Sunday, November 25, 2007

Go fetch, Hog!

After Thanksgiving dinner at my family's cabin in Macon County, Ga., several cousins and I went for a stroll down a dirt road to check out a place of two from our childhoods and see how far they'd fallen in or if they were even there anymore.

My wife shows up a little while to make sure we haven't fallen through the floor of some old house or something (because accidents follow me) and says, "Did y'all see that giant hog in that yard back there?" We didn't, but vowed to check it out.

Now, it's not unusual to see a hog in a yard back home, provided it's penned up and gonna be breakfast someday. But this wasn't that kind of hog. It was giant. I mean we're talking Hogzilla Jr. here. It looked like a wild boar, but was just chilling in front of the house. It was so big that I didn't think it was real until it turned its massive head toward me. I've known wild boars to be pretty mean sometimes, but this one seemed awfully calm.

Upon returning to our cabin, I asked my Dad about it, and he said he'd seen it plenty of times. It's because it's the family's pet. "They said it's a family pet and asked me not to shoot it. They said he thinks he's a dog."

This definitely deserves a follow-up next time at the cabin. I'll try to get the story on the Hog Dog next time and report back.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Waaay-back Wednesday: 1621 revisited

As we prepare to welcome families into our home for a feast that will leave us thankful when they're finally gone until at least Christmas, this is the perfect time to revisit the day that started it all — the first Thanksgiving.

My ancestors came over on the Sunflower, which was a little party barge, complete with radio and beer cooler, that followed the Mayflower over to Plymouth Rock from the Old Country. At the top of our family tree is Cousin Eddie, who spent most of the voyage across the Atlantic jumping over waves left in the Mayflower's wake.

Cousin Eddie kept a journal that was handed down from generation to generation in my family and includes accounts of such historic events as the signing of the Mayflower Compact and the Indians' sale of Manhattan to the Dutch for just a few trinkets and Knicks season tickets. And, of course, it has the following account of the first Thanksgiving:

Hi. Cousin Eddie here. Me and the other folks around Plymouth had ourselves a big ol' meal last week. You see, Ebeneezer, Josiah and me scored big on our latest hunt. Killed a whole bunch of deer and wild turkey. Of course, if we hadn't killed off all that Wild Turkey, maybe Josiah wouldn't have fallen off the four-wheeler and broke his leg.

Anyway, we brought back all the dead animals, and the women folk — Sarah, Priscilla, Abigail and the gang — whipped up some side items, although Priscilla and Abigail got into it over the whole dressing or stuffing debate. "Getting ready for the Salem Bitch Trials a little early, ain't ya?" Abigail commented at one point.

We were gonna have a nice quiet dinner but then found out Jedediah invited the Indians over, too. He's been hanging out with the Indians a lot lately. I think he's having an identity crisis. Last month, he was running around with Old Mr. Samuel's slaves and asked us to start calling him "P. Doody."

Most of the Indians were pretty cool, but there's always that one you invite only because somebody's related to him and you'd feel guilty if you didn't. I didn't think Chief Full of Bull would ever get off that whole we-were-here-first, stop-calling-me-an-Indian kick.
But the food totally rocked, Pilgrim. Turkey, corn, potatoes and pumpkin pie. Of course, Prudence and her boyfriend, Crazy Jacob, got there late because they had to stop and buy a box of chicken fingers.

Anyway, we all went back for seconds and several of us had to kinda recline on the picnic table and undo those tacky Pilgrim belt buckles while we watched some Cowboys and Redskins throw this leather sack back and forth.

Meanwhile, the ladies cleaned all the dishes themselves and made plans to go shopping the next day, while the children played some popular games here in the settlement — such as marbles, leapfrog and Grand Theft Auto III.

When our dinner settled, Jedediah suggested we all go throw around a leather sack, too. However, the game ended far too soon as we realized that we were extremely white and British and the Indians all ran off when William lined up in the shotgun formation.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Hunting advice

I'm not much for hunting, but I have invented a wonderful new weapon for hunting deer. Check out my television commentary during Friday's 7 p.m. newscast on WLTZ Channel 38 to learn exactly how it works.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

No. 1 in the Outdoors

Just wanted to make sure y'all knew this Friday has been declared "No. 1 in the Outdoors Day" in Georgia by Gov. Sonny Perdue, the same guy who thinks praying for rain is sound environmental policy. All males in Georgia are asked to do all their peeing outdoors on Friday to cut down on toilet flushing and water usage. The effort is expected to save Georgia 5 million gallons of water. Let's just hope it ain't cold.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Waaay-back Wednesday: Better than Wimbledon

You'd have to try pretty hard to be any geekier than I was 16 years ago.

