Saturday, December 31, 2011

Father Knows Something or other...

from the May 13 issue of the County Journal...

I got a book called The Big Book of Questions and Answers to go over with the kids at night. It’s written by some guy named Sinclair Ferguson and, as advertised, it’s about the size of the Los Angeles phonebook.

Anyway...the second question in the Big Book of Questions and Answers is “Why am I here?” (The first night was “Who am I?”)

Now the “Why am I here?” question is one that has caused many a man to ponder, dissertate and/or do recreational drugs, hunt, fish, play golf or a lot of things. I even had a whole class on it at the liberal arts college I attended (and graduated from) in West Virginia.

But this “Why am I here?” question is really in the big, important question category and while I am at peace with the answer (I got a “B” in the class even though I fell asleep often), it still was something I gave a lot of thought to, in order to bestow wisdom on my children, and so they’d think I was smarter than Dora the Explorer and/or Pinky Dinky Doo.

I read Being In Nothingness, The Republic and the Bible in my prepartions for a discussion that would forever impact our children.

Finally, after brushing teeth and giving hugs and kisses goodnight to everyone, (some of them more than once) I sat on the edge of the bed and asked, “Why are you here?”
The answer was to be the start of a great discourse, and certainly the teachings of Socrates, Thomas Aquinas, Jean-Paul Sarte, Kierkeguaard and Alex Trebec were certain to emerge.

She thought for a second and replied, “Because I live here.”

Well, that’s one of my reasons too.

Darrell Teubner, Editor

Friday, December 30, 2011

A tribute to Moms...

from the May 6, 2010 issue of the County Journal...

A few different thoughts on motherhood...

It happens every day, but it’s no less important because of how often it happens. Every day, someone starts a life-long journey of being called Mom.

The first day, I’m told, is kind of rough. But the last time my wife became a mom, she had a big grin on her face for most of the procedure and told me (over and over again) that they gave her Demerol. It was nice to see her relaxed and calm. She even sang some Broadway show tunes to pass the time. “Anything Goes,” I think. The operation was pretty simple, at least from my perspective. El Doctor (we were in a foreign land) got our son out the escape hatch he created and sent him off to be cleaned and de-briefed. He and his sister are currently investigating how many different reasons they can think of to not go to bed on time. I think they are up to 10,765.
A man loves his sweetheart the most, his wife the best, but his mother the longest. ~Irish Proverb
Besides the Mighty Quinn, few people have been immortalized in song as greatly as Mom.

According to a wide-array of songwriters, Mom sang tenor, tried to steer her boy right, stood by her man, said what “would be would be” and that “there’d be days like these,” just to name a few.

Mom got free advice on not letting her babies become cowboys and in her spare time, sewed a coat of many colors.

And although she was seen kissing Santa Claus on Christmas Eve, we have reason to believe it was a case of mistaken identity.

The fact that she didn’t dance was exacerbated by the problem that Daddy didn’t Rock and Roll.

All in all, Mom is the shoulder to cry on, has the wisdom of Solomon, and even though “one of them is a toddlin’ and one is a crawlin’ one needs a spankin’ and one needs a huggin’ and one’s on the way,” she still has the respect of us all. Maybe even more so because of all of that.

She even owns an accordion.
The way I see it, being Mom is hard, but for the Moms in my life, not being Mom would be utterly impossible.

Happy Mother’s Day.

Darrell Teubner, Editor

Friday, December 23, 2011

Relay for Life Night in Hardeman County

from the April 29, 2010 issue of the County Journal...

Everybody knows about cancer. Everyone has had someone, be it a loved one, a friend, or a co-worker affected or die from some form of it. But thanks to research and organizations like Relay for Life, everyone also knows someone who beat it, who lives in remission and/or completely cancer-free.

However, according to the World Health Organization, cancer was the cause of 13% of all deaths worldwide. So the fight continues.

Relay for Life has come a long way since 1985, when Dr. Gordon Klatt walked 83 miles in 24 hours to raise money to fight cancer in Tacoma, Washington. Relay is now in 21 countries around the world and has raised $3,000,000,000 (that’s billions) to fight cancer.

But it’s not just about a cure. Relay for Life pays for things like stays at a Hope Lodge. Hope Lodge is for the living, for those who are fighting for their lives.
Relay for Life describes Hope Lodge thusly, “Each Hope Lodge offers cancer patients and their families a free, temporary place to stay when their best hope for effective treatment may be in another city. Not having to worry about where to stay or how to pay for lodging allows Hope Lodge guests to focus on the most important thing: getting well. And a Hope Lodge offers so much more than just free lodging. It provides a nurturing, home-like environment where patients and caregivers can retreat to private rooms or connect with others who are going through many of the same experiences.”

