2010.12.29 Another year of fun and such bites the dust

Written by David Green.


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.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.crossing
    Crossing over—Jim Heiney was given a U.S. flag to carry by George Vereecke (behind Jim in the hat), turning him into the leader of the parade. Bridge Walk participants cross over Bean Creek while, in the background, members of the Morenci Legion Riders cross the main traffic bridge on East Street South. Additional photos appear on the back page of this week’s Observer.
  • 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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