Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Little Boy In A Big Locker

This is a repeat from another blog I started named "Wierd". It was going to be blog specifically about growing up in East Marietta in the '70's. It is titled "Wierd" because that is way everyone at Wheeler High School spelled "Weird". I soon discovered having one blog is hard enough, but having two is impossible if you anything else going on in your life, such as a job. "Wierd" is no more, but, here is the story I posted in it about the time I got trapped in my locker.

One of the differences between the 70’s and now is that back in the 70’s schools had lockers and kids went to their lockers between classes to get their books for the next class.

Unlike those of my son’s generation who carried a four hundred pound backpack to every single class. There will be some wealthy chiropractors in the future.

When I entered 7th grade at East Cobb Junior High School, it was my first encounter with a locker. Some how, some way, I lucked out and got a big locker.

At East Cobb, lockers came in two sizes: big and small. The small locker was actually a compartmentalized big locker-instead of the one locker, it was two: one stacked on top of the other. The big locker was the size of the two small lockers. At the top of the locker, it had a shelf and it has enough room for a couple of coats.

It was like this: if you had a small locker, it was bad. It barely had enough room for your books and your coat when it was winter. That is, if you didn’t have to share it. A lot of kids had to share a small locker, dividing the top and bottom with a piece of wood. In this case there is only room for the kid’s books. No other item could go in the locker.

How you got a big locker was strictly up to chance. It just depended where you had home room. My home room was next to a set of big lockers, so there you go.

It was beauty, too. It was the first locker in the row, right out side of the Spanish class, taught by a refugee of Castro’s Cuba who had a germ phobia. My combination was 17-5-19. That’s pretty good considering those are numbers from 1971-1972. I’ve had a cell phone, since 1998 and I’ve never learned the cell phone number.

One day before school started, me and a bunch of guys were doing what the East Cobb kids did back then: hang out in the halls. Somebody, and I'm not sure who, said, “Hey Manis”. [ Whenever somebody in my life has said, “Hey Manis”, I know nothing good will follow it] “Why don’t you get into the locker and let us close the door so you can tell us what it is like in a locker?”

To understand why I agreed to this is to understand that I am the type of short person that tries to get along with everyone I possibly can out of the realization that everybody can beat me up. So I agreed.

I got into the locker and the door was shut. There were slits in the door, so I could see out a little bit. The guys were in fine form. “Uh, what’s that combination again, oh man, the locker’s jammed! You may have to stay in there all night”.

I was okay. I knew they were clowning around and then I heard that voice.

The voice of Tater. [Note: not his real name. When I published this last year someone on Facebook remembered this kid and published his full name.]

Tater was a kid I feared and for some reason he smelled the fear and came around me as much as he could. He was a tough hombre, only 7th grader I have ever met that had a tattoo. He also, and this is the truth, chewed on a tooth pick all day, like he was some sort of Robert Blake impressionist.

“Maaaaaaanis…are you in there?” I wanted to say, No, Tater, I’m not in here, but I was very certain I would get out and I wouldn’t want Tater to be mad with me.

For you see, I not only feared Tater, I would have dreams about Tater throwing me off of the Holt Road bridge into Sope Creek. He was my own personal Freddie Kruger.

“Hold on, I’ll get you out” and with that he began punching the locker door like he was Joe Frazier. It was very loud and I’m not sure how he thought beating the door was going to help me. It seemed to help him.

“Did you feel that?” he asked. Um, no, Tater, I haven’t become one with the locker door, but again I wussed out and said it was okay.

Then the bell rang for home room. Everybody left. I was stuck in my locker. Alone. So I did the only thing I could think off: kick the door and yell for help.

It felt like a long time, but it probably wasn’t when Sammy Lawhorne came up and opened my locker, letting me out. I was late to home room for the first and only time of the year. The teacher didn't ask me why I was late.

