Love it or hate it, The Squawkbox is the first feature many readers turn to after they have scanned the front page. Since its debut in The Albany Herald on Sept. 12, 2001, more than 55,000 have been printed on nearly any topic you can imagine. Celebrities, politicians, government officials, even the guy who won't use his blinker on the bypass are all favorite targets of readers' barbs and observations.
In celebration of The Albany Herald's 120th anniversary this month, we took on a daunting task -- trying to come up with the 120 "greatest hits" in the history of The Squawkbox.
To do this, we went through thousands of squawks and compiled a list of more than 500. We then enlisted the help of a committee of three people: Bubba Burt of Albany, who served as chairman; Walter Specht of Lee County, and our librarian, Mary Braswell, to digest the list over a couple of lunch meetings to find the top 120.
They came close, but ended up with a few more than we were looking for. So, when you get finished with the top 120, we're going to give you a word long associated with newspapers when they were hawked on the sidewalks: Extra! Extra!
1. When you put clowns in charge, you can expect a circus to break out.
2. Dogs and cats are not the only things in Albany that need to be fixed.
3. We got the best politicians that corporations can buy.
4. Speed traps never work ... unless you are speeding.
5. A smart child is one who lets his parents believe in Santa Claus as long as they want to.
6. I thought I was a pretty good cook until my wife referred to me as "Chef Boy Are We in Trouble."
7. You know your deodorant ain't cuttin' it when every time you walk into the room someone asks, "Who's fryin' bologna?"
8. I've been in love with the same wonderful woman for nearly a dozen years. If my wife finds out, boy is she gonna be mad!
9. I bought a new toaster. The directions say, "Do not leave unattended." Now I take it to work every day.
10. Without food stamps I wouldn't be able to afford my satellite TV.
11. The new Georgia SAT ... Test question No. 1: Will you have fries with that?
12. Politics is supposed to be the second-oldest profession. I have come to realize it bears a close resemblance to the first.
13. If we have idiots running the city of Albany, who put them there?
14. Note to self: Next time I get pulled over for speeding and am asked if I know how fast I was going, do not respond by saying, "Yes, I do. Do you?"
15. Some people will wear anything. Spandex is a privilege, not a right.
16. Did you ever notice how many people in express checkout lines either cannot read or cannot count?
17. There are so many huge mosquitoes in our neighborhood that I think we should all be on heartworm prevention.
18. Interested in the latest styles of bedroom slippers? Just go to the Social Security office.
19. Albany may be losing jobs, but it is still the consultant capital of the world.
20. If Saddam has all those wives, maybe we should let Child Support Recovery people find him.
21. Our city commissioners are like college students: Give them a credit card and hope for the best.
22. Kids can't go to school because of some wind and rain, but they can go to the movies, the mall and anywhere else they want.
23. Colorado made a national park out of their sand dunes. Albany made a car lot.
24. I am a heterosexual male and am for women marrying other women. I want them to see how bossy a wife can be.
25. I'm a fan of The Squawkbox, and I approved this message.
26. It is amazing that there are not any more wrecks than there are in Albany since most of Albany's drivers drive in the turn lane. 27. I always wanted to travel overseas. I just never thought my job would get there before I would.
28. Someone said that her idea of a Super Bowl is a toilet that cleans itself.
29. I don't see how the Dougherty School Board can even consider punishing teachers for cheating when they themselves are cheating on the superintendent hiring process.
30. Your squawk about negative squawks was kind of negative.
31. No matter how hard you try, you just can't fix stupid.
32. The economy is so bad I got a pre-declined credit card in the mail.
33. Remember when we had Ronald Reagan, Bob Hope and Johnny Cash? Now we've got Obama, no hope and no cash.
34. As long as I have a job, beer and football, I don't worry about politics.
35. When you gripe about farming, don't gripe with both your mouth and stomach full.
36. If our new health care plan is good, why did the president and Congress not go under the same coverage?
37. If you think 26-degree weather means no global warming, I don't think you need a second opinion. I think you need an educated first opinion.
38. The answer to airport security? Fly naked.
39. One thing I know for sure: You cannot spend your way out of debt.
40. Vocabulary lesson for today: Liquidity now means when you look at your investments, you wet your pants.
41. If you could borrow and spend your way to prosperity, my wife would be wealthy.
42. Sometimes being speechless is a good thing.
43. If we had discipline in our homes, we wouldn't need police in our schools.
44. You can thank a veteran for your ability to post a squawk in this newspaper.
45. I want a pickup truck, a motorcycle, a trailer and a swimming pool in the front yard. And people say I have no ambition.
