As I walk through my barren garden this February 1st, I can see fresh hewn-but-dormant grass seed we have sprinkled in the hopes the rain – or snow – this weekend will take it into the ground to await the springtime sun. But, just shy of 70, I cannot remember a colder week in January that we just endured for as long as I have been alive. I’m betting bugs that burrow most likely will not un-burrow, but I am old enough to know their cousins will take their place.
Whether or not the groundhog sees his shadow has never meant anything for me, or worked. I can also tell you your chances at happiness will increase proportionately if you will make sure a card, some candy or flowers, gets to where it must be by February 14th. Nothing is more important, not for your quest for placid conversation, eternal peace, and total tranquility. February 14 is the important day in the February calendar, and if you louse it up there’s nothing any of us can do outside of praying fervently for your soul.
Let’s see what we find this February 1st …
AN ORCHID for Democratic Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia, who was the only Democrat to stand and clap for parts of Donald Trump's State of the Union address Monday night. He says his party shouldn't 'sit there and frown' like House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi did for an hour and 20 minutes on Tuesday night. When Trump mentioned the U.S. motto 'In God We Trust,' all the Democrats except Manchin sat on their hands. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer glared at Manchin at least once and rolled his eyes. Manchin said he was showing respect for the office of the president and that Congress needs more 'civility.' The overwhelming majority of the American people heartily agree.
AN ONION to the Brainerd High basketball team for a scurrilous brawl last week that indefinitely suspended the Panthers’ season. The TSSAA was right in swift action and the Hamilton County school board should cancel Brainerd’s final games. The TSSAA also sanctioned rival Austin East of Knoxville as well and Brainerd coach Lavar Brown should be subject to an investigation by the Hamilton County Department of Education before he is allowed to coach teenagers again. Only hard-fisted penalties and harsh consequences stop fights.
AN ORCHID for the sign in Sessions Court Judge Christie Sell's courtroom that reads, “While we are free to choose our actions, we are not free to choose the consequences of our actions.”
AN ONION to the fact that when college basketball giants North Carolina and Duke both lost at home last Saturday, it was the first time that has happened to the always-heralded two teams on the same day since 1973. UNC, now No. 19, also lost to No. 20 Clemson on Tuesday night, while No. 4 Duke beat Notre Dame by 22 points.
AN ORCHID to the great John Wayne quote: “"I'm here to kick a** and drink whiskey. And Pilgrim, I'm out of whiskey." Or, of course, there is, “Well son, since you haven't learned to respect your elders, it's time you learned to respect your betters.”
AN ONION to Larry Nassar, who was just sentenced to 175 years in prison for molesting young gymnasts in vile and disgusting fashion. If ever there was a candidate for a firing squad, he’s the best example. Incidentally, the U.S. Olympic Committee promised to revoke the organization's governing authority if the full board had not stepped down by yesterday. A spokesman for USA Gymnastics soon announced every director has resigned.
AN ORCHID to the tired Erlanger resident during this flu epidemic who advises, “The common cold, if untreated, lasts about two weeks. With proper rest and medication, figure on 14 days.”
AN ONION to the fact that April 7 is D-Day to those who have loved the Model JK Wrangler Jeep for the last 11 years. This is the day the company will flip the switch and begin making the completely new model.
AN ORCHID for the fact the New Orleans Street and Sanitation Department has spent since September pulling trash and junk out of the catch basins along the Mardi Gras parade route down St. Charles Avenue. They have about one-fourth of the city’s 68,000 catch basins done and thus far have harvested 7.2 million pounds of debris.
AN ONION to the finding that in the debris clogging the storm water drains there are 93,000 pounds of the festive Mardi Gras beads collected. (No, it is far beyond my imagination how they determined in the muck there were that many beads.) This year Mardi Gras falls on Feb. 13. Mardi Gras is usually set 47 days before Easter, which will be on Sunday, April 1, this year. And if you don’t attend Easter church services … yes, you’ll be a bonafide April Fool.
AN ORCHID to the glory-filled first 100 years in the life of Signal Mountain’s Gray Wagner, who celebrated the grand event with many friends last Saturday. Her late husband, Joe, was the Mayor of Signal Mountain for years. It was widely reported “Miss Gray” was a happy birthday girl indeed!
AN ONION to the data that shows last year’s composite ACT test scores for America’s seniors dropped to 20.9, an eight-year low. What the data doesn’t show is that many graduates don’t give a rip, will shun college, and enter the work force or armed services.
AN ORCHID to South Carolina Congressman Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) who announced Wednesday he will not seek re-election in 2018. Rep. Gowdy is far-and-away my favorite in Congress and sometimes, when I need a laugh just before I go to bed, I watch his tapes on YouTube because he absolutely mauls stupid people. He’s fabulous, I’m telling you.
AN ONION to the politically-incorrect who just triumphed over the Cleveland Indians retiring the familiar “Chief Wahoo” from the uniforms. The truth is the team was so named because an American Indian by the name Louis Sockalexis, a member of the Penobscot nation in Maine, once played for a different Cleveland team in the National League from 1897 to 1899. Thus far the owner of the Washington Redskins has refused to budge, as have the Atlanta Braves, among others.
AN ORCHID to the high school guidance counselor who finally told the non-performer, “Life ain’t got a remote! If you want to change who you are, you’re the only one who can do it.”