30 OCT 03: IT'S IN THE BOOK
Have you received your new Columbus telephone directory yet? And if you have, did you feel the urge to utter the famous movie words of Steve Martin - "The new phone books are here! The new phone books are here!!"
The official BellSouth white pages and yellow pages landed on my porch the other day. There's a nice picture on the cover of the Space Science Center's observatory dome at night, with a streak in the sky flashing by. What a nice illustration of the late-night training exercises at Fort Benning.
BellSouth resisted the urge to put a gaudy advertisement on the cover of the new phone book. Instead, an ad for Groome Transportation was STUCK on the cover like a Post-It note. I assume those stickers are NOT on phone books delivered to the Columbus Airport....
What is the point of the phony "tabs" along the side of the front cover of the phone book? The number went up this year to seven, with a new one for "HOMELAND SECURITY" - yet there's no markings on the sides of pages to get you to ANY of those sections. If the terrorists attacked right now, I'd wind up around the letter "L" for liquor stores.
The Homeland Security section of the phone book really is under "H" in the Columbus Yellow Pages. It has two pages of very basic instructions - including a list of basic emergency supplies which includes "other special things your family may need." Go ahead and wrap that DVD player in duct tape now.
The Community Information Pages of the BellSouth phone book are very helpful. For instance, there's a calendar for the Muscogee County School District holidays - but wait a minute. Where are the lines listing future sales tax votes?
The Community Information Pages are noteworthy for what is NOT there, as well as what is. For instance, you might conclude:
+ Columbus has several libraries, while Phenix City has none. Maybe that explains all the Alabama license plates outside Books-a-Million.
+ Beacon College does not exist, while Columbus State University and Columbus Tech do. Maybe it's time for a neon sign....
+ People in Phenix City have no utility service at all. Those old Alabama stereotypes refuse to go away.
+ The South Georgia Waves baseball team isn't staying in town next year - while all the other sports teams are. Quick, somebody check that contract for Golden Park....
Is it only a coincidence, by the way, that the Columbus city maps in the BellSouth phone book do NOT show you the section of Victory Drive south of North Lumpkin Road? Isn't the phone company guilty of continuing the "South Columbus" image problem?
As for the main events in the phone book: the number of "White Pages" listings for Columbus-Phenix City dropped this year, from 346 pages to 340. The number of Yellow Pages is down by seven. This may be a sign that the local population is declining. Or then again, maybe it's a sign that some BellSouth sales executives are about to lose their jobs.
Now some scattered notes we made while going around town on Thursday:
+ The Georgia state high school softball tournament began at South Commons - and the east side of the complex was filled with cars and buses. But remember: be careful about dating softball players. Some of them can be VERY underhanded.
+ Attorneys for suspended Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore complained he's being denied a fair hearing, because the "Court of the Judiciary" won't move his hearing to a larger Montgomery location and allow TV cameras. Oh really?!?! When was the last time Moore allowed cameras in the Supreme Court chambers, or moved someone else's hearing outside?
+ Instant message to Spectrum stores: What is this new "cigarette loyalty program" you're promoting? Some of us can remember when this was called tobacco addiction.
COMING THIS WEEKEND: The reason why I probably won't be blogging on Friday....