If I had a penny for my thoughts I’d be a millionaire.
— The Beastie Boys
With a very important local election upon us, trick-or-treat and Albany State University’s homecoming almost coinciding, the Lee County YMCA’s 9-year-old girls soccer season winding down and The Rock scheduled to wrestle as John Cena’s tag-team partner during the WWE’s Survivor Series, there’s been just too much going on for me to focus on any one topic.
Here, then, are a few quick thoughts as we jump headlong into the holiday season:
— Don’t know that I buy into that old entertainment adage about how even bad news can be good news as long as people are talking about you. I’ve been contacted by folks from all over the country wanting to know if I’m the person who fire-bombed the local Taco Bell. And while most of the comments were made in jest (I think), I found it just a little sad that the only way Albany makes the national news these days is when some guy who didn’t get enough beef on his fast-food chalupa decides to retaliate with a Molotov cocktail.
Heads up, Hip-Hop Chicken.
— In the “sometimes even the best of intentions can turn out to be ridiculous” department: Elections are becoming an ever-more-costly proposition, and part of the reason lies with state officials who have ruled — obviously without much forethought — that counties must have what the state considers sufficient manpower at all voting precincts during early voting periods. Georgia has decided that “sufficient” means at least three persons at all precincts, at all times.
Now maybe in metro Atlanta, having at least three workers at all voting stations makes sense. But in a community like, say, Smithville? Which has 362 active registered voters? Lee County elections officials are using up a sizeable chunk of the office’s budget providing three poll workers at the Smithville voting precinct every day during the 15-day early voting period as the law requires.
So far, one person has taken advantage of the opportunity. I have no problem with extending the early voting period — actually, I do have a problem with it ... voters can’t make a decision and find time to go to the polls within a week of the election? — but requiring that small precincts have three persons on duty at all times is a gigantic waste of money and another prime example of how bureaucrats foolishly use our tax dollars.
— After one of the most exciting World Series in recent memory, I’m going to go ahead and get the ball rolling on a petition that would require the St. Louis Cardinals to vote the Atlanta Braves at least a one-eighth share of the Series largesse. Had it not been for the second-worst collapse in baseball history — beaten only by a half-game over in the American League by the 2011 Boston Red Sox, taking some of the spotlight of ineptitude off the Braves — the playoff picture would have been totally different.
If the Braves’ implosion hadn’t been so monumental — so much so, just one more Atlanta win ... like maybe that blown save by the Rookie of the Year closer in Florida ... sighhh ... would have changed the entire playoff picture — the Cards would not have even made the playoffs. St. Louis’ season was such a lost cause at the start of September, even the most loyal of Redbird fans — who, ahem, will for now remain nameless — had given up on the team and started talking about life without Albert Pujols.
— Speaking of post-World Series matters, the most pressing question in the Fletcher household is who will get the big endorsement deals, and thus become omnipresent on TV for the next year, now that the Series has played out. I’ll go on the record right now and state unequivacably that whomever it is, he’ll never be the successful pitchman that San Francisco Giants closer Brian Wilson is.
Why? Because, as anyone will quickly tell you, “He won’t have the beard ... and HE’S NOT BLACK OPS!!”
Email Metro Editor Carlton Fletcher at firstname.lastname@example.org.