If that had happen today, I’m pretty sure a movie would have been made out of it or at least a reality TV show. But, by the time third period rolled around, it was yesterday’s news except somebody told my math teacher, Mrs. Fussel, who said I could have died. Nobody got in trouble and now that I think about it I’m not sure I ever told my mother about it.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

This Week's Picks

Last weekend, Mrs. Picks and I went to Statesboro, Georgia (“You’ll Get Used To The Gnats. Maybe”) and watched The Eagles of Georgia Southern University tear apart the Blue Hose of Presbyterian College. You may wonder what a “Blue Hose” is. According to the website,, a Blue Hose is an “old woman”. Seriously, it is a “fierce Scottish warrior”, although at times last week they played like old women.

At the beginning of all Georgia Southern home games, a bald eagle named “Freedom” (real name: Bubba) flies from the press box at the top of the stadium to the field, much like the Auburn War Eagle “Spirit” (real name: Earl). A couple of games ago, “Freedom” took his name seriously and flew off the top of the stadium and just kept going. He was found hours later at Paula Dean’s restaurant in Savannah sporting a couple of new tattoos.

There was much concern about Freedom and if he would try to skip town again, although, if you’ve been to Statesboro, you understand his side of the story. I’m happy to report that at our game, Freedom behaved himself and did not fly outside of the Metropolitan Statesboro area. However, I did see him smoking a cigar at halftime.

This Week’s Picks!

Dawgies vs. Crocs: UGA travels to Jacksonville, Florida, which is supposedly half way between Gainesville, Florida and Athens for another meeting of the world’s formerly largest cocktail party. Over the past twenty some odd years, this has been the world's largest gathering of clinically depressed Georgians. However, this year the Gators have lost three in a row coming into this game while the Dawgs have won five in a row. Stop me if you have heard this before: this should be a win for UGA. Dawgs win (but it will not be pretty).

Clemmy vs. Buzzed: You wouldn’t know that Georgia Tech has lost only two games. Tech looked good when they were playing lesser teams, running that famous Coach Happy’s Triple Option. Now they are playing pretty good teams and the Triple Option looks like one bad choice. That thud you hear is everybody jumping off the band wagon. Wait, Tech always plays Clemson hard and they usually win. Not this year. Clemson wins.

Sparty vs. Huskers of Corn: This is one of those bruising Big Ten battles where all of the lineman look like they were fed specially formulate grain in a trough. Michigan State barely beat Wisconsin. I think they’ll beat Nebraska. Michigan State wins.

Baptist Bears vs. The Best Team In Oklahoma and It Isn’t Oklahoma: Oklahoma State is the alma mater of a buddy of mine that is probably one of the smartest people I have ever met. I’m happy for him and his school. It is tempting to go with Baylor because of Robert Griffin III, but even he cannot beat Cowboys by himself. The Cowboys win.

Georgia Southern vs. Appalachian State: Appalachian State, whose motto is “Making a difference in the world one student at a time” is a hated rival of Georgia Southern whose motto is “I like beer, it makes me a jolly good fellow”. The Eagles have been on a roll and is ranked number one in the FCS polls. There appears to be something just a little off about this year’s Mountaineer team. Eagles win again.

Birmingham-Southern vs. Trinity University: The Panthers have lost only one game this year. Here comes their second test, Trinity University which according to their website has “An inspiring faculty, bright and engaged students, an energized community, and the chance to do it all”. It also has humility. Trinity has done pretty well also this year. It ought to be a good D3 game. Panthers win.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

This Week's Picks

Oh well, another fall, another Todd Grantham acts like a baboon story.

Last week, the mighty Georgia Bulldogs traveled to Nashville, Tennessee to face off against Vanderbilt University. In the past, the match-up was a breather for Georgia because Vanderbilt is one of those hoity-toity schools that want smarty pants students like what’s on “The Big Bang Theory” rather than a winning football team.

Well, in this game, Georgia had to have what my buddy and expert Georgia alumni Nick Chafin calls “The Georgia Grease”. This means UGA had to get lucky to win. Against Vanderbilt.

The game ended and the head coach of Vanderbilt, who has definite short man syndrome, started hollering at a Georgia player and then Grantham runs over and F-Bombs the Vandy coach. On camera.

