Thursday, December 30, 2010

30 DEC 10: Choose to Achoo

Have you eaten well during December? Maybe a little TOO well? I know I have, because my body is telling me so. Not around the waist, but higher than that. And I'm not going to get into details about chocolate rotting away my teeth....

The problem is in my respiratory system. It's been stuffy for a few days. Not heavily, but enough that I know something isn't right. Call it congestion on the level of Manchester Expressway in December, but not quite inside Peachtree Mall.

"You eat a cold," I heard a minister in Oklahoma say years ago. In other words, you shouldn't "feed a cold" to make it disappear. You fed it to yourself in the first place. So get a head start on 2011, and start consuming nothing but liquids now....

But seriously: the minister explained changes in your eating habits can cause a cold -- for instance, if your diet is too rich during a vacation. The only thing I've added in recent days is a large bag of M&M's in "Christmas colors," which was marked down 50 percent. If McDonald's can be sued by parents over Happy Meals, can I sue Walgreens for tempting me to be sick?

Chocolate candy, sandwich cookies and corn chips in my snack stash probably took a toll on me. And the recent cold nights haven't helped, as sleeping has been a challenge. My heater fires up at about 61 degrees F. -- and I've kept it that low so far, so Atmos Energy executives can't throw too big a shareholders meeting.

As a result of all this, my voice isn't quite as loud when I see football teams score touchdowns on TV. But my body amazingly compensates for that -- because my sneezes seem to be a bit louder and more powerful.

I hope what I have is nothing worse than a cold. East Alabama Medical Center reported Wednesday it's seeing more flu cases than normal for December - more than 80 documented patients, with 13 admissions. I suppose viruses can spread very rapidly at Toomer's Corner after football games....

East Alabama Medical Center is putting restrictions on visitor hours until this wave of the flu has, uh, flown. We don't need friends and relatives making patients more sick than they already are. After all, some hospitals already have infection problems for accomplishing that.

One thing I admittedly have NOT done is what Dee Armstrong recommended on WLTZ Wednesday night -- drinking eight glasses of water a day, to clean out my body. In the heat of August, I probably drank more than that every day. Now the chilled water bottles are a bit like baseball teams -- in their "off-season," with no concern about a proper rotation until April.

Do you think there's a big conspiracy behind all this - my sickness and the Lee County flu outbreak? Some people have Medical Savings Accounts through their jobs. If they don't use up all that money for health-related items by Friday, it disappears - and organizers of health care reform will thank you for every dollar which doesn't add to the federal deficit.

E-MAIL UPDATE: Someone in Hurtsboro apparently was convicted by one of our topics last weekend. Now former Constable Robert Schweiger has a confession to make....

Sir Richard:

I really enjoyed your "Saturday Special. I expect all of us adults have been on both ends of the untruths involving the Tooth Fairy, Santa Claus, The Easter Rabbit, and the Stork. Those incredable tales we were led to believe as tots, were deemed harmless "white" lies. But, they were lies nevertheless. It was usually left to older siblings to reveal the honest to God truth.

Thus the seed was planted - and truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth even as a sworn oath has become nothing but a hollow mockery anywhere - especially in a court of law.

I plead guilty to using the untruths (white lies?) as a parent and grandparent but even then I found that I wasn't clever enough to be a proficient liar. Taking a lesson from those experiences. I've made it a practice to tell the truth - no matter how painful it may be.

I've also made it a practice to check every fact thoroughly; before demeaning or praising anyone. I do present myself as authority on the dismal situation in "Hurt'sboro - but you can take any public statement I make as well founded. I KNOW OF WHAT I SPEAK!

Yes, Sir Richard, It's time to face the truth. There is no Santa Claus or any goose that lays golden eggs and there's no pot of gold at the end of a rainbow Your point was well taken.

Perhaps those in "Hurt'sboro's Town Hall will also have read your thesis on falsehoods, and be enlightened. Hopefully, they will acknowledge the facts before them and - accept the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth which lies before them and can be well documented.

He may not believe in pots of gold anymore -- but have you noticed Friday night's Mega Millions jackpot is above $230 million?

A lack of money begins our check of Wednesday's other headlines....

+ GPB Radio reported Georgia will finish second in the U.S. for bank closures in 2010, with 21. As long as none of them had "Synovus" attached to their names, local investors will sleep well.

+ WXTX checked plans in downtown Columbus for New Year's parties Friday night, and interviewed the manager of Scruffy Murphy's. The manager of that "Irish pub" is Monita Alcantara - which makes almost as much sense as a man named O'Higgins having a key role in South American history.

+ Roundball Night in Dixieland (tm) found Auburn's men escaping Georgia Southern 88-84 in overtime. The Tigers blew a 29-point first-half lead - and plenty of nervous fans had visions of the Oregon football team bouncing in their brains.

+ Alabama's football players received their gift for playing in Saturday's bowl game in Orlando - a $500 gift card to Best Buy. This seems like a smart thing to give. It's hard to sell that for a profit -- even though Ohio State players might try to do it.

+ Instant Message to Kirkland Memorial Baptist Church on Lynridge Drive: Did I hear this right? You're having a special service Friday night to "pray in" the new year - and then you're serving collards and black-eyed peas for "good luck" after midnight?! Are you doing the second because you don't think the first will work?

2010 IN REVIEW CON'D: November began with a much-ballyhooed election, both in Columbus and around the region. Some may have been surprised when November ended with another election - this one after many bellyaches.

Teresa Tomlinson made history by winning the Columbus Mayor's race. City officials announced Thursday next week's inauguration will be televised live on CCG-TV. Then it probably will be replayed for a week, so Tomlinson can have all her campaign supporters over for dinner and a screening.

A new Alabama State Senator took his oath of office three times during November - at fast-food restaurants. Tom Whatley may have known something we didn't know, because the legislature approved ethics bills at a fast-food clip.

One Columbus restaurant made a national late-night talk show in November -- for women fighting in a Waffle House parking lot. After thinking this over, maybe Waffle House should stage fights on a regular basis. Their waffle are a bit like pro wrestling rings - squares in a circle.

On top of that, a Phenix City couple received a November makeover compliments of Oprah Winfrey. But they had to feel a bit disappointed, when Winfrey didn't fly them to Australia for it.

The National Infantry Museum hosted its first marathon in November. Then outgoing director Jerry White was sued on grounds of sexual abuse - so he'll have his own legal marathon to go through during 2011.

Sports fans buzzed in November about the undefeated season of Auburn University football - and questions of wrongdoing involving quarterback Cam Newton. At least he didn't sell that bottle of "Cammy Cam Juice" to CBS's Tracy Wolfson on the sidelines.

That brings us to December, with the local news year winding down. Part of me wants to say not much has happened in Columbus. But then I'm reminded of that survey declaring Columbus the least-smart city in Georgia....

December has brought us the arrival of Cinnabon, the departure of Shoney's and the continued temporary closing of Krispy Kreme due to a fire. What does it say about Columbus tastes when the only one which sold balanced meals went bust?

People have talked in December about Mike Gaymon's "white tablecloth" admission, as well as accusations of "slave labor" rules at Callaway Gardens. Since next year marks 150 years since the Civil War began, I wonder if the Greater Columbus Chamber of Commerce will dare to have a masquerade party at Robin Lake....

COMING THIS WEEKEND: We're making our lists, and spell-checking them at least once....

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