Sept. 10, 2007: From Gator Jibes To Diatribes: Readers Respond


If you know any shrimp personally, you might tell them to get out of town. As soon as I finish writing this, I am off to the exquisite little Georgia Sea Grill on St. Simons Island to stuff my face with copious amounts of the corn-fried variety.

Before I go, I need to clean out my overflowing mailbox. It has been a busy few weeks, thanks to Bible thumpers, dog lovers, Michael Vick apologists, Florida Gators, political prognosticators and liberal weenies.

I have discovered that Florida Gators have a good sense of humor. My lament on the State Department of Revenue’s creation of a state license plate for University of Florida supporters brought a lot of good-natured and well-aimed jibes. Gators are totally unrepentant. (Why shouldn’t they be? If my Bulldogs were national champions in two major sports, I would be a little sassy myself.)

Even State Revenue Commissioner Bart Graham got in on the fun and wrote a semi-funny rejoinder to my column. I didn’t realize revenue commissioners had a sense of humor. State Sen. Eric Johnson (R-Savannah) informed me that as a rule they are only funny after all the taxes have been collected.

Less funny was the reaction to the Michael Vick dogfighting saga. The mail was overwhelmingly in agreement that what Vick did was reprehensible, but some folks still don’t get it. One reader opined that if PETA and the Humane Society hadn’t gotten involved, “It wouldn’t have been as bad as it is now.” Another wanted to know if “‘your folks’ had killed a horse,” would I write about it? He also called me a lot of bad names and let me know his diatribe was being sent via his Blackberry. Yes, I would write about a dead horse because my daughter, the animal lover, would beat me about the head and shoulders if I didn’t. I informed him that my reply was being sent to him via a Smuckers grape jelly jar. Never heard back from Mr. Blackberry.

Several readers volunteered to help Sheila the Family Wonderdog “educate” former Georgia Tech basketball legend and part-time nuclear scientist Stephon Marbury on the evils of dogfighting. I will let her know of the kind offers when she awakes from her 22-hour nap. I suspect Sheila now has Whoopi Goldberg in her sights as well, since Ms. Blabbbermouth opined on TV recently that dogfighting is a Southern sport. Goldberg should know. She is an expert on all things Southern, being from New York City, which is south of Canada. Whoopi needs to understand that Sheila the FWD can and will bite both males and females where the sun doesn’t shine. She is an equal-opportunity enforcer.

I was surprised how many Baptists agreed with me that women are fully qualified to serve in the pulpit. The few Bible thumpers who think women ought to remain barefoot and pregnant ranted and raved and told me I wasn’t going to heaven. I hate to tell them, but that decision is in the able hands of Dr. Gil Watson, the World’s Greatest Preacher. God has put him in charge of my sorry soul, thus ensuring him lifetime employment.

Many of my liberal weenie friends disagreed with my comments on 9/11. Absolutely nothing to worry about, one assured me. The overall threat of terrorism is a right-wing plot that has been “massively exaggerated for political gain,” including tax cuts for the rich. We can all sleep better now. Liberal weenies are very smart.

Finally, a number of readers, including some well-known political types, think Tommy the Barber is right on in his assessment of the presidential chances for Georgians Newt Gingrich and Sam Nunn, which he puts at somewhere around zero. Incidentally, Tommy also thinks that President Peanut is a zero, even though Tommy cut his hair once. Tommy the Barber is a Great American.

Now, if you will excuse me, I really must run if I am to make it to my shrimp orgy before the little boogers find out I am coming. If you need me, don’t hesitate to write. I will have my Smuckers jar with me.