2012.03.21 300 columns down, more spleen venting to come

Written by David Green.


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.

  • 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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