Wednesday, February 23, 2011

23 FEB 11: Fish and Foul

Thanks to the Ledger-Enquirer's "Breaking News" section, I discovered Tuesday was National Margarita Day. But I absolutely was NOT prepared for this. I don't even own any Jimmy Buffett albums.

But as we all know, humans cannot live by margaritas alone. A few might think they can after a long Wednesday night at El Vaquero, but I'm not counting them....

Two curious items from the meat department made local news Tuesday. We'll start with the bad news - as Columbus Police reported a man was caught shoplifting steaks, by hiding them in his pants. It's not quite the "meat dress" Lady Gaga wore at an awards show last year, but it's close.

Police say Jerry Mobley was spotted outside the Cross Country Plaza Publix store taking New York Strip steaks out of his pants, from around his waist. He reportedly only stole steaks - even though he probably could have had legs of lamb as well.

Officers told the newspaper in addition to the three steaks around the waist, Jerry Mobley had eight rib eye steaks in a bag -- and he reportedly admitted two of them came from Winn-Dixie. Well, that supermarket DOES claim to have "The Beef People." It probably has a beef with people stealing beef, too.

At least Jerry Mobley was arrested peacefully. Longtime Columbus residents may recall a 1998 meat-napping case, when a suspect was chased down and sat upon by Piggly Wiggly employees. The suspect died, and a Rainbow/PUSH boycott of Piggly Wiggly stores followed [13 Jan 04]. If The Courier had been around back then, the boycott still might be going today.

It's not clear whether Jerry Mobley was allowed to post bond, after his arrest for shoplifting steaks. But rest assured - if Mobley is guilty, the courts are ready to meat out justice against him.

At the opposite end of the spectrum, there was a big fish tale Tuesday. A Fort Benning soldier went to Uchee Creek, and caught a 61-pound catfish! Why, that's almost big enough to put on a "Stop Childhood Obesity" billboard.

Capt. Shane Smith told WTVM it took him ten minutes to reel in the giant catfish. It might have taken the average angler twice as long - but once again, those Fort Benning conditioning programs pay off.

This turned out to be Shane Smith's second big catch in two weeks. He says he hooked a 30-pound fish from Uchee Creek last week. Hmmmm - did someone open a secret landfill in Phenix City, without getting anyone's approval?

Believe it or not, Shane Smith threw the 61-pound blue catfish back in the creek after posing for pictures. I can think of a few local churches which could have turned that fish into dozens of new converts at "Sportsman's Suppers."

(But then again, maybe Shane Smith threw the catfish back because he'd read the Biblical rules on "clean and unclean" fish. The rules admittedly can be confusing -- because "pig fish" is considered clean, while meat from pigs certainly isn't.)

Since we're having a food fair, we should note the Eufaula Tribune's report Tuesday that the city has lost its Taco Bell restaurant. The managers have only themselves to blame. If you're near a popular lake, you simply have to add fish tacos to the menu.

-> We had a heartbreaking moment at the poker table one night last week. Read it and weep at our other blog, "On the Flop!" <-

BLOG UPDATE: The winner and still champion of Recorder's Court is Judge Michael Cielinski. Columbus Council voted 9-1 Tuesday night to grant him another term. Somewhere in Columbus, Julius Hunter vowed to avoid breaking the law at all costs - so he doesn't appear before Cielinski facing charges.

Judge Michael Cielinski has told WRBL he'll retire after one more term on Recorder's Court. Councilor Jerry Barnes didn't want to wait - proposing attorney Kyle Fischer replace him. But Barnes wound up as all alone as someone taking a diabetes test at a fire station.

Some people thought it was time for Judge Michael Cielinski to leave Recorder's Court, because he tends to have a tough attitude in court. If that's the wrong approach, why has it made Judge Judy a millionaire?

A pending court case tops our check of other Tuesday news....

+ Two more court-appointed attorneys asked to be excused from representing alleged "Al from Dadeville" Harvey Updyke. One of the attorneys happened to be married to the dean of the Auburn University Journalism School. He obviously didn't want his strategy announced live at Toomer's Corner by Elizabeth White, with angry students standing around.

+ Georgia Governor Nathan Deal announced a cost-cutting plan to preserve the HOPE scholarship program from possible bankruptcy. But it wasn't quite what I expected. The logo in front of Deal during the announcement made me think the European Union was taking it over.

(Deal's proposal will provide full-ride HOPE scholarships only to high school students with a 3.7 grade point average and high pre-college test scores. They'll be called "Zell Miller Scholars" - so don't be surprised if they go back and forth on their choice of majors.)

+ Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange announced an immediate ban on sales of two chemicals labeled "bath salts." Some people apparently use them for an addictive high similar to methamphetamine. If Strange expands this crackdown to Mr. Bubble, that will be the last straw for me.

+ Instant Message to Libya's Col. Muammar Qaddafi: Before you become that martyr you promised to be Tuesday, could you resolve a couple of questions for me? Once and for all, how do you spell your name? And if you're really that all-powerful, why are you a Colonel instead of a General?

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