From my pockets and beyond 2015.07.22

Sometimes re-visiting an old column from 20 years ago provides a mini history lesson. Remember the ornamental geese that people would prominently place in their yard? And then they would actually dress them in clothing? I wonder if I've become immune to even noticing them. I like to think that we moved on from that to something new.

How about the silhouettes of little boys urinating in the yard? Hasn't that gone by the wayside, too, with only peeing-boy stickers on the pickup trucks remaining? 


I know there was something I meant to write about this week. It’s right on the tip of my keyboard, but  can’t quite recall what it is. 

Desperate times such as these call for a search through notes stuffed into pockets and miscellaneous trash stashed on desktops. It has to be here somewhere, providing I actually made note of it. 

I have a variety of messages from readers that were included in their subscription renewal envelopes. Janice Bryner says that she doesn’t know many of the people who are making the news these days, but she still enjoys reading the columns. 

Wendy Woerner reported an address change along with her Observer fan letter. Former Morenci teacher Tom Buehrer questioned the proposal for a Quillback Carpsucker Festival, and he also wondered if I’m now employed by the Max Prank Institute. 

A proposal for Morenci’s annual festival to change from the ho-hum Town and Country Festival to the so much more exciting Quillback Carpsucker Festival was recently made by Adam Johnson. An Observer story about a fish survey of Bean Creek turned up the presence of quillbacks—something that brought great joy to Adam. 

A telephone call from Mildred Hoover of Union City furthered the discussion of former Morenci blacksmiths and where they worked. Floyd Donnelly didn’t have his shop very long, she said, but he had it. Mildred also spoke about the old tile yard near her house at the end of Salisbury Street. Her nephew used to keep the fires going at the kilns. 

Well, back to the pocket. Here’s a note that reads “The pregnant chair is a real hot seat.” That one needs explanation. 

To protect the innocent, I won’t give the name of the newspaper where this event happened. I’ll just make a vague reference by saying that it’s located in a Fulton County village. It’s in the village that thinks it should be the county seat. 

I was visiting the newspaper office in that town one day when I was introduced to a new reporter. Someone mentioned that the new guy had been warned about the Pregnant Chair.  

Here’s what they told me: Two previous employees had become pregnant while using that chair. Think about that… “While using that chair,” I was told. What sort of hanky-panky goes on south of the border? Do they wait until after hours? When interviewing reporter candidates, do they only consider contortionists?

In a related news item, I recently learned the answer to this perplexing question: How many journalists does it take to run a company letterhead through a laser printer? 

I’m sure the answer varies from newspaper to newspaper, but at the office I visited, the answer is three. The national average is only 1.2.

I ran out of pocket notes, but a drive through town a few minutes ago reminded me what I wanted to mention: naked geese.

Last week's disturbing police news included a report on the theft of clothing from three ornamental geese in town. They were left with nothing but their concrete feathers.

That would never happen in some communities where a few home owners can get together and form a neighborhood association. This allows them to legally write their own rules which can be much more restrictive than the local ordinances.

Some groups ban embarrassing items such as clothes hanging on a line, rooftop antennas and pickup trucks. I doubt if naked geese or those little urinating boys would last very long.

There's a woman in California who is protesting a monthly fine of $250 because—warning: this is really disgusting behavior—her bamboo porch shades are in three sections rather than one, big expensive shade.

They would probably ban my bulging pockets.