing as three squares a day.) Anyway, the go-rillas had a stew going on the fire. It did not smell too bad. While eating I asked what kind of meat they were using. The reply was that the critter lived in the tree tops, swung from branch to branch and had a fondness for bananas.
Don’t ask, don’t tell. © 2014, Jim McGowan
Well, I thought we would all catch a break with the primaries being over a few weeks ago. ‘Dream on, Macbeth’ it is not going to happen. Just last Sunday “The State” newspaper ran a front page story that jumped to nearly a full page about the latest finger pointing and name calling among the candidates.
I was hoping we would be off the hook until mid-September maybe even October, but oh no, according to the newspaper the evil that is politics is buzzing right along. If you believe half of the insults and accusations being cast about, all of these people should be doing hard time in the joint for life with no chance for a parole.
It is not just an incumbent against a newcomer or a Republican versus Democrat thing, but the American Party and the United Citizens Party, whoever they might be, are in the fray. Fortunately, we in Harmony County are not faced with this problem. We know going in that our politicos are crooks.
It has never been a question of “Will they steal?” but “How much will they steal?” Even we have limits. Say the County Treasurer dips his or her mitts into the county cookie jar. A few grand here. A few grand there is no big deal. But when they leave their well-drained position, to retire to some private tropical island, at least they should leave the office furniture behind.
The Agriculture Commissioner has to be a bit more imaginative to make his booty. This is where the weekly Farmers Market comes into play. There is a stall where some personality altering herbs are for sale. Take a wild guess as to who owns that operation. It just so happens that the head Aggy has 40 acres of wacky-backy out behind his place. Living high on the hog has an entirely different meaning for Farmer Brown.
If you want to go for the big bucks no need to look any further then the bid process. There is an old joke about the Harmony County Commissioner of Roads and Highways opening bids on a repaving job. The first bid was submitted by an Auburn grad and was for $100,000. The second bid was from a Georgia Tech grad and was for $200,000. The Commissioner scratched his chin and went ”Hmmmmm”. The third bid was from a Clemson grad and was for $300,000. This shocked the Commissioner and he called the third bidder in and demanded to know why his bid was so high. The Tiger replied, “Get with it Commissioner, $100,000 for you, $100,000 for me and we give the job to the Auburn guy.”
On the serious side of this story there is one thing that ticks me off. As the nuns taught us, “In an urination contest, everybody gets wet.” (You know the word I would normally use.) So instead of discussing issues and educating the voters all were going to hear is whining.
Unfortunately, we are going to get wet too. © 2014, Jim McGowan
Yippee! It is August! We all know what that means. Is it the month when we celebrate Augustus Caesar? No. Is it the month when we have our sweat glands all working at full tilt? No. Is it he month that we get the air conditioning bill and faint dead away because it is higher than the GNP of Costa Rica? No.
Silly you, it is the month when SEC Football starts. War Eagle! I have been sitting here every Saturday since last January blindly staring at the TV screen that has nothing on except for the twelfth or fourteenth rerun of “NCIS” mumbling along with the actors the script that I had memorized by the sixth replay. But now eight months of famine are over and my beloved ‘Tigers’ are back on the field.
By now, you probably gathered I am a huge Auburn fan. As a matter of fact I am THE Auburn fan. I even have an insulting ‘Bama’ tattoo. Just let your imagination run free and you can easily guess what part of my anatomy is so decorated.
Looking at this year’s schedule it appears that the days of the easy ‘tune-up’ first game of the season are over. They are starting off against Arkansas. The ‘Razorbacks’ are nobody to treat lightly and if they can bring down last year’s SEC champs on Day One they will be a force with which to reckon.
However, there is one cloud on my football horizon. Even though one of Auburn’s team nicknames is the ‘Tigers’ (They are also known as the ‘Plainsmen’ and the ‘War Eagles’. We have a bit of an identity crisis going on.) My roomies, The Kilkenny Brothers, Fast Eddie and Lazy Jake, are Kentucky fans. I suppose it is because the Kentucky team is known as the, ‘Wildcats’.
All during basketball season The Boys take over the TV. They plant themselves in front of the boob tube with the clicker between them. It is scratch city if you try to touch it. I have to bring them their kibbles and drinks. Fast Eddie is a beer guy while Lazy Jake prefers wine. They have their little UK t-shirts, caps, and pom-poms. They flat get with it. (Have you ever heard a cat cheer? Sounds very odd, you would not believe what it sounds like when they see a questionable call.)
But come August 30 the tables are turned. Fast Eddie brings me the popcorn and Lazy Jake brings me the beer. If it was the other way around Fast Eddie soon would be bringing me half-beers. So we are off and running. Maybe my ‘Tigers’ we will be National Champs again. Keep your fingers crossed.
Oh by the way, August is also the month when you find thousands of joyful parents doing their ‘Happy Dance’ in the parking lots of liquor stores. School starts in August. Unfortunately, it is also when you find the kid’s teachers doing some, “Slow walking and sad singing” back into their classrooms. © 2014, Jim McGowan