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.fireworks
    FIREWORKS erupt Saturday night over Morenci’s Wakefield Park during the waning hours of the Town and Country Festival. Additional festival photos are inside.
  • Pipeline Spread
    LINED UP—Lengths of pipe were put in place last week along the route of the Rover natural gas pipeline that will stretch from Defiance, Ohio, to Ontario, Canada. Topsoil was removed before the pipes were laid out. The 42-inch diameter pipeline is scheduled for completion in November.
  • Front.grieders
    ONE-TWO PUNCH—Morenci’s Griffin Grieder saved his best for last, running his fastest time ever in the 110-meter high hurdles at the state finals Saturday in Grand Rapids to finish first in the state in Div. IV. His brother Luke, a junior (right), claimed the state runner-up spot. Bulldog junior Bailee Dominique placed seventh in the 100-meter dash.
  • Front.sidewalk
    MORENCI senior class president Mikayla Price leads the way Sunday afternoon from the Church of the Nazarene to the United Methodist Church for the baccalaureate ceremony. Later in the day, 39 members of the senior class received diplomas in the high school gymnasium.
  • Front.F.school
    PROGRESS continues on the agriculture classroom addition at Fayette High School. The project will add 2,900 square feet of space and include an overhead door that would allow equipment to be driven inside. The building should be ready for the start of school in August. Work on ball fields and a running track is also underway.
  • Front.teacher Leading
    PRESCHOOL MUSIC—Fayette band director Jeffrey Dunford spends the last half hour of the day leading the full-day preschool class in musical activities. Additional photos are on page 7 of this week’s Observer.
  • 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.
  • Face Paint
    FUN NIGHT FUN—Savanna Miles sits patiently while Abbie White works on a face paint design Friday during the Morenci PTO Fun Night. Gracie Snead watches the progress after having spent time in the chair. Abbie was one of several volunteer painters, each creating their own unique look. Additional photos are on the back page of this week’s Observer.

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