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.splash
    Water Fun—Carter Seitz and Colson Walter take a fast trip along a plastic sliding strip while water from a sprinkler provides the lubrication. The boys took a break from tie-dyeing last week at Morenci’s Summer Recreation Program to cool off in the water.
  • Front.starting
    BIKE-A-THON—Children in Morenci’s Summer Recreation Program brought their bikes last Tuesday to participate in a bike-a-thon. Riders await the start of the event at the elementary school before being led on a course through town by organizer Leonie Leahy.
  • Front.pokemon
    LATEST CRAZE—David Cortes (left) and Ty Kruse, along with Jerred Heselschwerdt (standing), consult their smartphones while engaging in the game of Pokémon Go. The virtual scavenger hunt comes to life when players are in the vicinity of gyms, such as Stair District Library, and PokéStops such as the fire station across the street. The boys had spent time Monday morning searching for Pokémon at Wakefield Park.
  • Front.drum
    on your mark, get set, drum!—Drew Joughin (black shirt), Maddox Joughin and Kaleea Braun took the front row last week when Angela Rettle and assistants led the Stair District Library Summer Reading Program kids in a session of cardio drumming. The sports and healthy living theme continued yesterday with a Mini Jamboree at Lake Hudson State Park arranged by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. Next week’s program features the Flying Aces Frisbee show.
  • Girls.on.ride
    NADIYA YORK and Aniston Valentine take a spin on the Casino, one of the rides offered at Wakefield Park during Morenci’s Town and Country Festival. This year’s festival remained dry but with plenty of heat during the three-day run. Additional photographs are inside this week’s Observer.
  • Front.softball
    Angela Davis (2) and teammate Allison VanBrandt break into a jig after Morenci's softball team won its third consecutive regional title.
  • Front.art.park
    ART PARK—A design created by Poggemeyer Design Group shows a “pocket art park” in the green space south of the State Line Observer building. The proposal includes a 12-foot sculpture based on a design created by Morenci sixth grade student Klara Wesley through a school and library collaboration. A wooden band shell is located at the back of the lot. The Observer wall would be covered with a synthetic stucco material. City council members are considering ways to fund the estimated $125,000 project and perhaps tackling construction one step at a time.
  • 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
  • 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.
  • 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.

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