It’s about taking care of those still among us. It’s about taking care of each other.
There’s music, good food and renewing friendships with those who, without research, would have perhaps passed from us before this year’s Relay. But they are here, a testament to the worth of Relay for Life.

Relay for Life Night is a night of somber remembrance, but a night of fun too. Relay for Life night is for those who choose to laugh, eat, and dance while never forgetting those who passed on.

Someday cancer will go the way of smallpox. And Relay for Life in Hardeman County will have had a hand in it.

Darrell Teubner, Editor

Sunday, December 18, 2011

He was pretty good at picking up the 7-10 split though...

from the April 22, 2010 Issue of the County Journal...

The date on the top of this paper is April 22, and I thought I’d do a bit of “On this day in history.” Not everything I found in my research was all that interesting, so I had to make up a few things.

However, it is a fact that today (April 22) is Earth Day. Back in 1970, a bunch of people, led by Wisconsin Senator Gaylord Nelson, were convinced that we were about to enter into another ice age and proposed an awareness day to promote the environmental movement so that we could save ourselves from being able to ice skate from Minneapolis to New Orleans on the Mississippi River in August.

The first Earth Day also doubled as a trade show for drug paraphernalia, since mostly the same people were involved, except for the Senator and anyone else named in this column who might have a lawyer and a subscription to this publication. They watched “Reefer Madness” to kill time while a big group of participants went to Burger King for a Whopper, fries, and more fries.

The Committee to have an Earth Day settled on April 22. A few possible reasons:
1. John Muir founded the Sierra Club and the people in charge of the first Earth Day thought to do it on his birthday would be an honor. The only problem was that he was born on April 21. Oops. It was said after this gaffe they banned Cheech and Chong from coming to any more meetings.
2. Eddie Albert of the show Green Acres was born on April 22. In his honor, people shouted, “Give me that countryside!” at the opening ceremonies.
3. Julius Sterling Morton, the founder of Arbor Day, was born on April 22. A research of his life did not find anything I could make a joke about.
4. Julian Koenig was on the committee that established the day as April 22. The date was Koenig’s own birthday and “Earth Day” rhymed with “birthday.” I WISH I made that up.
5. The FBI thought that there was another reason for the April 22 date. The would-have-been 100th birthday of noted Marxist and Professional Bowler Vladimir Lenin was April 22, 1970 and the boys from the FBI thought Earth Day was a front for an eventual subversive plot to redistribute world and U.S. wealth in the name of mythical-man-caused global climate change under the name of “cap and trade.” The FBI was proved wrong though, as Lenin was discovered to have never bowled better than 127 and he didn’t even own his own tri-colored shoes.

And finally, today is my wife’s birthday. Honey, I’m sorry all those years ago the crazy people took over your special day.

Darrell Teubner, Editor

Sunday, December 11, 2011

The Neverending Story...

from the April 15, 2010 issue of the County Journal...

Whenever I’m curious about anything, such as, let’s say, the end of the world, I look to Hollywood. This has helped me with many other riveting mysteries, such as How Stella Got Her Groove Back, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Wolf, and When Harry Met Sally.
(I do need to point out that it isn’t perfect. It has not helped a bit with What Women Want.)

But in case you hadn’t heard, there is a movie now that is based on the fact that Mayan Civilization predicted that the earth would cease to exist on December 21, 2012, which means your Christmas shopping that year won’t be necessary.

The reason for this end of the earth prediction is because when the Mayans (for some reason) got together to map out the remainder of history, they only went until 2012. To me, that would seem to be enough…seven hundred or so years ahead, enough to plan birthday parties and ritual sacrifices for many generations to come. But Hollywood and other lunatics say this is a sign that the earth wouldn’t last past that…all because some Mayan guy said, “man, 2012 is enough, I gotta get home before the old lady changes the locks.”

And what really makes it silly (for them) is that the Mayans ceased to exist sometime in the 14th century. Some of the theories given for the Mayan civilization disappearing involved witches/priests, a peasant revolt, and poor environmental policy that involved abuse of land and pulverizing natural resources such as forests, animals, and shoals and/or reefs that could have proved useful. If only Al Gore had been around to try to legislate these guys into eternal life.