Maybe it is just me, but I can’t for the life of me imagine Vince Dooley running over to Bear Bryant dropping F-Bombs looking like he forgot all he learned in his anger management courses. Maybe it happened and because the way TV was back then, it wasn't shown . All I know is that Grantham’s boss (Mark Richt) described the behavior as “horse (poo)”. That's like seeing The Pope giving you the finger.

Wow, Grantham made Mark Richt cuss about a game at Vanderbilt. Good thing they have the week off.

This Week’s Picks!

Bees vs. The U: Speaking a bad day, Georgia Tech lost to a team that barely beat the Mighty Potatoes of Idaho. You can imagine how Coach Happy took it: blamed it on the players. Miami is an okay team, but I don’t think they can beat the Buzz. Bees win.

Heels of Tar vs. Clemmy: Besides Tech, the surprise team in The ACC is Clemson. North Carolina is just waiting on basketball season. Clemson wins.

Okie State vs. SEC Newbie: Oklahoma State really has one problem this season: it is in the same state as Oklahoma. Missouri is now the newest member of The Southeastern Conference despite the well known fact it is in the middle of the country. Cowboys win.

War Tigers vs. Ellessyew: Another week, another team for LSU to beat. Auburn is just waiting for the time when they move to The SEC East and dominate. As they say in the city of the Red Stick, “Laissez les bons temps rouler.” ("Quick, do you have the name of a good bail bondsman?") LSU wins.

Rocky Topped vs. Bamy: Another good buddy of mine, Terry McCoy, went to the LSU-Tennessee game last week and reports that a prayer was uttered over the PA before the game started. It still didn’t help Tennessee. As for this game, Tennessee needs all the prayers it can get. Bama wins.

Georgia Southern vs. Presbyterian College: Georgia Southern, home of The Pabst Blue Ribbon Laboratories of Excellence, face off against the frozen chosen of Presbyterian College. The motto of Presbyterian College is "Dum Vivimus Servimus" (“I stayed up until three playing Halo”). It also the home of “Cyrus the largest bronze statue of a Scotsman in the world”, just in case you were wondering where the largest bronze statue of a Scotsman was located. Despite this, Georgia Southern wins.

Louisiana College vs. Sul Ros State University: My dear other alma mater is playing a school where the second largest bronze statue of Scotsman is located. Sul Ross was named after the famous Texas governor, Rick Perry. The Wildcats win again.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Occupy This: My Demands!

Over the past month, we have been treated to news stories about “Occupy Wall Street”. Depending upon your point of view, “Occupy Wall Street” is either a rag-tag band of naive young people trying to stick it to the MAN or a bunch of smelly hippies. My bet is on the smelly hippies, but I grew up during the 60’s and the 70’s when everyone was trying to “change the world; rearrange the world” to quote either Crosby, Stills, Nash, or Young (I think it was the least interesting one of the bunch: Graham Nash). So forgive me if I yawn about this movement because it reminds me of a title of an Elton John song, “I’ve Seen That Movie, Too”.

The last “populist” movement to spring up was “The Tea Party” which was ignored for the first several moments of its life and then finally called racist. Generally, the Mainstream Media has given “Occupy Wall Street” the kid gloves treatment, which is reserved for only the most precious of movements even though there is about as many African-Americans in “Occupy Wall Street” as there are in the “The Tea Party”.

So far, “Occupy Wall Street” is upset about a lot of things, mainly that they have to pay back their student loans. Somehow, this is the fault of Wall Street. The last time I checked, there wasn’t a single Wall Street executive sent to private homes to drag students out to private colleges and make them major in English.

They, of course, have a lot of other demands and speaking of 99% that is just about the amount that is silly. The other 1% is simply delusional. Such as having a minimum wage of $20 an hour, begin a fast track to end the fossil fuel economy (man, they got this car that runs entirely on water…), 1 trillion dollars in infrastructure, and Skittles for everybody!

Last week, at the Republican debate, one of the reporters asking the questions seemed to take “Occupy Wall Street” very seriously. This caused me to reflect upon my own life. I think my problem in life is that I have never occupied anything and made a demand. So in the spirit of “Occupy Wall Street, I have decided to list my demands. Right on!

• All women should be hot and laugh at my jokes.

