2003.12.31 You read it first right here

Written by David Green.


For many readers, the Observer is the only source of news. I’ve often heard it said: If it isn’t in the pages of the Observer (or Disturber, as some put it), then it really doesn’t matter.

Knowing that, I feel the responsibility to help you retain the information gleaned from a year of the data presented in this column. Hence, the annual By The Way Review of Drivel.

2003 began with the acknowledgment that 1111 is a divinely inspired number and seeing it should open your mind to great possibilities. It makes me wonder why I’m still awake looking at my clock.

We learn too much from meddlesome scientists. For example, the image of the brave hunting male should be replaced by the reality of an incompetent caveman collecting prehistoric road kill to bring home to the family.

And local scientists discovered that if you clear away the snow and lie face down on the Bean Creek ice, you can see carp swimming below.

As color-coded states of frenzy were introduced into American society, a basic flaw was found in the federal government’s pamphlet for surviving terrorist attacks. Once a family has moved into a room of the house and sealed the doors and windows with duct tape, something beside canned beans needs to be on the menu.

Columbus used ferocious dogs to kill the natives of his “new world,” and later, dogs were used to turn spits of roasting meat.

Our family cat, Little Fat Boy, died again. At major cat shows, it’s said that all the cats are on drugs and half the owners, too.

Interesting headlines from other weeklies: Lady Hose beat Catawba. Beavers get dose of instant karma.

A Gallup poll on ethics shows newspaper reporters in a continual slide downward, in the eyes of the public, but we’re still ahead of insurance agents and gun salesmen.

The Harvey Special—a burp into the cup with the drink poured on top—is not served at local piano recitals.

An unusual fortune cookie message: Lookie, lookie, Steak Cookie; You will be mourning in the morning.

Bad news for beach lovers. The maximum beach exposures probably occurred several thousand years ago at the end of the last Ice Age.

The Pentagon has invested millions in the creation of spy flies and spy lobsters.

When talking about your family, don’t forget the distant cousins known as naked mole rats. Just like them, we’re mostly free of parasites.

As of today, Joe Schriner is still the only presidential candidate to visit the Observer. I’m not complaining.

Want to improve your communication? Stop using soap and maybe your general mood will be transported by your natural pheromones.

Is your marriage in a slide? Save it with romantic fondue. Or at least offer to clean the toilet. As the Scandinavians say, “Necessity makes the devil eat flies.”

Tomatoes were still considered poisonous 200 years ago in England. Today, there’s a tomato seed underground to prevent the takeover of the genetically modified tomato.

The fruit known as the dinosaur egg (PLU sticker #3278) is actually a cross between a plum and a pork chop.

Forty-three percent of Americans believe their pets will go to heaven. It must be crowded with the remaining billions and billions of fleas, ticks, lice and spiders from the animal kingdom.

Open the new Morenci phone book: Who is Jake Bilworth, Megan Boore and Sarah Morenci?

I survived a shark attack in 2003. It happened right in my bedroom.

Want to put the Italian back in your stallion? Take it from Booker Babcock, Gahn Chaaban, Basil Sweet or any of the other spam e-mail writers.

Drop out of the fast food nation and try some real food, such as spotted dick, faggots and peas, rook pie and pig’s cheeks. They’re all good traditional eats from Great Britain.

Old, aging cockroaches perform better when their heads are cut off.

Stop saying that Morenci’s new sidewalks are so wide. They’re actually five shoe lengths skinnier than Manhattan’s at Broadway and 72nd.

The average human is alive for about 650,000 hours. I hope your most recent four minutes was well invested.

    – Dec. 31, 2003 
  • Front.poles
    MOVING EAST—Utility workers continue their slow progress east along U.S. 20 south of Morenci. New electrical poles are put in place before wiring is moved into place.
  • Front.cowboy
    A PERFORMER named Biligbaatar, a member of the AnDa Union troupe from Inner Mongolia, dances at Stair District Library last week during a visit to the Midwest. The nine-member group blends a variety of traditions from Inner and Outer Mongolia. The music is described as drawing from “all the Mongol tribes that Genghis Khan unified.” The group considers itself music gatherers whose goal is to preserve traditional sounds of Mongolia. Biligbaatar grew up among traditional herders who live in yurts. Additional photos are on the back page of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.base Ball
    UMPIRE Thomas Henthorn tosses the bat between team captains Mikayla Price and Chuck Piskoti of Flint’s Lumber City Base Ball Club. Following the 1860 rules, after the bat was grabbed by the captains, captains’ hands advanced to the top of the bat—one hand on top of the other. The captain whose hand ended up on top decided who would bat first. Additional photos of Sunday’s game appear on page 12 of this week’s Observer. The contest was organized in conjunction with Stair District Library’s Hometown Teams exhibit that runs through Nov. 20.
  • Front.chat
    VALUE OF ATHLETICS—Morenci graduate John Bancroft (center) takes a turn at the microphone during a chat session at the opening of the Hometown Teams exhibit at Stair District Library. Clockwise to his left is John Dillon, Jed Hall, Jim Bauer, Joe Farquhar, George Hollstein, George Vereecke and Mike McDowell. Thomas Henthorn (at the podium) kicked off the conversation. Henthorn, a University of Michigan–Flint professor, will return to Morenci this Sunday to lead a game of vintage base ball at the school softball field.
  • Front.cross
    HUDSON RUNNER Jacob Morgan looks toward the top of the hill with dismay during the tough finish at Harrison Lake State Park. Fayette runner Jacob Garrow focuses on the summit, also, during the Eagle Invitational cross country run Saturday morning. Continuing rain and drizzle made the course even more challenging. Results of the race are in this week’s Observer.
  • Front.bear
    HOLDEN HUTCHISON gives a hug to a black bear cub—the product of a taxidermist’s skills—at the Michigan DNR’s Great Youth Jamboree. The event on Sunday marked the fourth year of the Jamboree. Additional photos are on page 12.
  • Front.hose Testing
    HOSE safety—The FireCatt hose testing company from Troy put Morenci Fire Department hose to the test Monday morning when Mill Street was closed to traffic. The company also checks nozzles and ladders for wear in an effort to keep fire fighters safe while on calls.

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