Roy Exum: My November Garden

Wednesday, November 1, 2017 - by Roy Exum
Roy Exum
Roy Exum

With a long-range weather forecast that doesn’t allow for a freeze until after Thanksgiving, it is fun to see so many annuals thriving in the leaves and last night’s candy wrappers. Our November Walk through the Garden makes me believe this will be a wonderful autumn. Last month we got twice the rain we normally do and, with 10 full inches over the average for the first 10 months of the year, we’re look for a pretty spectacular leaf show in the weeks ahead. We have an abundance of Orchids and Onions, as always, so let’s take a closer look:

AN ORCHID for Tennessee’s patience with embattled football coach Butch Jones. The Vols played toe-to-toe with Kentucky last week, save the last 30 seconds, and there has never been an interim coach on any team better than the regular coach guiding a team down the stretch. With Kelly out, UT was without their best player but, be reasonable, you think Butch told the kid “smoke ‘em if you got ‘em?” Tennessee has a chance in every game remaining … let the kids play.

AN ONION for the stabbing that occurred in Birmingham over the weekend but – really? -- what does someone expect might happen inside a place called Wesley’s Boobie Bar.

AN ORCHID for the fact that for many years running, the most popular Halloween costume in America last night was the lady of the evening herself: a witch.

AN ONION to Kellogg’s agreeing to redesign the iconic Corn Pops cereal box after some nitwit complained one tiny figure was racist. “The only brown corn pop is the janitor at a shopping mall,” the complainant wrote, “and that’s racist.” Heaven help us all. (Danger alert, Cocoa Puffs, danger!)

AN ORCHID to McKinney (Texas) running back Matt Gadek, who just set a state record for most yards rushing in a high school game in the football-hungry state. In the recent 63-50 shootout over Plano East, Gadek gained 599 yards. That’s about one-third of a mile with people trying to tackle you every inch of the way and that doesn’t include the twists, the fakes, the jukes and other footwork.

AN ORCHID to those men on the Trinity and Hamilton football teams who were standing at attention seconds before the playing of the national anthem when a somewhat embarrassing announcement was made that the sound equipment had malfunctioned. That’s when Trinity fullback Ethan Suraci started belting out the song at the top of his lungs. Almost instantly players on both teams joined. So did the crowd. “There were almost three different waves on the Star-Spangled Banner -- the Trinity’s team, Hamilton’s team, and the crowd. It was like an echo and it ended on the same note,” said Trinity Coach Jeff Devanney. “The place went nuts … best ever!”

AN ONION to Jadeveon Clowney who showed up wearing an orange prison jumpsuit at the Houston Texans' Halloween party, apparently to be a shot at Houston team owner Bob McNair. Last week the owner said “the inmates are running the insane asylum,” which the players instantly took as a slam, thinking they were being called inmates. (Since the year 2000, a total of 656 NFL players are known to have been arrested.)

AN ORCHID to Iowa’s newest football tradition – the University of Iowa Children’s Hospital has just been completed next to Kinnick Stadium in Iowa City. So at the end of each of first three quarters of every home game, they take a child to the top of the hospital and 65,668 football fans wave to the child and cheer. The sick kid also gets to see their name and face on the huge Jumbo-tron. That is what’s called “Strong Medicine.”

AN ONION to the somber news that the opioid addiction problem is actually driving down the life-expectancy rate in the United States.

AN ORCHID to the “very full and very fun” life of longtime WTVC personality Don Welch and the “aura of merriment” that hovered over him, and whoever he was with, like some great big, fluffy cloud.

AN ONION to the Catholic school in San Rafael, California that just removed religious statues of Jesus and Mary to be “more inclusive.” Understand, the statues have stood for 167 years at San Domenico School but, in a further affront to all Catholics, Christians, and Jews the world over, the word “Catholic” was also removed from the school’s mission statement.

AN ORCHID to Google as we celebrate Mental Health Awareness Month. If you will “google” the word “depression,” the list of prompts will immediately pop up but – get this -- at the top of the search results will offer what is called the “PHQ-9 Test.” Clinically proven, the test will ask standard assessment questions and give free results and recommend a solution. It is believed it will help people seek the help they need and have a peace about confronting depression. (Researchers believe those with symptoms wait six-to-eight years before admitting they need help. No wait with Google!)

AN ONION to the huge and ever-growing plan to boycott all NFL games when Veteran’s Day is celebrated Sunday week, on Nov. 12. Whoever would have thought that we, as a nation, would get involved in something so outrageous?

AN ORCHID to the fact that while I hate Daylight Saving Time, I’d sure rather “fall back” than “spring forward.” Yes, this Sunday is when we change.

AN ONION to the cow that killed the farmer in Floyd County, Georgia (Rome) last week. It seems 72-year-old Nathan William Paris was trying to ‘turn’ the stubborn bovine when the cow got mad. The huge animal charged the farmer, smashing the man into a fence. The massive chest trauma that resulted gave the knock-out to the cow. Moral of the story – never try to force a 1,500-pound animal to do anything.

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