My fellow Georgians: In order to keep my national certification as a modest and much-beloved columnist, it is required that I submit to you at the first of every year my State of the Column message. (Yay! Clap! Clap! Clap!) I do that gladly today. For one thing, this will be a lot shorter and less boring than the State of the Union address (Boooo!) and, also, we don’t have to endure a bunch of fawning politicians trying to be seen on national television. (Yay! Ha! Ha! Ha!)
Today, I am pleased to report that the state of this column has never been stronger. (Yay! Clap! Clap! Clap!) Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night nor the fact that once again I narrowly missed getting the Nobel Peace Prize could stay me from the swift completion of my appointed columns. (Yay! Yay! Standing ovation!)
In 2014, I wrote more than 78,580 words, including many nouns, pronouns, some verbs, a few participles and a past perfect tense. (Clap! Clap!) There was even a vocative case or two that showed up, but I don’t know how that happened. I may have put a comma in the wrong place. Stuff happens. (Yay! Ha! Ha! Ha!)
Last year was a busy one for this column. (Serious nods of the head.) Under the leadership of my colleague, Junior E. Lee, general manager of the Yarbrough Worldwide Media and Pest Control Company, located in Greater Garfield and a certified pest control professional, we were able to provide invaluable strategic direction to a number of political candidates that proved instrumental in their successful campaigns, while at the same time making a dent in the termite population in Georgia. (Clap! Clap! Clap!)
It was Junior who suggested Gov. Nathan Deal announce his re-election bid at an ice rink (Ha! Ha! Ha!) He also encouraged newly elected Republican Sen. David Perdue to commit to funding an innovative program called “Go Fish, Bonaire,” to construct a concrete fishpond in the hometown of his cousin, former Gov. George E. Perdue, to remind all Georgians that it was Cousin George who first recognized that the future of our state’s role in the global marketplace of the 21st century would be closely tied to bass fishing! (Clap! Clap! A smattering of boos!)
There were some disappointments in 2014. The most egregious was a unfortunate case of bad timing when a group of scholar-athletes from the University of Georgia (Yay! Yay! Yay!) discovered they were to be given a pop quiz on the mathematical modelling framework for biochemical systems based on the ordinary differential equations in which biochemical processes are represented using power-law expansions in the variables of the system. (Whoa!) This occurred approximately one hour before they were to engage a local technical institution’s scholar-athletes (Boooo!) in a weekend scrum.
Since the technical school (Boooo!) does not have the same academic expectations placed upon them as does the University of Georgia (Yay! Yay! Yay!), the outcome was inevitable. (Mumble! Mumble!) Of course, squib-kicking with 17 seconds left in overtime didn’t help, either! (Boo! Hiss! We want Herschel! We want Herschel!)
Speaking of the technical school, (Boooo!) let me pay tribute to all the other humor-impaired souls who helped make this column a success. This job would be harder than I make it look had they not allowed me to prick their oversized egos. They are the journalistic equivalent of bear-baiting. (Ha! Ha! Clap! Clap!)
Time prohibits me from recognizing them all, but I would like to especially thank all the Bible-thumpers who believe guns in church is a “sanctity of life issue” and that Jesus would approve. (Ha! Ha! Ha!) Know-it-all Yankees who like to point out how unsophisticated we are in the South but wouldn’t think of moving back North because it snows there 10 months a year and all their buildings are rusted. (Ha! Ha! Ha!) Right wingnuts who believe the United Nations is plotting to take over Putnam County. (Ha! Ha! Ha!) Left wingnuts who blame George W. Bush for everything from the War of 1812 to the heartbreak of psoriasis. (Ha! Ha! Ha!)
In closing, let me say it is an honor to serve another year as your modest and much-beloved columnist. (Yay! Clap! Clap! Clap!) God bless America. God bless the University of Georgia. And God help us. I just learned the Legislature is back in town. I’ve got to get back to work. (Thunderous applause! A standing ovation. I love my readers.)
Contact Yarbrough at firstname.lastname@example.org; P.O. Box 725373, Atlanta, GA 31139; online at dickyarbrough.com or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/dickyarb.