More Jackson County Opinions...

May 15, 2002


Column
By: Charlie Broadwell
The Jackson Herald
May 15, 2002

What to do when you’re not in school
Each year around this time, millions of students, including myself, suddenly find themselves free and unbound from the constant, and many times, wasted efforts of school. Some students choose to go to school during the summer to finish their education sooner, while others sit around and watch reruns of popular television programming of the 1970s.
While I am no stranger to the programming of the 70s, I would like to share with you many alternatives you can indulge in during the part of the year most young people live for.
• Ride a bike — Remember when you used to ride a bicycle when you were younger? There was nothing like riding outdoors, feeling the sun’s rays burn your young, delicate skin. I encourage you to get on a bicycle and ride it for at least six hours. You’ll probably be so sore the next day that you’ll wish you were dead. But hey, it’s good exercise, and it will make you appreciate your car more.
• Cut the grass — Hey, someone has to do it, plus if you live with your parents, they will hound you until you get this done. They have to work all day, then come home and slave over that hot stove. You could at least do something for them.
• Get a job — This is the perfect excuse to get out of cutting the grass. Go find a job at a grocery store. If you’re lucky, they’ll make you the bag boy or girl. All you really have to do is make sure that the eggs and bread aren’t smashed, and you’ll eventually get a raise and you’ll be “too busy” to work in the yard.
• Get skin cancer — For this wonderful tip, all you have to do is go outside, strip down and lay in the sun. Be sure to position your body accordingly so you don’t end up pale and sickly on one side, and burned to a crisp on the other. This happened to me recently on a fishing trip when I passed out due to lack of sleep, but that is another story.
If you are really into getting some hardcore cancer, go to a tanning bed. You’ll have to pay some money to get your desired melanoma, but it’s worth it. When you return to school in the fall, you’ll look more “healthy” than the rest of the student population..
• Sleep — Most people already do this during the summer, but it would be a crime not to at least mention it as something to do during the free period.
• Modify your compact car to make it look and sound completely stupid — This is not for everyone, but for the selected few, save up your pennies and buy a modification kit for your tiny car your parents bought you. Other people in your community will think you’re extremely cool. You will notice them bowing down to you out of respect as your little rice rocket flies by them at an amazing 30 miles per hour in the town square.
If you’re really into it, you can get a cheap tail pipe cover at a local automotive store. Your car will sound like a go-cart, and it will warn motorists who are not as hip as you that you are on your way, and they better get out of the way, because you own the road.
When your 1.8 liter engine isn’t floored to the max, people should be able to hear your rap music blasting and vibrating the earth around them. After all, you wouldn’t have that loud system if you didn’t believe other people wanted to hear your music. And you should consider yourself a valuable community servant.
• Join a band — I actually did this as soon as school released me from it’s tormenting grip of despair. Once a week I go to Grayson with my P.A. gear to jam in some guy’s barn. I have a friend who plays the drums and two other friends who play guitar, and we jam for hours. Afterwards, we watch the miniature goats fight to the death over little dry feed pellets.
Joining a band is a good way to relieve stress, and for most local bands, you don’t have to have any talent to be a member.
• Start a business — If you’re low on cash, and you don’t feel like getting a real job or performing lawn services for the elderly, just start calling people and tell them to send you a dollar. Tell the “customers” that your leg is broken and it is difficult to walk. Fib a little bit and tell them you don’t have any money to get it fixed.
I believe this practice is illegal, but as long as you don’t let the people know you’re scamming them, who is going to complain? Plus if you get arrested, that would be an experience worth remembering years later. Plus in jail, you get free food, free lodging — courtesy of the taxpayers of this wonderful state and nation.
I hope that my advice serves your needs for the 2002 summer break. For any additional advice, feel free to send me an e-mail, and I’ll try to help you in any way I can, for a small fee.
By the way, please don’t follow that last tip. I made it all up.
Charlie Broadwell is a reporter for Mainstreet News Inc. His e-mail is charliecfh@hotmail.com.

