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Good service, bad water, other important matters

POSTED: June 29, 2009 12:51 p.m.
 A friend of mine, once a top official in state government, recently tried to get AT&T service to his farm in Middle Georgia. After talking to robots and not getting his calls returned by a human being, he decided he had no choice but to call the Public Service Commission and complain. The PSC never returned his call either. The “new” AT&T’s indifferent customer service doesn’t surprise me. Now it looks like the regulators have caught the disease as well. …

I want you Tech people to giggle and guffaw and get it out of your system, and then we aren’t going to talk about it anymore. One of my favorite law enforcement officials, Gwinnett County Sheriff Butch Conway, who looks like Clint Eastwood would look if he were sheriff, invited me to Lawrenceville for lunch and a presentation. The presentation? A framed copy of cartoonist Cal Warlick’s “The Hive on a Drive,” showing a bunch of Yellow Jackets in the Ramblin’ Wreck jalopy and autographed by the sheriff himself. I have been instructed to hang the thing in my house and send the sheriff a photograph of me with the cartoon. I’m not sure what the consequences are if I refuse, but I’m not willing to run the risk. …

Chuck Jones, a reader in Brunswick, suggests that since Jimmy Carter seems to get his jollies out of running around the world and verifying elections, why doesn’t he go verify the Iranian elections? After all, Iran is his baby. Wasn’t it the Carter administration that ran off the evil Shah of Iran and created the mess we see there today? I’ll bet that guy running the country who looks like he ought to be pressing shirts at a dry cleaners would love to have President Peanut come to town and tell the world that he won fair and square. My readers are so smart, they scare me sometimes. …

In case you weren’t paying attention, the city of Macon has been judged to have the best-tasting water in America, according to the American Water Works Association. The tree-huggers in Colorado who like to prattle on about their clear mountain streams were nowhere to be seen. Not only is Georgia home to Stone Mountain, Zell Miller and Vidalia onions, but we also have the best water anywhere. Lord, it’s hard to be humble when you are perfect in every way. …

I am having surgery on my shoulder this week to repair a torn rotator cuff. People tell me the surgery is a breeze. Some would even call it “minor.” Not this boy. I consider cutting on any of my body parts to be a big deal. Minor surgery is when doctors slice on somebody else. …

My nephew Lee Darragh, district attorney in Gainesville, recently announced the arrest of a man accused of impersonating an attorney. The guy had already been found guilty once, was on probation and evidently did it again. DA Darragh would never discuss the specifics of a case with me, but one day I hope to ask him why anybody would want to impersonate an attorney. An IRS agent, maybe. Or even a politician. But an attorney? Has the man no shame? …

Finally: He is not going to like me going all mushy on him, but my colleague and veteran political reporter Bill Shipp has retired. Bill has forgotten more politics than most people  —  including me  —  have yet to learn. For the past decade he has syndicated my column, which strikes many who know us as ironic. At one time, Shipp was an aggressive reporter for the Atlanta newspapers and I was Southern Bell’s public relations manager. Our battles in those days would have put a cobra and mongoose to shame. Who could have predicted that we would end up working together? Oh, we can still get pretty cranky with each other (his daughter Michelle called us the original “grumpy old men”), but our love and respect for each other runs deeper than a river. I shall miss him.

You can reach Yarbrough at  yarb2400@bellsouth.net, P.O. Box 725373, Atlanta, Georgia 31139, or Web site: www.dickyarbrough.com.
 

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