I was all set to become a computer programmer as I mastered the ins and outs of my high-tech Commodore 64, which had 64 — yes, a whopping 64 — kilobytes of memory. I had quit baseball because I was convinced I had simply forgotten how to play. Turns out I was dang near blind and had to get glasses — as if I needed an accessory to go with my mom-styled bowl haircut.

But I wasn't a geek at heart. I was Casanova at heart. At least, I was in my dreams — though even in those dreams I somehow kept winding up late for algebra class in my underwear. Then, and only then, did the girls at school notice me. Then I'd wake up and be invisible to them once again.

So, at 14, I had pretty much decided that I would never, ever get a French kiss from a girl. Unless you count that one unexpected encounter with a female giraffe at the zoo.

And with baseball out of the picture, I had to choose another sport. Either that, or stay at home and subject myself to such horrors as mowing the grass and washing Dad's truck. I chose tennis. Why? Two words: tennis skirts. Of course, the high school coach told me I'd have to wear regular white shorts. Oh, well.

I went to a crash course in tennis, a summer camp at Florida State University. In June 1985, FSU's Cash Hall played host for a week to high school participants in baseball, football and basketball camps. All the camps mingled some around the courtyard pool, but players of each of the sports had to retreat to their unisex dorm floors at night — except the tennis players. Our camp was so small that the guys and girls shared a floor. And my life would never be the same.

We were all geeks, with the exception of one wild 15-year-old girl from Thomasville, Ga. As sweet goddess Fate would have it, we were paired in the mixed doubles tournament.

I don't remember exactly how it happened. It was about midnight, and we were sitting on the floor at the end of the dormitory hall. I'd been avoiding the inevitable all day long. I knew I'd have to kiss her at some point, and I knew I'd screw it up. It would be just like the giraffe experience, only she'd wind up throwing peanuts at me. Finally, she gave me a subtle come-on:
"Are you gonna kiss me or not? I'm getting sleepy!"

I knew it was now or never, or then or never since this is past tense. I lunged in, mouth open and tongue flying around like a retriever hanging his head out a car window. I was in panic mode. What if my tongue started going the wrong way? What if she caught me peeking? What if she thought, "Man, this is like kissing a retriever."

By the time the kiss ended, about 2 a.m. in the same spot at the end of the hall as our counselor, a 21-year-old player on the college tennis team, stepped over us as if we were a ripple in the carpet, my mind was at ease. Of course, my tongue was tired.

We finished second in the mixed doubles tournament, by the way. We each got awards. But as far as I was concerned, it wasn't for second place; it was for first base.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

TV stars

The Ledger-Enquirer and WLTZ officially launched their joint-effort newscast this week. They air at 6 p.m., 7 p.m. and an 11-minute version at 11 p.m. on Channel 38. Look for commentaries during the 7 p.m. show from my colleagues Dusty Nix on Tuesdays, Tim Chitwood on Wednesdays, nightlife diva Sonya Sorich on Thursdays, and look for my commentary on Fridays.

This, of course, means that I'll have to start shaving before taping my commentaries and I'll look 12 years old again. Although, I won the battle to keep me from having to wear a tie on the air.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Vote today

Don't forget there's an election in Columbus today. Turnout is supposed to be light with about .0001 percent of the voters (some guy named Earl) in Muscogee County expected to cast ballots. That's because the only item on the ballot is the TAD. I don't know the TAD and don't know what he's running for, so I'm abstaining. But there's now way I can support a guy who puts a definite article before his name and puts his name in ALL CAPS.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

TV puts Week in Review on hold

I'm putting my "Week in Review" on hold now that I've accepted an opportunity to do a commentary on WLTZ's 6 o'clock news every Friday. The Ledger-Enquirer and WLTZ have teamed up to present the newscast. Look for me every Friday. The scary part is that I must now shave my face instead of having my scraggly half-beard on TV. Yep, I've gone over to the dark side. I'll keep it light and I'll eventually loosen up in front of the camera. See ya on Fridays.