2010.12.29 Another year of fun and such bites the dust

Written by David Green.

By RICH FOLEY

Yet another year has come and gone and the news continues to get odder. In England, a man was convicted of drunk driving. That by itself isn’t that strange, except for the fact that he was behind the wheel of a Fisher Price Barbie car when caught by police.

Yes, one of those electric-powered kiddie toys that boasts a top speed of 4 miles per hour. Since driver Paul Hutton had a previous conviction, his license was suspended for three years.

“The vehicle is not even capable of doing the speed of a mobility scooter,” noted Magistrate Neil Munson, “and could be outrun by a pedestrian.”

Hutton, a former Royal Air Force aeronautical engineer, admitted to the magistrate that he had indeed been drinking. “I was a twit to say the least,” he added.

Meanwhile, Takeru Kobayashi, six-time winner of the annual Nathan’s hot dog eating contest in New York City, was arrested when he tried to join this year’s competition.

A dispute over control of the competitive eating battle resulted in Kobayashi being banned from the 2010 match. Kobayashi attended as a spectator, but claimed he jumped on stage after being urged on by the crowd, whereupon he was arrested.

While in custody, police served him a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and milk. Released on his own recognizance, Kobayashi claimed to be “very hungry,” adding “I wish there were hot dogs in jail.”

In sadder news, the chance of fulfilling one of my dreams is now gone. Back in 2008, I wrote about my goal of bringing The Knack to Fayette to sing “My Sharona” in my living room. Sadly, the February death of lead singer Doug Fieger brought an end to that ambition. Next on the list? Trying to bring the Go-Go’s to town, or at least, Molly Hatchet.

Here at Nowhere Road, it’s been another interesting year. Back in March, I wrote about my belief that Facebook was the work of the Devil. I’m still fairly sure that I’m right.

My carefully controlled list of Facebook friends still numbers barely a dozen, but now includes singer/writer/politician Kinky Friedman, or, that is, “Richard” Friedman, as Facebook requires him to be listed. His mother was probably the last person to call him Richard.

Interestingly, I became his “friend” at his request. I joined a list of friends of The Kinkster that includes Jerry Jeff Walker, Larry Hagman, Jimmie Dale Gilmore, Maria Muldaur, Michelle Shocked, and Bill Kirchen, who used to play guitar for Commander Cody and the Lost Planet Airmen. And then there’s me.

Back in May, I bought a pile of used DVDs when a local video store closed its doors. If you ever have the opportunity to watch “Slap Shot 3” or “The TV Set,” run for your life.

In September, I mentioned Jim Morrison, or “Mr. Mojo Risin,” as he’s known in Anagramland. Newly pardoned by the outgoing governor of Florida a mere 39 years after his death, does that mean Jim now gets to go to Heaven? And as long as we’re righting wrongs done to dead musicians, how about putting Warren Zevon in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame?

I hate to keep bringing up subjects that make people uncomfortable, but...BEDBUGS!!!! Sorry about that, but they don’t seem to be going away. It was a good year to stay out of motels, theaters, factories, office buildings and clothing stores. I’m still trying to interest a movie studio in my idea for a feature titled “Bedbugs on a Plane.”

I resisted the temptation to do a follow-up column on stink bugs, but they seem to be almost as big a problem as bedbugs, especially in Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and the Middle Atlantic states. The bugs are doing millions of dollars worth of damage to fruit and vegetable crops, as well as emitting a skunklike odor when irritated or crushed. I’ll pass on doing a stink bug movie.

Actually, the stink bugs could do us a favor and go after the farms that are growing red celery. Maybe they are, as I haven’t seen the dreaded red vegetable for sale anywhere yet.

As I mentioned earlier this month, I’m thinking a road trip in search of the country’s best hamburgers might be a good idea for 2011. If I can just get a car manufacturer and oil company to provide a vehicle and the gas, I’ll provide the appetite.

That’s all I’ve got for 2010, but watch this space. There’ll surely be more insanity to come in the New Year.

  • Front.nok Hok
    GAMES DAY—Finn Molitierno (right) celebrates a goal during a game of Nok Hockey with his sister, Kyla. The two tried out a variety of games Saturday at Stair District Library’s annual International Games Day event. One of the activities featured a sort of scavenger hunt in which participants had to locate facts presented in the Smithsonian Hometown Teams exhibit. The traveling show left Morenci’s library Tuesday, wrapping up a series of programs that began Oct. 2. Additional photos are on page 7.
  • Station.2
    STRANGE STUFF—Morenci Elementary School students learn that blue isn’t really blue when seen through the right color of lens. Volunteer April Pike presents the lesson to students at one of the many stations brought to the school by the COSI science center. The theme of this year’s visit was the solar system.
  • Front.leaves
    MAPLE leaves show their fall colors in a puddle at Morenci’s Riverside Natural Area. “This was a great year for colors,” said local weather watcher George Isobar. Chilly mornings will give way to seasonable fall temperatures for the next two weeks.
  • Front.band
    MORENCI Marching Band member Brittany Dennis keeps the beat Friday during the half-time show of the Morenci/Pittsford football game. Color guard member Jordan Cordts is at the left. The band performed this season under the direction of Doyle Rodenbeck who served as Morenci’s band director in the 1970s. He’s serving as a substitute during a family leave.
  • 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.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.

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