Benjamin Franklin once famously stated there are only two things that are certain in life, death and taxes. I’m never one to quibble with the founding fathers but I think there may be a few other things that are certain in life.
For one thing, it is a certainty that if you live in south Georgia and find yourself standing in a fire ant bed — which if you live in south Georgia, at some point in your life, you almost certainly will find yourself in this predicament — a few things will immediately happen.
First and foremost, you will begin the one-legged hop as you struggle to brush the ants off your leg and, at the same time, remove your shoes.
After the one-legged hop, often comes the strip-down buck naked in front of God and everybody maneuver. Mother Teresa would strip buck naked in front of a group of Hell’s Angels bikers if standing in a fire ant bed.
Once all of this has occurred, there is one thing that is certain. You can take your shoes and beat them on the side of a tree, spray them with Raid, wash them in the washing machine and drop a nuclear bomb on them and still, once you put them back on, at least one fire ant will have hidden somewhere and will get you when you put the shoe back on. The only solution is to simply throw the shoes away. Otherwise, one must accept a few more ant bites.
It is also a certainty that you may have a dentist who never speaks in public. You might meet your dentist in the mall and he barely mumble, “Good morning.” But, let him fill your mouth with instruments, fingers and all those syphoning hoses and he’ll become Oprah Winfrey. Nothing motivates a dentist to talk more than a patient with his mouth full.
I think there are added bonus points if the patient’s mouth is deadened to the point that he will bite his gums if he tries to speak.
It is also a certainty that if the weather forecaster says there is a 10 percent chance of rain and you have a wedding planned outside, he really means a 100 percent chance. It is also a certainty that if the weather forecaster says there is a 90 percent chance of rain, but you are in an extreme drought and the crops are burning up, he may as well say no chance of rain.
It is a certainty that if you have trained your dog to hula hoop while riding a skate board and blowing a harmonica that if you invite friends over to watch the trick, he will lay in the yard and lick himself inappropriately.
When my father was attending Parrott Elementary School, the school decided to have circus staffed by students of all grades. The teacher asked if there were any students who knew any circus tricks they could perform. My father, coming from a long line of expert dog trainers, piped up that he had a dog who could do tricks. Thus, he was assigned to have his dog perform tricks at the school circus.
Never mind the fact that the dog had never done a trick in his life. My father figured three days of advanced notice was enough time to train the dog to jump through a hoop and other breathtaking tricks.
The day of the circus arrived and my father came in the gym with his mongrel, flea-ridden newly trained circus dog.
The dog, never having been more than 500 yards from his home, immediately looked around the gym and bolted out the gymnasium door. Sadly, my father’s future as a circus trainer left out the door with the dog. Which leaves me with one last certainty.
I’m certain my father will never again enter an event to show off his trained dog.
Contact columnist T. Gamble at firstname.lastname@example.org.