Ah, as the first chilly air of October breezes through the garden, I find an abundance of orchids and onions and, on a day when I have so much I would like to write about, allow me to condense my “want to” list:
AN ORCHID for Zander, a seven-year-old husky, who went into a horrible funk when his owner had to be admitted to Good Samaritan Medical Center for a skin infection. After several days, Zander escaped the house and – in an unbelievable story – soon showed up at the hospital’s front door looking for his master. An employee read the dog’s collar and the two were reunited. No one can explain how the dog found his hospitalized owner, since the medical center is two miles from his home and Zander had never been in the vicinity.
AN ONION to the Archdiocese of Atlanta for calling on its parishes, schools and missions to abandon and boycott the Susan G. Komen for the Cure in this, Breast Awareness Month. It seems the Catholic Church is strongly opposed to the Komen organization for grants given to Planned Parenthood to provide breast-screening exams for those who cannot afford it. It has been predicted that 7,000 cases of breast cancer will be detected in Georgia and while breast cancer is the leading cause of cancer death, the church’s staunch opposition to Planned Parenthood is the cause for the rift.
AN ORCHID to Ridgeland High’s phenomenal football player – Vonn Bell – who caught 3 TD passes and ran for another in Friday night’s 48-21 win over Dalton. Amassing 271 total yards before a wide array of college scouts, the highly-recruited Bell is already an oddity of sorts. When he was named in August as a “Super 11” prospect in the state of Georgia by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, it was the first time in the newspaper’s long history that a Tennessean was included on the glitter list. (The newspaper was unaware Vonn is actually from Ooltewah but plays in Georgia because his mother is a guidance counselor at the school.)
AN ONION to the scary meningitis outbreak that is causing health officials in Tennessee and six other states to desperately search for people who have been given epidural steroid injections in recent months. Since a 78-year-old man in Nashville died Sept. 17, 46 others have come down with the rare and noncontagious viral infection. Five people – three from Tennessee -- have died. Since the incubation period is one month or longer, officials from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are urging anyone who has had an epidural steroid injection to go to the CDC website for more information.
AN ORCHID to the social website Facebook, which just announced it now has one billion users. That’s with a “b” and reflects one-seventh of the world’s population. And speaking of numbers, do you realize McDonald’s fast-food restaurants now sell “over 75 hamburgers per second, of every minute, of every hour, or every day of the year,” according to the company’s training manual. McDonald’s now has 31,000 restaurants in 118 countries.
AN ONION to the fact a gallon of unleaded regular gas cost an average of $4.61 in California on Saturday, which is the highest average cost of all time. This was a 12-cent increase from Friday’s price and those who live in San Luis Obispo were paying $4.71 yesterday. Petroleum analysts are predicting a ceiling of $4.85 before any relief is in sight.
AN ORCHID for Jack McGraw, a middle school football player from St. Charles, Illinois, who plays for the Haines Middle School Hurricanes and scored his first touchdown several weeks ago. What makes it so special is Jack wants to be just like his hero – Matt Forte who plays for the NFL’s Chicago Bears – but Jack has cerebral palsy and is confined to a motorized scooter. Sure, it was all a set-up – the other team was in on it but Jack never saw it coming. With the Hurricanes up 29-0 and driving, coach Sean Masoncup gruffly ordered Jack into the game. The quarterback took the snap and popped the ball into Jack’s lap. The opposing team craftily parted their defense and then chased Jack and his scooter all the way to the end zone. “I’ve coached a lot of games,” Masoncup said afterwards, “but this was the greatest game I could ever imagine.”
AN ONION for Colleen Lachowicz, a Democratic candidate for state Senate seat in Maine who, as she says, leads a "time-consuming double life.” She’s an orc in the online fantasy role-playing game World of Warcraft. She writes, “"I stab things … a lot. Who would have thought that a peace-lovin', social worker and Democrat would enjoy that?!"
AN ORCHID for Ellen Degeneres, the talk-show host who had 14-year-old Marcos Ugarde as a guest on her set the other day after the young hero saved an eight-year-old neighbor from a house fire in Oregon. Young Marco, who doesn’t consider himself a hero, said he “did what anybody else would do” when he grabbed a ladder, went inside a second story window and carried the younger child to safety. Ellen disagreed, presenting the delighted boy with tickets and VIP privileges to watch his favorite team, the No. 2 ranked Oregon Ducks, and $10,000 towards his college education.
AN ONION to Alabama fan Brian Downing, who “starred” in an obscene video taken at the Krystal after this year’s Sugar Bowl and was just handed a two-year jail sentence for the heinous act. Downing rubbed his genitals on an intoxicated LSU fan and a video of the despicable act went viral, enabling the culprit to be prosecuted.
AN ORCHID to the unknown author of “Salt and Tequila,” a poem that was sent to me the other day. “This should probably be taped to your bathroom mirror where one could read it every day. You may not realize it, but it's 100% true:
1. There are at least two people in this world that you would die for.
2. At least 15 people in this world love you in some way.
3. The only reason anyone would ever hate you is because they want to be just like you.
4. A smile from you can bring happiness to anyone, even if they don't like you.
5. Every night, someone thinks about you before they go to sleep.
6. You mean the world to someone.
7. You are special and unique.
8. Someone that you don't even know exists loves you.
9. When you make the biggest mistake ever, something good comes from it.
10. When you think the world has turned its back on you take another look.
11. Always remember the compliments you received. Forget about the rude remarks.
And always remember... when life hands you lemons, ask for tequila and salt and call me over!”