By RICH FOLEY
It’s hard to believe that 12 years have passed since I first started filling an available space on Page 2. This week’s effort is milestone column number 300 in the series. Can it really have been that long?
Heck, in March of 2000, Bill Clinton was president, I was living in Blissfield and my transportation came in the form of a rapidly failing 1983 Chevy Malibu. Since then, we’ve had two more presidents, I’ve owned four more automobiles including my recent purchase of a 2006 Buick and since late 2004, I’ve been living in Fayette.
One thing hasn’t changed, though, at least not yet. I’m still utilizing the same computer that I used to write column number one back in 2000. If Apple needs to talk to someone who still uses a Macintosh IIsi on a regular basis, I may be their only option. And if anyone needs some unused floppy disks, talk to me.
All those years ago, my first regular column was about Red Devil energy drink. I still have an unopened can sitting near the computer if someone out there is feeling adventurous.
Shortly thereafter, I wrote about what I called the Miracle Box of Donuts. At the time, the box and remaining donuts had already hung out at the Observer office for nearly six months after I brought them to work. This December, they will be turning 13 years old. I should probably throw them a party-and serve slightly fresher refreshments.
The donuts weren’t the only odd subject over the years. There was the time the long-dead L. Ron Hubbard, father of Scientology, sent me a fax. I’m still wondering how he pulled that feat off.
Or the case of the talking carp. Back in 2003, a carp about to be butchered in a New York kosher fish market began speaking in Hebrew, warning about the end of the world. One employee cut his thumb during the excitement. While the owner took the injured worker to the hospital, another employee who didn’t understand Hebrew butchered the fish.
I’m still waiting for that $2.8 million dollars that James Doohan, better known as engineer Scotty on “Star Trek,” supposedly left me in his will. It has to be the most creative email scam I’ve ever received.
I’m also still waiting for that free 20 ounce Dr. Pepper the soda manufacturer promised everyone in the country if Axl Rose released the long-delayed “Chinese Democracy” CD in 2008. The CD was released, I filled out the form on the Doctor’s website, but I’m still thirsty.
Unfortunately, singer Greg Kihn hasn’t released any albums lately, so he still hasn’t used any of the suggested album titles I came up with back in 2005. I did learn there are more bad puns to be made with the name “Kihn” than you might think. After a while, the subject gets to be Kihnfusing.
In 2007, I wrote about Cheesy Onion Dip flavor Pringles, which got my attention with an ingredient list containing tilapia, Nile perch and fish gelatin, three things not often found in snack chips, at least ones I would ordinarily eat.
I stumped the phone bank operator at Procter & Gamble, who had to call me back two weeks later with an explanation as to why the product contained fish. Not only is the flavor no longer made, P & G recently sold the brand to Kellogg. I wonder if Tony the Tiger will now be doing their ads?
More recently, I wrote about envying Scott Hume, who operates the BurgerBusiness internet blog. He’s definitely the expert on burger restaurants, both here and abroad. I recently emailed him with a thought regarding his posting on McDonald’s upcoming Extra Value Menu and received an reply from him personally within ten minutes. That was pretty impressive. Or maybe he’s just lonely.
While reviewing past columns, It dawned on me that it’s been a while since I made a road trip. Back when my Aunt Sue was still alive, I looked forward to my yearly trip to St. Louis to help celebrate her birthday. Each year, I just missed rock legend Chuck Berry’s monthly appearance at a club near her home. I’ll have to find somewhere interesting to go in 2012.
As always, thanks to all the column subjects who have passed on, and to those still with us, making this the place for the obligatory Meat Loaf reference (Meat Loaf’s new CD, “Hell in a Handbasket,” is now in stores). If the Mayans turn out to be wrong about the end of the world, let’s meet back here in 2016 for column 400.