Jackson County Opinion Index

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Column
By: Virgil Adams
The Jackson Herald
May 15, 2002

Rambling all over the place
Am I the only one who remembers when high school and college sports were all about building character?
Am I the only one who remembers when parents kept the peace instead of making war at their kids’ athletic events?
Am I the only one who wonders how many flushes there have been in Jackson County this morning? (No, I am not talking about poker hands.)
More importantly, am I the only one who wonders where all of that stuff winds up? (Please, don’t look up stuff.)
Am I the only one who wonders why sales of bottled water are skyrocketing?
Am I the only one who worries more about running out of trees than I do running out of oil?
Am I the only one who wishes he had held on to those old Sears Roebuck catalogs?
Am I the only one who hugged a tree this morning?
Am I the only one who remembers when “gay” meant “happy and full of fun?”
Am I the only one who is getting tired of this stuff? (You may look up stuff now.)
* * *
Three old men, hard of hearing, were sitting on a park bench.
“It’s windy today,” said one.
“It ain’t Wednesday; it’s Thursday,” said another.
“I am, too. Let’s go get a beer,” said their friend.
* * *
Read the fine print.
That’s a joke. Especially if the fine print is on TV.
You see it at the end of a lot of idiot-box advertisements for car lease opportunities (?), consolidate-your-debts loans, insurance scams, and furniture with nothing down, no interest and no payment until 2005. (How do they do that?)
The fine print is in little fuzzy white letters encased in indistinguishable words hidden in long sentences that run for umpteen lines across the screen.
And the message is on the screen for about five seconds. Even if it were legible, you wouldn’t have enough time to read it.
The message, though, is similar to the one you hear on radio. The only difference is, on radio it’s verbal. But it means the same thing: “Certain restrictions apply.”
The only thing you can be certain about is, they certainly do. Beware of this cover-up.
I delved into this problem and decided what “restrictions apply” really means: Don’t believe a word we’ve told you in this ad.
* * *
This is not a literal translation, but I read somewhere (Romans 1:20?) that we have no excuse not to believe in God, for He has revealed Himself in Nature.
On my four-mile walk the other day I counted no less than 20 different wildflowers. Nobody (down here) had planted them. They were just there. As Elvis used to sing, “someone bigger than you or I” put them there. They were beautiful, and they were a revelation.
May I make a suggestion. If you are unhappy in church, if you go only out of duty, if you dread going all week and it takes you all week to get over it, if you aren’t being fulfilled or fed there - take a Sunday off.
Get back on speaking terms with Nature. Take a walk in the woods. Look unto the hills. Visit a creek, river or lake. Listen to the birds sing. Watch the squirrels play. Smell the roses.
Somebody may reveal something to you. Next Sunday go back to church and share the experience with your unhappy friends.
* * *
A dear friend of mine, a minister, told me one time that he wouldn’t go to church some Sundays if he weren’t the preacher. Survey all the preachers in the world, and I’m betting 99 percent of them agree with him.
If we laymen and laywomen loved our ministers like we should, and like we say we do, we’d insist that they and their spouses take more time off to get reacquainted with Nature. The first requisite for taking care of their flocks is taking care of themselves.
Unfortunately, there are still some church members who think their preacher works just three hours a week: Sunday morning, Sunday night and Wednesday night prayer meeting.
Ain’t no way I could walk a mile in their shoes. Double their salaries tomorrow and they’d still be underpaid. The good ones don’t do it for the money. If they did, they’d be in some other line of work.
Reminds me of an Administrative Board meeting (that’s Methodist for Board of Deacons) when a long-time, loyal member of the church in good standing - not to mention the pillar - chastised the minister for taking a Sunday off.
“We pay you to preach on Sunday,” the old patriarch scolded.
“No,” the minster replied. “God called me to preach on Sunday. You pay me for putting up with you the rest of the week.”
Virgil Adams is a former owner and editor of The Jackson Herald.


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