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.train
    WRECKAGE—Morenci Fire Department member Taylor Schisler walks past the smoking wreckage of a semi-truck tractor on the north side of the Norfolk and Southern Railroad tracks on Ranger Highway. The truck trailer was on the south side of the tracks
  • Front.sculpta
    SCULPTORS—Morenci third grade students Emersyn Thompson (left) and Marissa Lawrence turn spaghetti sticks into mini sculptures Friday during a class visit to Stair District Library. All Morenci Elementary School classes recently visited the library to experience the creative construction toys purchased through the “Sculptamania!” project, funded by a Disney Curiosity Creates grant. The grant is administered by the Association for Library Services to Children, a division of the American Library Association.
  • Funcolor
    LEONIE LEAHY was one of three local hair stylists who volunteered time Friday at the Morenci PTO Fun Night. Her customer, Aubrey Sandusky, looks up at her mother while her hair takes on a perfect match to her outfit. Leahy said she had a great time at the event—nothing but happy clients.
  • Shadow.salon
    LEARNING THE ROPES—Kristy Castillo (left), co-owner of Mane Street Salon, works with Kendal Kuhn as Sierra Orner takes a phone call. The two Morenci Area High School juniors spent Friday at the salon as part of a job shadowing experience.
  • KayseInField
    IN THE FIELD—2004 Morenci graduate Kayse Onweller works in a test plot of wheat in Texas. She’s part of Bayer CropScience’s North American wheat breeding program based in Nebraska, where she completed post-graduate work in plant breeding and genetics.
  • Front.winner
    REFEREE Camden Miller raises the hand of Morenci Jr. Dawgs wrestler Ryder Ryan as his opponent leaves the mat in disappointment. Morenci’s youth wrestling program served as host for a tournament Saturday morning to raise money for the club. Additional photos are on the back page.
  • Front.bank.2
    SHERWOOD STATE Bank opened its Fayette office at a grand opening Friday morning, drawing a large crowd to view the renovated building. Above, Burt Blue talks to teller Cindy Funk, while his wife, Jackie, looks around the new office. The Blues missed the opening and took a quick tour on Tuesday. Few traces remain of the former grocery store and theater, however, part of the original brick wall still shows in the hallway leading to the back of the building. The drive-through window should be ready for customers later in the month.
  • Front.make.three
    FROM THE LEFT, Landon Wilkins, Ryan White and Logan Blaker try out their artistic skills Saturday afternoon at the Morenci PTO’s first Date to Create event. More than 50 people showed up to create decorated planks of wood to hang from rope. The event served as a fund-raiser for miscellaneous PTO projects. Additional photos are on the back of this week’s Observer.

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