By RICH FOLEY
As I’m sure you remember from the hoopla earlier this year, the world was supposed to end on December 21st—at least according to those people who claim the ancient Mayan calendar ends at that date. If you’re reading this, it’s pretty obvious that they were wrong. If they were correct, however, then I wasted some of the end days writing a column that no one will ever see outside the Observer office, not to mention buying Christmas gifts that will never be given to their intended recipients.
Some claim that the “end date” was so far in the future at the time the calendar was made that the Mayans simply didn’t bother to continue any farther at that point, comparing it to our own calendars that end on December 31. That date doesn’t mark the end of the world, only that it’s time to get a new calendar.
That said, the calendar year is ending here at Nowhere Road, making it the perfect time to review the events of 2012. Then decide for yourself if you’d prefer the end of the world.
Back in February, my Buick Park Avenue went to auto heaven after 179,000 miles of faithful service. At least I hope that’s where it went. The idea of it being parted out piece by piece still bothers me.
In one of life’s little coincidences, there was a cassette stuck in the Buick’s stereo at the time, an obscure recording by one-hit wonder Robert Ellis Orrall. The name of Orrall’s sole claim to fame was “Boom! It Was Over.” That also sums up the fate of the Park Avenue.
While I was waiting for a final verdict on the car, the dealer loaned me a 2004 Cadillac. It was the first time I’ve ever driven a Caddy. Even though it already had 149,000 miles on it, it was still pretty impressive.
I went home and waited to hear back about my car, then returned to the dealership after they pronounced a death sentence on it. Even though I only drove the Caddy home once, then right back to the dealer, it was enough for someone to start a rumor that I had bought a Cadillac. News travels fast in a small town, whether it’s true or not.
I ended up buying a 2006 Buick Lucerne with low miles. The reason you haven’t heard much about it is it’s been virtually trouble-free so far. Now that’s a car I can get used to.
In March, I “adopted” a black bear named Challenger from Appalachian Bear Rescue in Tennessee. The year old bear was severely malnourished, weighing only 10 pounds when admitted to ABR.
Unfortunately, my adoption didn’t give me visitation rights, but my adoption fee, along with that of many other “parents,” helped Challenger regain his health and make friends with other cubs at ABR.
After gaining over 40 pounds to meet the minimum weight to be released, Challenger and several companion cubs were released in the area of Smoky Mountain National Park. After spending the summer and fall in the wild putting on more weight, hopefully Challenger has found a cozy spot to spend the winter.
In June, I wrote about discovering that I’m a relative of Pocahontas and wondering if my Native American heritage would allow me to run a riverboat casino on Harrison Lake. There’s nothing to report on that front as of yet, and I wouldn’t recommend holding your breath waiting for the grand opening, either.
I had another business brainstorm, or maybe more appropriately, nightmare, in September with the idea of purchasing long-empty Addison Hospital. Most famous for being the birthplace of me, some of my ideas for the property included turning it into a mini-mall, apartment complex or maybe a venue to lease for film makers or television networks for a medical series.
The property received no interest in a delinquent tax auction and is now regarded as being unsalable. At least I tried.
In October, I criticized the corn muffin mix being promoted by comedian Larry the Cable Guy and wondered what his redneck pals would come up with next. The latest redneck product is Jeff Foxworthy’s Grit Chips, the only snack chip made from grits. Happy snacking, everyone.
That’s all I’ve got for now. I hope you enjoyed this little trip through the past if it turns out that I didn’t write this for an audience that will never see it. And to make sure I’ve got all my bases covered, I think I’ll go do some more Christmas shopping, just in case the world doesn’t end after all.