46. Apparently the only one who can beat Tiger Woods with a golf club is his wife.
47. Turns out Tiger was a cheetah.
49. I banished myself from Dougherty County decades ago. I didn't realize that was punishment.
50. If you think all the kooks are in Arizona, read The Squawkbox.
51. The only place liberal Democrats want to drill is in the taxpayers' wallets.
52. I can understand getting up before 4 a.m. to go fishing or hunting, but not to go shopping.
53. How is it that a 200-pound deer can walk under my deer stand and not make a sound, yet a 5-ounce bird 10 yards away can sound like Bigfoot?
54. It looks like everybody is going to get a bailout except the taxpayer and the wage earner.
55. I am too poor to be a Republican and too smart to be a Democrat.
56. If Walmart is lowering prices every day, how come nothing is free yet?
57. Our country has a built-in GPS that can get us back on the right track. It is called the Constitution.
58. Freedom of speech is freedom to speak, but it is not freedom from accountability for what you say.
59. Instead of tougher gun laws in Georgia, we need tougher stealing laws.
60. Knowledge is knowing the tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not mixing it in with a fruit salad.
61. The loudest noise you can hear is a gnat flying into your ear.
62. Rumor has it the oil spill cost them so much that BP had to lay off 25 congressmen.
63. A teacher with a tattoo is like a preacher with a mistress.
64. Sounds like if we let gang-on-gang crime continue the problem will take care of itself.
65. New definition of idiot -- the young woman in a small, gray truck on the bypass driving 70 mph while putting on mascara.
67. I just read that Bill Clinton is getting $12 million for his memoirs and Hillary will get $8 million for hers. That's $20 million for two people who for eight years repeatedly testified that they couldn't remember anything.
68. I must have missed the memo. When was "you are welcome" officially replaced by "no problem?"
69. If there is anything good to come out of this recession, it's the fact that I don't get credit card offers in the mail every day now.
70. The price of my favorite dark chocolate candy bar has increased recently by more than 55 percent. I am convinced that the candymaker was purchased by one of the oil companies.
71. A high school diploma should be required to use the self-checkout at Walmart.
72. Congress trying to fix the economy is like Forrest Gump trying to do brain surgery.
73. What is it in wedding cakes that makes women go crazy?
74. We need to start a work-to-eat program. If you don't work, you don't eat. Let's get back to the American way of doing things.
75. I guess now I've seen everything. The waiter where I had lunch today actually brought me my plate of food while talking on his cell phone.
76. This column occasionally makes me wish The Almighty had made ignorance painful instead of blissful.
77. Nobody regrets helping the needy. We just don't want to help the sorry.
78. Explain to me how to think outside the box.
79. You think health is expensive now? Wait until it's free.
80. Our president wants to double the national debt in five years and triple it in 10. That's change you can believe in. 81. If you're walking through a parking lot and you see a car coming towards you, get out of the way. If it hits you, it will hurt.
82. "Thou shalt return shopping carts" must have been one of the commandments Moses dropped on the way down the mountain.
83. If we don't protest government control now we may not be allowed to later.
84. I enjoy cutting my grass naked. It's cooler and no tan lines.
85. Some low life stole my identity. Boy did he get a surprise.
86. I have decided to have a few friends over on the first Friday night in June to watch game 67 of the NBA playoffs. 87. There should be a warning on all boxed kits for blond hair coloring that says: "Do not try this at home." 88. What we need is more unemployed politicians.
89. Voters can control the term limits issue. Vote them out when necessary.
90. Foreign aid is a transfer of money from poor people in rich countries to rich people in poor countries.
91. Forty hotel nights at the Ritz in London: $22,000. One night at Phoebe in Albany: $23,000.
92. During the mad cow epidemic, our government could track a single cow, born in Canada almost three years ago, right to the stall where she slept in the state of Washington? But they are unable to locate 20 million illegal aliens wandering around our country.
93. Need free help cleaning up? Call the Fire Department. 94. Since waterboarding has been outlawed, make them watch Nancy Grace. They'll sing like canaries.
95. So much to complain about and so little space to do it. Maybe The Herald should pick one day a week and devote a full page to squawks. 96. I did my part to save the planet today. I tried to run over a liberal on my bicycle.
