Sifting the ashes - a little nonsense on the home front

Monday, June 18, 2001

Go away!

There are things in life you just don't want to hang on to when you're through with them. You just want them to go away - period! You don't want memories of them and you don't want to have to be reminded of them.

This is the problem I ran into this past weekend.

I spent the best part of Saturday at the wedding of my former assistant, Amanda (nee: Harris) Hardin. This wasn't that bad for a dirty old bachelor like me. There were several very pretty young women running around.

However, by the time the reception was over, I had no wish to do anything but return to my domicile and hide out for a while.

However, upon returning home, I discovered that there were things waiting for me that I thought were long gone.

Their presence was not welcome. No, I'm not talking about "the dog" or even "the yapper".

They were still there, for sure, but they did not occupy my thoughts or my senses as much as the other things that were still there.

I am hopeful that soon, with the help of professionals, they will be gone.

I hate it when the sewer gets stopped up!

The dog

And speaking of "the dog", the recent period of warm (hot, to me) weather has spurred his barking. It is not a good time for barking and I have informed him of this fact with my usual tact and finesse. I screamed at him, to be blunt, and he retreated to his digs beneath the old, sagging building to which he is tethered.

I have no hopes that he will cease his barking. Summer is here and he has found his voice. He will continue to bark until I go to the police station and waste my time filling out a complaint. Then, he will continue to bark some more until I finally give up and move.

Pat Harvison sent me another doggy tale (she said she just couldn't resist; I can understand that): "Or, as old Zeke said: Some guy called him at 3 o'clock in the morning and said, 'your dog's barking so loud I can't sleep.' The next night, old Zeke called the neighbor at 3 a.m. and said, 'I don't have a dog.'"

I've never called my neighbors at 3 a.m., but I must confess I have certainly considered it. I even went so far as to find the "yapper's" owner's phone number on the Web. I'm just not made that way, though.

It's what I get for living on the wrong side of town, according to one local politician.

I visited my parents Sunday evening. They also live on the wrong side of town and the dogs that reportedly were moving out of town were still there and they love to bark - all gazillion of them!

Combine that with the loud pipes, screeching tires and loud rap music, and sitting out on the porch in this once quiet neighborhood is anything BUT relaxing.

Oh well, I guess I will have to move to the right side of town. I hate to run off and leave my parents stranded in the Trumann "ghetto", though. I love them and want them to have some peace and quiet in their golden years.

Apparently, the powers that be do not share these sentiments. Either that or they just don't have a clue how to stop the noisy mayhem.

The wedding

I was almost moved to tears watching my young protg and her hubby, now, exchange vows at the church near Goobertown (I swear, that's the name of the little community north of Jonesboro).

It wasn't for the usual reasons. I just have a terrible fear of commitment, even when it involves someone else. These would have been tears of fear if I had let them loose.

So I distracted myself by checking out the available females in the audience. There were many of these. Weddings are funny, that way. People tend to get the roving eye syndrome at these events. It's really kind of funny to see the marriage contagion spread around the group of unmarried attendees.

Luckily, the ceremony ends and everyone goes away relatively unscathed.

I have to say this, the food was good and Chuck and Amanda were in fine form for the event. Amanda looked the part of the beautiful bride and Chuck was the typical nervous groom. He even forgot his socks and someone had to go get some for him. He's a good guy, even if he is forgetful.

Regardless, they are off to the Bahamas for their honeymoon and I'm stuck doing two newspapers this week. So, if you happen to cross my path and I'm not in the best of moods, don't take it personally. I don't handle unexpected crisis well.


I have been very harsh in my assessment of Timothy McVeigh and some might think that I should be a bit more compassionate now that he is dead. Sorry about that.

I watched a young, female reporter on national news Monday morning explaining the events of the execution. She was one of those selected to witness the event. She was not the best person to be talking to the press or the nation afterward.

She choked up quickly.

Obviously, she had not been familiar with death in her past and did not have what it takes to deal with it well.

My feelings are simple. They should have filled the ghoul's gallery with old war dogs who have witnessed death in all its grisly uglies. The followup interviews would have been much different.

I'm not saying they would have been better. They just would have been different.

I can tell you my reaction, but I am sure the gentler souls in the reading audience would not appreciate my attitude very much.

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