But some Hollywood guys apparently just heard about the 2012 deal and came up with their version of the end of the earth just in time for us to go pay $7.50 for the chance to see it and $11.25 for a soda and popcorn to help us pass the time (as if the END OF THE WORLD isn’t enough to hold your attention). But if the movie really is about the end of the world and the world ends at the end of the movie, how does the movie itself end?

So I guess I’ll rent it. On December 22, 2012.

Darrell Teubner, Editor

Friday, December 9, 2011

Think YOU'RE tough?

from the April 8, 2010 issue of the County Journal...

“Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.”

At some point in my life I thought this was the post office motto, but Google has approximately 8 million (give or take a few) people who can’t wait to tell you that this isn’t the motto of the Post Office at all, but instead a Greek description of the Persian Post Office, which apparently ran a very tight ship way back in 500 BC, immortalized by the Persian Historian Herodotus, who coined the above phrase.


As tough as these Persians were though, I don’t think they can hold a candle to the new tough guy (or girl), the TOBACCO SMOKER.

The TOBACCO SMOKER endures the rhetoric of the Government (while paying crazy-high taxes on each pack to it) for the privilege of continuing to be smacked down by laws saying where they can smoke and blamed for high insurance rates. They also must deal with the laid-upon-them guilt of inflicting others with secondhand smoke.

The TOBACCO SMOKER is directly in the cross-hairs of the Surgeon General, who smugly informs them that smoking could cause health problems. Oh yeah? Well, I think the Surgeon General could stand to lose some weight.

The TOBACCO SMOKER must go outside to smoke, says the collector of the crazy-high taxes. The TOBACCO SMOKER stands out in the elements, braving snow, rain, heat, gloom of night and other people that the TOBACCO SMOKER has nothing in common with save perhaps their brand of tobacco or their future oncologist.

The TOBACCO SMOKER is no longer welcome in diners, bowling alleys or pool rooms, places where they once were accepted, loved and encouraged. Instead they are banished to the outer regions and must stand by the back door, sometimes all alone, ashing into a coffee cup or (oh my!) on the ground, polluting the environment with the ashes we will all become eventually anyway.

And to them, this sacrifice for vice is worth it. I don’t smoke, I don’t plan to, I don’t want my kids to, but I admire the TOBACCO SMOKER’s committment to freedom in the face of such oppression.

Smoke ‘em if you got ‘em.

Darrell Teubner, Editor

Friday, December 2, 2011

It was sunny, with a high of 96...

From the April 1 Issue of the County Journal...

I’ve been sick (ill) for a week or so now and someone asked me if I had gotten my flu shot this year.

Now, I’m not telling you how to run your life, but I don’t get flu shots.

I know I’ve had the flu a few times in my life, but I don’t remember a specific instance, besides the time that it was viral encephalitis. (of course, the time it was viral encephalitis, it WASN’T the flu, it just had the symptoms of the flu)
As far as shots go though, I have a pretty good memory.

On Friday August 12, 1977 (I was 10 years old) I went to the doctor with my mother for a check-up for school. It was noted at the time that I hadn’t had my Tetanus shot.

So with no concern for my immediate safety (and no protest from my mother) the doctor pulled up the sleeve on my blue shirt, got out a needle the size of an industrial-size caulking gun, jammed it into my arm and held it there for four or five minutes (it may have been quicker than this, but this is what I remember) before pulling it back out and giving me a band-aid and a grape Tootsie-pop, which didn’t do a thing to stop the incredible pain I was experiencing.

My arm hurt for about two days. I remember lying on the couch that afternoon with my arm dangling off watching the Cubs play the Phillies on WGN. The Phillies jumped out and scored 3 runs in the second inning and 4 runs in the third inning and went on to win 10-3. (I remember Dad saying the umpiring was terrible.) I remember my arm throbbing as Steve Carlton got the win for the Phillies while Rick Reuschel took the loss for the Cubs. Frank Pulli was the home plate umpire. The attendance was 28,849.

And my arm kept hurting that night when we had chicken casserole with biscuits. It smarted while Gabe Kaplan guest hosted the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson. I remember the guests were Roy Clark, Tom Smothers and Susan St. James, who talked about her career now that McMillian and Wife had been cancelled.

I remember that it hurt the next day when I went outside to get the newspaper. I found a penny (it was heads up, 1974 D) on the way back up the driveway, but it didn’t stop my arm from hurting.

And as I said, I don’t really remember having the flu.

Darrell Teubner, Editor