1 MAR 10: Bye Bye Birdie?
The Georgia Legislature is in the middle of a two-week recess, to settle critical state budget issues. The Columbus crime lab could close. School weeks could be shortened. And state employees who help unemployed workers at "Career Centers" may find themselves on the other side of the desks.
Yet when some legislators have nothing else to do, they try to find something new to legislate. And that's what I feared was happening when I heard about a campaign to change the Georgia state bird. Was this some budgetary stunt as well -- to adopt a bird which lays a lot of goose-eggs?
The brown thrasher has been Georgia's state bird for at least 75 years. This proposal would change that to the "Cornish chicken." I'm not sure why the focus is on that particular chicken -- but it probably beats a Georgia bird with a Kentucky name on it.
You may be relieved to know this proposal is NOT the work of a Georgia legislator. At least it isn't yet. But restaurant executive Chris Cunningham wants people to lobby lawmakers to make this change -- what he dares to call "Flip the Birds." No rotisserie league ideas for this guy....
Chris Cunningham says the brown thrasher is a pretty bird, but doesn't do much for the state of Georgia. On the other hand, he says the Cornish chicken brings the state a lot of money. Based on this logic, he also should campaign to make Coca-Cola the official state soft drink.
The more I considered this proposal, the more I concluded it's really a publicity stunt for Cunningham's restaurant chain. After all, Gainesville, Georgia already claims to be The Poultry Capital of the World. Chick-Fil-A in metro Atlanta has its name on a college football bowl game. And if it wasn't for chicken, kosher barbecue lovers in Columbus would have a hard time eating out.
(Besides: what about the Atlanta Thrashers hockey team? A major league hockey team called the Chickens would be about as imposing as a minor league basketball team called the Columbus Life - which must be playing home games around here somewhere.)
But then I stopped and asked a question: what about the OTHER well-known bird from Georgia? You know - the one on the side of the Aflac tower. It had enough economic clout to replace the closing bell on Wall Street one day last week. And it continues to ask the toughest sports trivia questions on network television.
If Columbus can have the official State Theatre of Georgia at the Springer Opera House, why can't the Aflac duck become the official state bird? After all, its payoffs are much more certain right now than the ones at the state education department....
THE BIG BLOG QUESTION wants your input about this. What should the Georgia state bird be? The current thrasher? The proposed chicken? Our own Columbus duck? Or something else - maybe a bird which only surfaces in Atlanta during football season?
Now let's quickly soar over a quiet scene, which was our Sunday....
+ Cross Country Plaza had an all-star Sunday. I know I saw Columbus Councilor Jerry Barnes at OfficeMax. I thought I saw Columbus Symphony conductor George Del Gobbo at Publix. But I was a bit surprised to see NO "fill the boot" fund-raising drive in front of Firehouse Subs.
+ The Ledger-Enquirer reported the Pine Mountain Valley "Extreme Makeover Home Edition" project will be the show's season finale. That means it probably will air during May, probably last two hours - and probably will require viewers to buy a fresh box of tissues in advance.
+ Georgia parked Arkansas in women's basketball 69-48. The Bulldogs jumped out to a 12-0 lead, as Arkansas failed to score for more than eight minutes. Georgia football players who missed the game can expect to see that segment next fall, for motivation.
+ Instant Message to the downtown Burger King: Ohhhhh -- now I get what you meant. Another restaurant explained you're selling sausage, egg and cheese croissan'wiches. I saw "SEC croissan'wiches" on your sign, and thought they were autographed by Nick Saban or Pat Summitt.
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