• Speaking of women, no women play by play announcer for football games. I'm looking at you, ESPN.

• When you purchase a cable TV package, you should be able to pick and choose only the channels you want. That means, if I don’t want forty Spanish channels, 13 “music” channels that don’t feature music but people I never heard of cursing at each other, or 16 cooking channels, I shouldn’t have to pay for them.

• Preachers should stop wearing those microphones that make them look like an operator of the phone company. If the label microphone was good enough for Peter and Paul, it should be good enough for them.

• Department stores should carry shoes sizes of all men. Including me (I have small feet. Shut up.)

• The phrase: “You see, what had happen was” will be outlawed.

• Starbucks will change their cup sizes from “Tall”, “Grande”, and “Venti” to “Small”, “Medium”, and “Large”.

• The latest start time for a baseball game: 4:00.

• The immediate destruction of anything that resembles something Ed Hardy might make.

• Just one tattoo per person.

• Less Stevie B’s – More Captain D’s!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

It's (Almost) All Over Now, Baby Blue

There was another GOP debate the other night. This one was held in New Hampshire and the gimmick in this one was, get ready, all of the candidates were seated at a table. Man, didn’t see that coming. I remember one time I saw a debate in which the candidates were sitting at a desk. But a table? Whoa, that’s an innovation.

Here is a quick rundown on each candidate and their performance

Jon Huntsman: Of all the candidates I have watched in the past thirty some odd years, Huntsman is one of the oddest. It is like you take all of the annoying people from high school and mold it into one person-that’s Jon Huntsman. He’s one of those guys that thinks he is funny, but he is not. He lifted the joke about Cain’s “9-9-9” plan from Karl Rove (that’s who you’re going to for your jokes: Karl Rove) and it wasn’t that funny to begin with. I have the feeling he is running for President just so he can tell people he can speak Chinese.

Michelle Bachman: Kudos to Bachman; she found another way to remind us that she is the mother of 28 children (“Five biological, twenty three foster”). She looked better with her hair pulled back. She brought out a fact about some tax that has just expired that was started around The Spanish-American War (which Ron Paul voted against!). She has an odd laugh that sounds like a goose heading South for the winter. She seems to think you should look at a plan upside down to see if Satan is in it.

Rick Perry: The good news of his performance was that he did not tell the American people they were heartless if they didn’t think children of illegal aliens deserved in-state tuition. The bad part is that he looked like uncomfortable most of the time, like the Jock accidentally put in an Advanced Placement class. He looked like he would rather be eating wings at Hooters.

Herman Cain: Earned the coveted “Next to Mitt in the Middle” seat by being the Non-Romney du jour. He had a good line about being “po” . His argument for his “9-9-9” plan is: it is simple and it will work. I will say this, he knows how to sell a plan. Maybe if Obama worked in a store, he would understand how the economy works.

Mitt Romney: He hasn’t simply won every debate so far. He has dominated the debates. He is quick on his feet and intelligent. You won’t have to worry about gravitas with Romney. He is a much better candidate this time that he was four years ago. Get used to saying “President Romney”. Just like I said last year (Humor Me: June 8, 2010)

Ron Paul: Here is my prejudice about Ron Paul.Ron Paul represents the dumb-dumb brand of Libertarianism. Libertarianism used to be about minding your own business. Now, apparently, it is all about “The Fed” and being able to smoke dope.He just seems like an odd bird.

Newt Gingrich: If Gingrich was not a thrice married relic of the 80’s and 90’s, he would be a major player. He is still like the good professor in college who is always coming with new and interesting lectures. Unlike our current professor in The White House who gives the same old lecture all the time. (Answer to any question: Millionaires and Billionaires)

Rick Santorum: Santorum spends a good bit of time complaining that nobody asks him any questions. He seems just as smart as Bachman and Huntsman. He hit Cain hard with some good questions. Just doesn’t connect with people. Maybe if he would just make a pizza.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

This Week's Picks 10/12/11

The big news this week is that Steve Spurrier has finally decided to go ape fecal crazy in Columbia, South Carolina.

