31 DEC 08: COMPLETE IDIOT'S GUIDE TO KNOWLEDGE
For several years, we've borrowed an idea from BBC News - which lists the things it didn't know, either last week or last year. In 2008 we learned many things about our area. And when you're declared "Idiot of the Week" during 2008 not once but twice, you need to learn as much as you can.
So what did we learn in 2008? We think a list of 100 things is a bit bulky, so we'll offer you 25....
1. Foundations can crumble -- even ones built with money, and not concrete.
We didn't know this until Tuesday night, when we found out the Tidwell Cancer Foundation is going out of business. It closes its doors today - but at least it resisted the temptation to merge with Columbus Regional.
Virginia McClure with the Tidwell Cancer Foundation told WLTZ the agency needed to become self-supporting, and that didn't seem possible with the current tight economy. Let's face it, only so many people in this area need Nicorette patches....
The Tidwell Cancer Treatment Center will remain open. But its marketing staff will be laid off. I'm not sure what this means to the "Tidwell and Friends" TV talk show. Perhaps Eve Tidwell will go back to her old restaurant on 13th Street, and hand out business cards.
2. If part of the Riverwalk is marked off with orange paint, it probably needs repair. It is NOT a box for setting up water tables for runners.
A couple of orange boxes are marked on the Riverwalk right now, between Rotary Park and RoadAmerica. I jogged in that area Tuesday, and noticed the pavement inside the boxes is cracked and sagging - as if too many football players stopped there to do jumping jacks.
3. Packages of "Christmas candy" tend to have more red-wrapped candies than green ones. But I don't think that necessarily makes the companies Communist.
We reached this conclusion through a ridiculously unscientific random survey. It's based on a big bag of York peppermint patties we bought for half-price at Target last Friday. Please don't get the wrong idea here -- we finished the bag Tuesday. We showed moderation, and took five days to eat them all.
The 19.75-ounce big bag (yes, it's called that) of York peppermint patties had 22 red-wrapped patties, compared with 12 green ones. Maybe this is a sign of things to come -- considering Georgia meets green-clad Michigan State in a bowl game Thursday.
(By the way, only five of the York peppermint patties were wrapped in silver. Another reflection of an economy in recession, I suppose....)
4. The only person in the U.S. who seems uninterested in receiving a handout of government money is Barack Obama.
Isn't it curious? The President-elect rejected federal campaign funding, and won the election. Now it seems like all kinds of industries want "bailouts" from Washington. If you claim you don't want one -- well, did you mail back that $300 stimulus check from earlier this year?
Columbus Metro Airport put itself in line for federal money Tuesday. Manager Mark Oropeza said he's applied for $11 million in grant money, to repair the main runway and move a taxiway. Apparently he's tired of waiting for the money to come from that proposed airport hotel.
5. Columbus has a football "Tiger Bowl" for children, which apparently is competing with the Peanut Bowl. And after the season the Auburn Tigers had, the name might change next year to the Tide-y-Bowl.
Have you seen the billboard downtown honoring the first "Tiger Bowl" champion? The Colts won the title in the new "River City Youth Football" program. The Pioneer program apparently broke away from Columbus Youth Football, after almost 50 years. Well, that IS a long time to stay with your parents....
River City Youth Football appears to be based in Harris County. So the former Pioneer Colts now are the "Columbus Colts." Some people are doing anything to get away from a connection with Pioneer Little League.
OK, enough of the detailed explanations. Here's the rest of our list....
6. White college graduates in their twenties know how to dance to "Crank Dat Soldier Boy." My youngest niece and her husband did it at their wedding reception in May. My late father would have fainted at the sight of that.
7. McClung Memorial Stadium has a capacity of 17,000 people. Now I'm REALLY wondering how it hosted Auburn-Georgia football games years ago.
8. Columbus can go three months without a Chevrolet dealer, seemingly without anyone missing it.
9. Soda pop is a "Satanic corruption" of water. So I heard a Seventh-Day Adventist pastor say -- but then I thought I saw a bottle of Sprite in the kitchen, for serving punch at a reception.
10. Muscogee County needs a full year to replace its school superintendent -- yet somehow, TV stations can change news anchors in less than three months.
11. Gas prices actually can drop below $1.50 a gallon in Columbus again. They hit $1.45 in my neighborhood Tuesday. All it takes is what some people are calling the "Greatest Depression."
12. If someone breaks into your home and threatens to cause trouble, you should threaten to wrap him in plastic wrap. It worked at one Columbus restaurant, you know.
13. Young people with skateboards actually can find the new skateboard park at South Commons. Those GPS devices are amazing.
14. High-definition TV makes WLTZ's Stephanie Tiso look fabulous. I'm not sure why it doesn't work for Calvin Floyd.
15. Some kindergarten teachers are so dumb, they have trouble spelling simple five-letter words. The really dumb ones don't even blame it on dyslexia.
16. The 14th Street pedestrian bridge can be rented for Sunday banquets. At least, I'm assuming that's what all those churches did in October.
17. Columbus has 36 police "beats." Thankfully, no one complained this year about the beating being excessive -- except maybe for Wallace Davis, and he wasn't even beaten.
18. Baseball teams leave everything unplugged when they move out of town. The Golden Park scoreboard clock has been stuck at 11:30 for months.
19. Columbus can have a radio station called "The Truth," which doesn't air a single political talk show.
20. Georgia campaign signs no longer need fine print about who paid for them. But it WOULD be nice to require fine print, explaining what candidates really think.
21. The "Boom Boom Lady" at Fireworks Outlet must be a Columbus Cottonmouths fan. Notice how she hip-checks the "Bang Bang Lady" off her feet in that new commercial.
22. Golfing with Wii is much more successful than the golfing of Michelle Wie.
23. Some Columbus attorneys have their own version of "Shop with a Cop" - only they shop for judges.
24. My alma mater Kansas can win a national championship in basketball AND a football bowl game in one year. Winning the Insight Bowl tonight will make 2008 even more miraculous.
25. A song called "I Kissed a Girl and I Liked It" can be controversial. Now I'm not sure I'll ever do it again.
COMING THURSDAY: Regular blog readers should already know what's coming....
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