97. Who would have thought Sasser would be the center for entertainment in Southwest Georgia?
98. When you are dissatisfied and would like to go back to your youth, think of algebra.
99. The signs we need to pay attention to are the stop signs.
100. I see more and more people on the street that look like my old hero -- Maynard G. Krebs.
101. You ever notice: When you put the two words "The" and "IRS" together it spells "Theirs"?
102. I bet Jimmy Carter is happy these days, knowing that he's got a real shot at not being the worst president in history.
103. Every time I read Carlton Fletcher, I think I've got it figured out and then he surprises me with the next column he writes.
104. You know the recession is getting bad when crack dealers are going out and getting jobs.
105. There's something bad wrong when a can of Spam costs $3.
106. Georgia ranks 49th in education not because of whiny teachers, but because of lazy parents.
107. No matter how hard you try, you just can't fix stupid.
108. People who drive too close to runners and walkers are, in most cases, just jealous and very likely obese.
109. Some school board members are so incompetent I don't even believe they could fix a sandwich.
110. I think it's pretty stupid for a police officer to have to be tased before he can carry a taser gun. We don't shoot them before they can carry a pistol.
111. Shouldn't we be just American, period?
112. The next Squawker, besides me, who uses the words Murfree or Bush is a rotten egg. We might as well include CRCT in that.
113. Hurricanes and earthquakes are God's way of reminding politicians that they are not really in charge of everything.
114. To those people who say we should complain to James Bush's face: Which face would that be?
115. The hamburgers you see on TV don't look or taste like the ones tossed into your bag at the restaurant.
116. Blue dog, yellow dog, whatever ... I just hope after this vote he is a gone dog.
117. Now the public knows how sausage is made in Washington.
118.If the mayor has to have a bodyguard, how safe is Albany?
119. Why does the ATM drive-through have Braille print on it?
120. Great way to avoid bad food in jail -- stay out of jail. If you want mama's country cooking, clean up your act.
Work for what you want; nobody "deserves" anything.
Drivers in Albany don't use turn signals because it would reveal some direction in their lives.
Just wondering if putting a tax on tanning beds constitutes racial profiling?
I don't like soccer. I don't dislike soccer. Please allow me to continue to revel in my indifference to soccer.
Birthdays are good for you. It has been proven statistically that those who have the most live the longest.
You have the right to remain honest. Anything you steal may impact the rest of your life.
If you still owe your ex-wife money, don't get on Facebook.
I always wished that I could play golf like Tiger Woods. Now I do.
I need to report cable theft. Mediacom has stolen about a dozen channels from my TV.
There are too many disgusting male enhancement commercials.
I looked up "incompetence" in the dictionary and it said "see Mediacom."
It seems that over the past few months of reading and listening to the news, that the Albany Police Department needs a police department to police themselves.
Looks like Auburn got their money's worth.
I'm ready to crack down on welfare, too, but I can't decide whether we should start with the cotton farmers or the peanut farmers.
With the present jail and prison system, it makes it very attractive to commit a major crime. When caught, I would get free room and board, free medical care, free TV and exercise room, sleep all day, enjoy many friends, and no hard labor. What a soft life -- perfect for retirement.
We need to lighten up on Obama. Just last month he got jobs for 63 Republicans.
I saved and put my money in IRAs and stocks. I have enough money to take care of myself for the rest of my life, if I die by 4 p.m. tomorrow.
Since Christmas is on Saturday, most stores should close on the next day for inventory and respect. Maybe I'll see my wife. She's been shopping since Thanksgiving.
I wish we had at least three wise men in our federal government.
I don't see parents today teaching their children the meaning of the word reciprocate, but maybe they don't know themselves.
One of the rewards of driving at the speed limit is to observe the frustration of speeders.
Forget about spraying for mosquitoes. Spray for June Bugs.
Catch and release is for fish, not for criminals.
Oh, sure, solar energy is great until the sun goes away. Then what will we use?
I will be available to accept IRAs, cars, homes, etc. from all those who will be involved in the coming rapture on the 21st. Please call before it's too late.
In my next life, I want to be the second wife.
Snail mail cannot be hacked, and it works.
People never lie so much as after a hunt, during a war or before an election.
The shortest sentence is, "I am." The longest is, "I do."
There is a new drink in the bars called the Osama bin Laden. It's two shots with a splash of water.