Spurrier entered his weekly news conference with the Metro Columbia media, which included Bub, Bubba, Shane, R.L., and Kenny, and proceded to go on this rant about Ron Morris, a columnist for the local paper and a story Morris wrote back in April. With most sane individuals, the time to complain would have been, oh, April. Spurrier, basically said that Morris fabricated the entire article and therefore, Spurrier will no longer talk with Morris. Again, with most people, even those on medication, this would have occurred in, oh, April.

However, there may have been a method to his madness. Spurrier has decided to drop quarterback Stephen Garcia from the team because: A) Garcia doesn’t behave himself, although he’s been this way for the entire time of his 35 year college career and B) Garcia really stinks as a player. So instead of announcing that he’s kicking Garcia to the curb, he does a drama about a sportswriter. He lets the SID do it via e-mail. Classy.

This Week’s Picks!

Bow-Wows vs. Commode Doors: Just a few weeks ago, it seemed like Mark Richt was ready to rent a U-Haul. Now he is showing up in Atlanta area Ford truck commercials. While UGA is not the best team to come down the pike, a good Vanderbilt team is still a Vanderbilt team. Dawgs win.

Bees vs. Ol’Virginny: Years ago, during a “causal dress” day at work, I was wearing a nice Virginia t-shirt. Someone came up and asked me where I got the “Virgin” shirt. Anyway, I can’t see Virginia play without thinking of that story which is why I don’t call many Virginia games. The tough part of the schedule starts next week, GT. Bees win again.

Clucks vs. Other Bulldogs: Spurrier brings his revamped Shaw led offense (hand off to the best player in the SEC twice then throw to the best receiver) to Stark-vegas to face our poor lil’ under performing Other Bulldogs. If MSU were a politician, they would be Rick Perry. UPSET ALERT: Other Bulldogs Win !

Ellessyew vs. Rocky Topped: LSU is the only school in the world that would have a punter flagged for taunting. That’s how their year is going-even their punter has this LSU attitude. Meanwhile, in Knoxville, the coach’s mom is defending him on radio while he is worried about the color of his britches. Look for Barbara Dooley to take out that punter if things get out of hand. LSU wins.

Furman vs. Georgia Southern: The Eagles won last week due to the opposing head coach being legally insane. GATIC (Get After Those Insane Coaches) Eagles win.

Centre vs. Birmingham-Southern: For the first time, Birmingham-Southern has made it into the top 25 of the D3 rankings. Centre is a big rival. Panthers win.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

This Week's Picks

I may write about this next week, but I was caught off guard by the seriousness of Hank Williams, Jr. statement about President Obama and Hitler.

During the Kid Bush Presidency, George W. was routinely compared by many in the entertainment industry as an interesting combination of both Evil and Dumb. He was a combination of Lloyd Christmas and Charles Manson.

Obviously we shouldn’t engage in such mindless name calling unless the President is a Republican and we have a program on HBO.

One more thing, professional football has: One quarterback playing that was accused, with pretty strong evidence, of sexual assault; one quarterback that was convicted of cruelty to animals which included the electrocution of dogs; and one quarterback that impregnated an actress while he was dating a super model. We’re supposed to be offended by the off the wall barbecue-shack political ramblings of a guy who’s just wants to know if we’re ready for some football?

This week’s picks!

Pups vs. Rocky Tops: This is a difficult game for UGA fans, because Kid Dooley is the Head Coach of Tennessee and we really would like for him to do well, even if he does act more like his Mom than his Dad on the sidelines. The Vols are getting better. The problem is the Dawgs are better. Georgia wins.

Bees vs. Turtles: I used to love watching that You Tube video of the kid at the fair that said, “I like Tertules (turtles)”. I know Coach Smiley doesn’t like turtles or little fuzzy kittens. Nobody likes for the 400 various Maryland uniforms. All aboard the Tech Band Wagon! Tech wins.

Okies vs. Steers: This is a yearly match-up that used to bring out Keith Jackson with all of his finest “Yes indeedies”. Yes, indeed, it is held annually at the Texas State Fair. Hank Hill likes Texas, but dang it Bobby, Oklahoma is one the best teams in the country. In fact, Joseph Gribble, the best running back since Hank at Arlen High, is on the Scout team. That shows you how deep they are, I’ll tell you what. Sooners win.

