Tuesday, April 12, 2011

12 APR 11: Blogger's Believe It Or Not

Before anyone tries to use it as an excuse -- the moon is NOT full right now. It's in the first quarter. Perhaps the strange events are following what I heard one analyst say Monday about gasoline prices. They're peaking early, and will go down in a few weeks.

Monday brought three curious sights to my attention. The first one came when I stepped outside the back door at late-morning. "Whoa!" I exclaimed - because it was a sight I'd never seen in the neighborhood before. No, Kurt Schmitz was NOT there begging for money....

A large fish was hanging against the fence, across the driveway from my back door. I've had neighbors hang laundry there to dry. But I didn't think there would be enough sunshine during the day to bake a fish.

Several minutes later, I spotted my next-door neighbor and made the obvious conclusion. He caught that fish - and that surprised me, because I didn't know him to do any fishing. He's carried a shotgun around the courtyard before [7 Nov 06]. But I thought his only other "sport" involved driving his old Volkswagen back and forth in the driveway.

"How big is that?" I asked my neighbor with a good amount of wonder.

"Twenty-one pounds," he answered. And he'd caught the catfish that very morning from the Chattahoochee River, a short walk from our homes. In April 2013, he might be more likely to catch a runaway raft.

"It took me 30 minutes," my neighbor said of his fight to reel in the giant catfish. "I had a 20-pound test line, but I broke that." Fishing is a lot like blackjack - with 21 beating 20 every time.

"I'm glad I brought my net with me," my neighbor said. That's how he finally snagged his 21-pound catfish. My neighbor is retired and skinny - but if he can make a catch of the day like that, there might be hope for me with women yet.

My neighbor did NOT offer to share his catfish with me. But that's OK - he earned every pound of it. Now if more people in the downtown area would fight fish, instead of other human beings....

This fishy discovery at the back fence would make a blogger's day all by itself. But then the evening TV news had curious sight #2 - a beer truck which rolled downhill without a driver, crossed Manchester Expressway and crashed into a furniture store. I've heard of rolling out the barrel, but this is a little extreme.

Police say the beer truck was parked outside a Chevron station at Manchester Expressway and Armour Road, when it somehow began rolling in reverse. It crossed ten lanes of roadway, then rammed into the Dream Center furniture liquidation center. A few people mistakenly thought the truck smashed into the old J.D. Kinder's Furniture - perhaps hoping for one extra "scratch and dent" sale.

Yet despite all this, the runaway beer truck apparently didn't injure anyone. One witness told WTVM she told the driver: "God was guiding his truck...." That indeed could have happened -- but comments like that one make scoffers shake their heads about Christianity. For one thing, Southern Baptists would say God has nothing to do with sin-filled beer trucks.

The smell of beer reportedly filled the air around Manchester Expressway, after the truck crashed into the furniture store. If this had occurred on parts of Second Avenue, crowd control officers certainly would have been required....

The runaway beer truck had an estimated 600 cases of beer inside. Clean-up workers were able to salvage some undamaged cans and bottles from the crash site -- so if I were you, I'd point unopened containers of Coors Light and Keystone Light away from my face for the next few days.

Of all the times for this disaster to occur - Monday morning, before the 7:00 a.m. "rush hour." That's not exactly prime-time for alcohol consumption. It's normally Thursday evening in Columbus before the interest in beer comes to a head.

The sights of fish and beer would have been enough to blog about - but then a surprise guest walked into my Monday night poker tournament at The Red Barn in Phenix City. He looked familiar, but no one mentioned the reason why. That darkened right eye on the man could have been a "psyche" job to scare opponents off the pot.

After double-checking the WXTX newscast, my suspicion was confirmed. It was the former Fort Benning soldier who was assaulted in downtown Columbus over the weekend. The newscast claimed he was still in a trauma unit - yet there he was playing poker. Either that's a sign of addiction, or this young man needs every dollar he can win to pay his medical bills.

The TV newscasts said this young man was beaten so badly, he could wind up with some memory loss. After watching him play poker, it doesn't appear he will. But part of me wished he'd forgotten how the game was played....

WRBL offered surprising statistics Monday night on the Uptown Columbus area. The number of "serious crimes" there has dropped by more than one-third since 2007. So the neighborhood may be safer than anyone realizes - except the mixed martial arts ring needs to be set up on days besides "Boots on Broadway" day.

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