Everyone’s seen the pictures of Obama riding a bike. Turns out that his Secretary of State can ride a bike, too.
So, in a bicycle race between Barack Obama and John Kerry, who would win?
[Credit: Obama - AP, Kerry - Eliana Johnson]
Some of you may be too young to remember when Marilyn Monroe sang “Happy Birthday” to President Kennedy in 1962. Heck, most of you are too young to remember it.
Well, today is the birthday of our 44th president. There is no Marilyn Monroe around to sing to him, but that doesn’t mean Barack Obama shouldn’t get a song. And that’s your task today. (Nobody told you there would be an assignment? You should always be ready for a surprise assignment!)
Who should sing to Barack Obama? And what should they sing?
You ever had one of those days where it felt kinda like a Twilight Zone episode? I had one recently.
I had taken a sandwich to work, planning to eat at my desk at lunch and get a few things done without being bothered. Of course, some things came up and I needed to run an errand. So, despite my plans to the contrary, it turns out that I’m leaving the office at lunch anyway. I eat and drive as I run my errands, and then, as I’m heading back to the office, I wind up stopped at a stop sign.
I saw her before I got to the intersection. So did the car in front of me. And the car in front of them. She finished talking to the car in front of me as I was approaching the intersection, and she walked out of the street back onto the sidewalk to the left.
I stopped at the stop sign, looked to the right, back to the left … and there she was at my window. Some sad story about wanting to get some money to buy food for her three kids — maybe it was four; more on that in a minute — in her car that’s over on 11th. She points the wrong way.
“I won’t give you any money, but I’ll get you some food. Be right back.”
So, I turn, realize that there’s a Burger King closer if I go the other way. So, I turn around and head towards the BK.
I forgot there’s also a McDonald’s right near the Burger King, and the McDonald’s is actually easier to get into and out of. So, I hit the drive-thru at the McDonald’s.
Couldn’t remember if it was three kids and four of them total, or if she said four kids. So, I order five McDoubles, five small fries, three bottles of milk, and two bottles of water.
I head back to the intersection where she was, and she’s nowhere to be found. So, I head towards 11th. She’s not there, and there’s no car with kids.
Okay, fine. I have five McDouble meals. Not a problem. Every time I stop for gas at the gas station across the street from the McDonald’s downtown (not the one I bought the burgers from), someone always approaches wanting money or a ride or something. So, I’ll just swing by there and find one of those people and give them some Mickey D’s. Only, for the first time in memory, there’s no bums hanging around.
Okay, there’s a few that hang around the downtown Burger King, so I head by there. None to be found.
Post Office. I often get accosted at the Post Office by someone claiming to be a veteran that served in some Army unit that never existed. So, I head to the Post Office. Nobody hanging around out front. There are even plenty of parking spaces. That never happens.
Ah. I know. The Synovus building. It’s over by the river, and there’s some homeless guy that sits on a bench overlooking the river walk and eats, sleeps, and does whatever else there, 24/7. So, off to the river. He’s not there.
It seems that all the homeless people took the day off. Here I am, stuck with five McDoubles, and now I’m starting to run late getting back to work.
The good news, I suppose, is that those people at work can eat. I mean, I’ve seen goats eat less.
I sorta wondered about all the homeless people. You see them all the time, but you never notice them. And now, here I am looking for them and I can’t find any. I’m still trying to figure out where they all went.
If you have any ideas, let me know. I’m curious as to what they’re up to.
But, I am gonna brag about our SEC. Our state execution chambers. You know. Where they take folks on death row when it’s time to execute their sentence. The one in Georgia works quite well.
I bring this up because Arizona took 117 minutes to put one Joseph Rudolph Wood to death yesterday. I’m not crying over the length of time it took for Wood to die for the murders of his ex-girlfriend and her father back in 1989. No, he’s had nearly 25 years on the state dime. If it took him a little long to pay the piper, that’s too bad. But I do have a problem with his execution. An hour and 57 minutes is just way too long. There’s overtime involved, for one thing. And at the most basic level, it’s inefficient.
And Arizona isn’t the only state running an inefficient death chamber. Back in January, it took Ohio 26 minutes to put down Dennis B. McGuire for raping, sodomizing, and killing a pregnant woman in 1989. The 25 years that Ohio kept him around more than makes up for the 26 minutes it took him to die. But, still, 26 minutes is not very efficient.
Then there’s Oklahoma and the trouble they had with Clayton Derrell Lockett back in April. They actually didn’t execute him, not really, but he died anyway. That’s the one where they stopped the execution when it didn’t go exactly as planned, but the convict had a heart attack on the gurney and died anyway. So it worked out. He died at the hands of the state for burying a girl alive back in 1999.
I have a solution for these states that have trouble executing convicted killers. Come to Georgia. We do it right.
Remember when everybody got their panties in a wad over the Oklahoma execution by heart attack? Well, about seven weeks later, Georgia marched Marcus A. Wellons to the little room at the Georgia Diagnostic and Classification State Prison in Jackson, and put him to sleep for raping and strangling a 15-year-old girl back in 1989. Georgia simply strapped him down and ended his life. Quick, simple, efficient.
So, for the states that have trouble, contact the state of Georgia about contracting out the executions. Chain your convict up real good, give him some escorts, and y’all come on over. Drop the intended off at Jackson, then … go play tourist.
You can head over to Hampton if there’s a NASCAR race that weekend.
Or, if the Braves are in town, catch a game at The Ted (it’ll be gone soon).
There’s Six Flags just west of Atlanta.
Drive down to the Golden Isles and put your feet in the water on Jekyll or Saint Simons.
If there’s the chance of a last-minute delay, and you don’t mind paying the state for the prison overtime, you can spend a few days in a cabin up in the north Georgia mountains.
Go get yourself a real Vidalia onion.
Or, just sit on the banks of the Altamaha, relax, and catch some fish. Or, at the very least, drown some worms or crickets.
There’s lots to do. And, for you, as well as for your convict, there’ll be memories to last the rest of your life.