Wartigers vs. Piggies: Here is an ethical dilemma. I have promised not to pick any team coached by Bobby Petrino to win. It is something between me and my Lord and Savior. Arkansas is coached by Bobby Petrino. Arkansas is playing Auburn. Auburn has been a very lucky team this year. My brain tells me I should be mature and go with the higher ranked team. Get thee behind me, brain! Auburn wins.

Crocs vs. Went In Dumb Come Out Dumb Too: Mark Richt is looks at this game and laughs. LSU is just too strong this year for Florida. LSU wins.

Chattanooga vs. Georgia Southern: Georgia Southern, which has the Latin phrase, “Rubecollum albo et hyacinthino sock ribbion cervisia” (“Rednecks, White Shocks, and Blue Ribbon Beer”) as the school’s motto, is number one in the FCS rankings. Chattanooga is not. The Eagles are going to make the Mocs choo-choo their way back home. Georgia Southern wins.

Louisiana College vs. East Texas: As I predicted last week, my dear old other alma mater lost to Mary Baker Eddy Hardin-Baylor last week. This dropped the Wildcats to #24 in the D3 rankings. But that’s okay; they should rebound against East Texas. Wildcats win.

Monday, October 3, 2011

A Denomination By Any Other Name

One of my favorite jokes is an old Lewis Grizzard chestnut about the difference between a Northern and Southern Baptist. The Northern Baptist says “They ain’t no Hell” while the Southern Baptist says “The Hell they ain’t”. (It helps if you tell this joke to yourself in a redneck accent ).

Recently, though, Southern Baptists have been under going some soul searching regarding their name because, as it turns out, many Post Modern people (Yankees) have an adverse reaction to the word “Southern”. This awful, terrible word, “Southern” brings up images of slavery, segregation, and ignorance unlike the “F-word” which apparently is okay to use as a noun, gerund, verb, adverb, and adjective. Not every Post Modern individual uses that word, just seems like a lot of them do.

The leadership of The Southern Baptist Convention has appointed a task force to study the possibility of a name change. You know something is serious in Church World when a task force is appointed. It is not as simple as you might think to change your name when you are a denomination.

First of all, there are a lot of boring legal issues and since lawyers are involved,it could become expensive. The denomination may not want to spend the kind of dough it will take to change the name in this economic environment. You can’t have a “Lottie Moon Foreign Missions Christmas and Name Change Offering”.

Secondly, many of the real good names have all ready been taken. American Baptist Churches: taken. Baptist General Conference: taken. Conservative Baptist Association of America: taken. Reformed Baptist: taken. Reformed American General Conservative Baptist: taken. Regular Baptist: taken. Irregular Baptist: taken. Baptist That Eat Yogurt To Be Regular: taken. Irregular Baptist That Want To Be A Regular Baptist Without Eating Yogurt Or Having Something Kick In At Work: taken Indian Bottom Association of Old Regular Baptists (IBAORB): taken. Baptist Church Of The Electric Guitar Where Nobody Sits Down Until The Sermon Is Given By A Guy That Doesn’t Tuck In His Shirt: trademark applied.

I have tried my hand at renaming the Southern Baptist Convention. My idea is to do what Kentucky Fried Chicken did: change your name to KFC. Seriously, change the name to “SBC”. Surely people can’t be prejudice against the letter “S” can they?

There are some that want to argue that Southern Baptists do not need to change their name. I know it may be hard for you to believe that a Southern Baptist will want to argue, but it happens. Southern Baptists have been Southern Baptists for a long time and if was good for Paul and Silas it is good enough for them.

However, to do so is to ignore the obvious. People, not from the South, think Southerners are stupid. I remember meeting some people from a Northern state with my wife. The men thought my wife was a cat on a hot tin roof-they were entranced by her accent and Southern womanly charms. Their wives thought she was domestic help. Both the Northern men and women saw me as Jethro Bodine even though I have a college degree and have never been to a NASCAR race. That was the last time I bragged I was a “Double Naught Spy” in public.