2012.03.21 300 columns down, more spleen venting to come

Written by David Green.

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.

  • Cecil
    THE MAYOR—Cecil Schoonover poses with a collection of garden gnomes that mysteriously arrive and disappear from his property. Along with the gnomes, someone created the sign stating that he is the Mayor of Gnomesville. He hasn’t yet tracked down the people involved in the prank, but he’s having a good time with the mystery.
  • Front.rest
    TAKE A BREAK—Last Wednesday’s session of Stair District Library’s Summer Reading Program ended with a quiet period in a class presented by yoga instructor Melany Gladieux of Toledo. Children learned a variety of yoga poses in the main room at the library, then finished off the session relaxing. Additional photos are on page 7. Area children are invited to visit the library today when the Michigan Science Center presents a flight program at 11 a.m. and roller coasters at 1 p.m.
  • Front.batter
    THE DERBY—Tyler “Smallpox” Flakne of Minnesota’s Home Run League All-Stars goes for the fence Friday night during the National Wiffle League Association’s home run derby in Morenci. This year the wiffleball national tournament moved from Dublin, Ohio, to Morenci’s Wakefield Park. During the derby, competitors had two minutes to hit as many home runs as possible. The winner this year finished with 21. See page 6 and 7 for additional photos.
  • Front.green Screen
    OUT OF THIS WORLD—Elizabeth McFadden and Elise Christle pose in front of the green screen as VolunTeen Noah Gilson makes them appear as though they are standing on the Moon. More photos from the Stair District Library’s NASA @ My Library program are on page 12.
  • Front.snake
    Lannis Smith of the Leslie Science and Nature Center in Ann Arbor shows off a python last week at Stair District Library's Summer Reading Program.
  • 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.rock Study
    ROCKHOUNDS—From the left, Joseph McCullough, Sean Pagett and Jonathan McCullough peer through hand lenses to study rocks. The project is part of Morenci Elementary School’s summer camp that continues into August.

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