“Woke up this morning. Put on my slippers, walked in the kitchen and died…"
– John Prine
As I write this, I am working on the American holiday created for and celebrated by folks not having to go to work and hence, am not in the loftiest of moods, so to expect a lot is probably setting yourself up for disappointment.
This sentiment should probably concern me a great deal more than it does.
Perhaps you should consider this my Faulkner column, not because it is going to be good, or profound or meaningful, but rather because instead of concentrating on one subject (which tends to hurt), this one’s apt to ramble around, a la “stream of consciousness” which is what we call it when somebody does it well. I will punctuate, however, as that has always bothered the stew out of me.
Not that either was too elevated to begin with, this past week both my opinion of and expectations for my fellow man drooped considerably. I sometimes think all of humanity can be divided into two groups—good folks and horrible goobers—and I think the goobers are gaining pretty fast on everybody else.
First, I’d like to say a word or two about Joel Osteen, the latest Elmer Gantry-made-good example of what P.J. O’Rourke quite accurately pegged as “re-fried Jesus-wheezing TV preachers,” who has what’s now called a “mega church” that’s just slightly smaller than his house in Houston. You know, hurricane ravaged folks have lost everything in Houston.
Truly a man of God, Osteen initially failed to offer his 16,000-capacity church as a shelter for any of the folks desperately needing one, and when he was roundly criticized for that, he rather lamely said it was because the city “didn’t ask.”
But, he finally did and on Sunday he preached what was no doubt a humdinger sermon to them, but now here’s the kicker: You ready? He passed around the collection plate. To the flood victims.
I vote we just take him out and shoot him.
And in nearby Conway, we stumble from avarice to stupidity. There’s a flooded chemical company there, one that makes peroxides of one sort or another, using chemicals stored in pods which must be refrigerated or they will blow up—which is exactly what they are doing. Huge explosions, plumes of smoke and fumes billowing hundreds of feet in the air.
And nobody knows just what those fumes are, or if they will hurt or kill people, because the stupid Texas Legislature passed a law making all chemical storage secret. Can’t find out what’s now in the air. And there may have been a reason for doing that—terrorism is cited—but that reason went due south the second those chemicals started blowing up and releasing fumes.
Might ought to review that law, huh, boys and girls?
And Hurricane Harvey (damned storms started getting worse when some government weather idiot thought that political correctness demanded that we started naming them after men as well as women) notwithstanding, it was a bad week for Texas.
Playing on national TV Sunday night, Sept. 3, Texas A&M University and its beleaguered coach Kevin Sumlin was beating the stew out of UCLA, 44-10 in the waning moments of the third quarter. Then all of their players were either drugged or collectively inhaled those “harmless” fumes from the Conway chemical fire and immediately forgot how to play the game for which they had been awarded football scholarships to Texas A&M.
UCLA promptly scored five straight touchdowns, the last of which came on a play when their quarterback (a la Dan Marino years ago) faked grounding the ball to stop the clock, then threw a touchdown pass that allowed UCLA to win, 45-44.
While this would have been terrible under any circumstances, it was made breathtakingly worse by the fact that when the quarterback pulled his fake stopping the clock trick, the clock was not running.
Were I Kevin Sumlin, I would immediately begin drinking heavily.
In Utah, a brain-dead cop roughed up and arrested a nurse for doing her job in not drawing blood from an unconscious patient. An investigation should immediately begin to see if he played football at Texas A&M.
And finally, equally common sensical, a fraternity retreat at my alma mater Ole Miss had to be cancelled when one or more coeds “felt threatened” at the sight of a banana peel that another student had tossed on a tree when he finished eating his banana and there was no handy garbage can.
I’m all for sensitivity to symbolism, but when an innocently discarded banana peel becomes a threat, we may have crossed that bridge too far.
Ray Mosby is editor and publisher of the Deer Creek Pilot in Rolling Fork.