Roy Exum: Orchids And Onions

Friday, August 1, 2014 - by Roy Exum
Roy Exum
Roy Exum

With record low temperatures being recorded around the South, I didn’t know what I’d find in my garden on the first day of August but – sure enough -- there is a profusion of orchids and onions. The start of college football will be later this month and, with the chilly mornings, fall practice is a far cry from what it will be when the sweltering heat comes back next week. Here’s what we see:

AN ONION to University of Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota on his fall class schedule. The two-time All Pac-10 player will no doubt be the top quarterback in next spring’s NFL draft and needs only “a couple of classes” to graduate with a 3.15 GPA. But don’t you think he could have carried a little heavier work load than the two classes he picked – yoga and golf?

AN ORCHID to the new best-selling book, “I Am Pilgrim.” A suspenseful thriller, the first book ever written by author Terry Hayes may well be the best book of the year if you need a late summertime read. Another must-read for late summer is “Those Who Wish Me Dead” by Michael Koryta.

AN ONION to the NFL for the decision to place tiny sensors in every players’ shoulder pads this fall so we can “track their every move” during games. At some point it seems there is an over-saturation of data – let’s go back to enjoying the games.

AN ORCHID to the life of Buck Rudisill, the great outdoorsman who was buried on Tuesday at Lookout Mountain’s Church of the Good Shepherd. There is no telling how many hundreds of boys and girls he taught to hunt and fish. And laugh.

AN ONION to Seattle where just one police officer wrote over 80 percent of the citations for public marijuana use. Chief Kathleen O’Toole said the department’s Office of Professional Accountability was looking into the matter. Washington started allowing recreational pot on June 7 and a severe shortage has hurt the eager tourist trade.

AN ORCHID to any registered voter in Hamilton County who, when asked by a politician for their vote in next Thursday’s election, will ask the candidate his or her view on traffic cameras and the auto emissions centers. Traffic cameras are clearly a money-grab and, when only four of Tennessee’s 95 counties require motorists to take part, there is clearly a discrepancy.

AN ONION to the blonde who watched a man park his car with his dog lying on the back seat, hidden from view. “Now you stay! Don’t move! Stay!” the man yelled over his shoulder as he ran into the store for a quick item. When he returned the blonde looked at the driver quizzically and asked, “Why don't you just put your car in park?”

AN ORCHID to the $8 million renovation of the Chattanooga Choo Choo and the news the popular showplace will add two new restaurants -- Sam's All American Sports Grill, a Nashville-based sports bar chain, and the Blue Fish Oyster House. And our North Shore will get a much-needed boost when the new Publix store opens on North Market next Wednesday.

AN ONION to the fact UT-Chattanooga wasn’t on the list of America’s Top Colleges by Forbes Magazine. Williams College was the best, followed by Stanford, Swarthmore, Princeton and MIT. Vanderbilt was 54, U. of Georgia 94, Sewanee 98, Covenant 282, U. of Tennessee 292, Berry College 401, Carson-Newman 577,  Middle Tenn. St. 612, and Tennessee State 643.

AN ORCHID to the fact Alabama and Auburn’s football teams are both in the top five on the recently released preseason coaches’ poll but on the Forbes list Auburn is ranked No. 204 while Alabama is No. 335 out of 650 universities that are listed.

AN ONION to the line in the old country song, “Time always flies but life takes the train.”

AN ORCHID to Mark McCarter, the author of the book celebrating the 50th anniversary of baseball’s Southern League “Never A Bad Game.” Now a columnist for the Huntsville Times, Mark started writing for the News-Free Press in high school and got caught up in the thrill of it but this week he told me that he just became a graduate of the Class of 2014 at Athens State College. Is that great or what!

AN ONION  to the news the famous grocery store in Dalton, The Green Spot, is closing after 60 years. The place was noted for its warm hospitality, its friendly service and its southern charm but owner Larry Green, a great guy and fabled writer, said a change in shopping habits had hurt the store in recent years.

AN ORCHID to the Editorial Board of the staid New York Times for announcing last weekend that group believes the time has come to legalize marijuana. We cannot control the still-illegal weed but the Times’ view is that pot is not as bad as alcohol. They are saying tax the stuff rather than demonize it. And, remember, nowhere in the Constitution does it say you must smoke or drink – that’s your decision and yours alone.

AN ONION to any registered voter who does not exercise that right next Thursday. Tomorrow is the last day for early voting and, with an unusually-long ballot, it would be a great idea to vote either today or tomorrow instead of waiting in line next Thursday.

AN ORCHID to the common sense behind the following statement: “If you think you have Alzheimer’s disease, you do not.”

AN ONION to those who claim 10 percent of Americans are gay. In a recent poll of 34,557 by the National Health Interview Study, only 2.3 percent said they were gay, lesbian or bisexual. What is troubling is 1.1 percent either didn’t know or said they were “something else.” Understandably, you might want to make a note to yourself when a loved one proclaims, “You are really something else!”

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