Monday, December 21, 2009

21 DEC 09: Bandz on the Run

The church congregation I attend had a chili supper over the weekend - and a woman at my table talked about Columbus stores being completely out of something. Given the way 2009 has gone, I would have guessed there was a regional umbrella shortage.

But the woman mentioned an object which was completely knew to me. She'd seen a report on WTVM that Columbus stores are completely out of "Silly Bandz." In a way, this didn't surprise me - because the game show "Jeopardy!" stopped the "Silly Songs" category a long time ago.

An online check confirmed the woman's statement - that for a time, no Columbus stores seemed to have Silly Bandz. They're rubber bands molded into shapes, such as stars or animals. Since activist groups are likely to declare "animal crackers" abusive sooner or later, this could be a safe alternative.

The idea is for you (well, really your children) to buy a package of Silly Bandz, then wear them on your wrists. Gladys Griffin of Main Street Toy Store says some youngsters wear 15 or 20 at a time -- almost making Lance Armstrong with his single yellow wristband look like a wimp.

Gladys Griffin says Main Street Toy Store faced a two-month back order for Silly Bandz recently. Once they came in.... well, I'd say they sold like hotcakes. But these things come in packs of 24 or 36, so they may be selling even faster than that.

I don't really have a need for Silly Bandz. But I'm more intrigued about the thought of Columbus having "silly bands" - as in musical groups. You know, the sort of groups that the Columbus Symphony and George Corradino might want to run all out of town.

Several bands performing at Columbus clubs have names which strike me as silly. Consider some of the groups on this month's schedule at Soho Bar and Grill:

+ Groove Stain. You shouldn't be gulping down energy drinks near the turntable in the first place.

+ Double Barrel Democracy. Some would say this describes the transition of power in Iraq.

+ Manmade Sea. I did something like this when I was a boy - except I pretended the kitchen sink full of water was a motel swimming pool.

+ Refuse the Fall. Aw, c'mon - go without college football season?!

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E-MAIL UPDATE: It didn't take long for a nomination to arrive in our 2009 "Joke of the Year" contest....

The Witch Hunt, Shelnutt Trail and Fed Prosecutors- -This may be the biggest Joke of the Year!

Oh Yeah ... and plenty of jobs....LMAO

Maybe we should combine those two -- since the Mark Shelnutt trial provided daily payments for a dozen federal jurors.

We're really more interested in your ideas for the best joke we've posted in 2009. But keep the nominations coming anyway - and let's check other discoveries from the weekend:

+ Ledger-Enquirer reporter Sonya Sorich's blog announced the former Memory Lane club in Midtown is now the "Sky Night Club." It didn't last long under the name Aqua - especially once all the rain started falling.

+ The Atlanta Journal-Constitution web site had a headline: "LEGISLATURE TO FOCUS ON ETHICS IN 2010." If Georgia lawmakers want to start a couple of weeks early, most people probably wouldn't mind.

+ The Atlanta Falcons scored a touchdown in the last two minutes to jolt the Jets in (New) Jersey 10-7. At least I think the Falcons won - but when the Fox scoreline said 10-7, Dick Stockton claimed for about 30 seconds the score was tied. This may explain why Stockton's wife Lesley Visser is in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, and he isn't.

(The Falcons gained what Fox called their first "regular season outdoor cold-weather win" since 1982. I'm amazed pro football teams keep detailed statistics such as this. Someday I fear we're going to find out they keep win-loss statistics for individual cheerleaders.)

+ The Auburn men's basketball team lost at home to Sam Houston State 107-89. Sam WHO-ston?!?! Talk about embarrassing - the Tigers can't even win a game against Sam's club.

2009 IN REVIEW CON'D: February was marked by major changes in Columbus. A new school superintendent took over. WLTZ and GPB made "The Big Switch." And the weather changed from tornadoes to snow in 24 hours, as if the Columbus area had moved to Colorado.

OK, the snowfall actually occurred on 1 March. But severe storms the day before damaged a school and homes in Salem. Maybe the drive-in theater which opened there earlier in the month should have shown "Twister," to get that scare out of the way.

Speaking of east Alabama, Russell County officials moved into a new Government Center during February. Perhaps Commissioner Ronnie Reed will revise one of his February proposals in 2010 - and have the building named after President Obama, instead of Broad Street.

Phenix City announced an economic development agreement with Troy University in February. You can see the fruit of that already - or did you notice the old Wendy's on the 280 Bypass is now the second location of Shark's Fish and Chicken?

The economy remained a concern in February. Aflac's stock dropped so low that Dan Amos gave up his annual bonus. And WRBL's news ratings apparently dropped so low that the 12:00 noon and 5:00 p.m. newscasts started evaporating on sunny days.

An unusual media feud fired up in February, when the publisher of The Courier challenged Piggly Wiggly over its advertising decisions. It's a good thing that was settled before Frank Myers filed his lawsuit - because a tabloid paper can only hold so much news at one time.

All sorts of education news made headlines in February. Muscogee County schools received a donation of musical instruments and computers from the rock band Widespread Panic. Then Valley High School faced Montgomery Carver in the boys' basketball playoffs - and there was a real widespread panic on the court.

Columbus High School announced the retirement of its principal in February. Then reporters discovered Susan Bryant's teaching certificate had been suspended by the state. Then Bryant received an award from the Georgia PTA. About the only thing she didn't do was set off fireworks at a football game.

Then there was the parent who called on the Muscogee County school board to remove library copies of the book "My Brother Sam is Dead." This was way back in February - when it was OK for this blog to crack jokes connected with that sort of thing.

In higher education, a merger of programs in February allowed Columbus Technical College to begin certifying truck drivers. I'll assume the new billboards warning a Columbus firm sues "careless truckers" is simply a coincidence....

The big local sports story of February came from Carver High School. All-state linebacker Jarvis Jones announced he would play college football at Southern California. So why doesn't Jones have his own reality show yet?

(BLOGGER'S NOTE: The jokes for today are concluded - but you're welcome to read on for details about a special request.)

BUT SERIOUSLY: We received a shocking and sad call Sunday from a blog patron we've mentioned here several times. Columbus fireworks show specialist Stephen King was clearly not well -- and he explained it was because he was assaulted after a mid-November show in Richland. The attacker remains at large.

King thought a few days of rest would ease the pain he felt -- but doctors then put him in the hospital, saying he broke his back. The delay in seeking treatment apparently spread the damage to other parts of his body, as King says he's now barely able to walk.

King fears he may never be able to do fireworks show in this area again. He asked me to pray for him, as he goes through treatment. I'm doing that, and going one step farther - praying the Richland attacker is found, arrested and properly punished.

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author -- not necessarily those of anyone else in Columbus living or dead, and perhaps not even you.

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