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Dick Yarbrough: Not finding much good news in this bummer of a year
Dick Yarbrough

We are now into September of what has so far been a bummer of a year. My colleague, David Carroll, a Chattanooga TV anchor with whom I share the editorial page in several papers, calls 2020 “ the Edsel of years.” I wish I had thought of that line. I hate it when TV anchors are funnier than I am.

We have had to endure eight months of sheltering in place, social distancing, to mask or not to mask, boycotts, layoffs, government bailouts and computer-generated everything else except burning up buildings and tearing down statues. That has been human-generated.

Can things go further into the dumper? With a presidential election roughly eight weeks away, the answer is self-evident. Having to watch two old white guys with bad hairdos going at each other while political pundits ponderously pontificate will likely drive me to binge-watch all the back episodes of “The Gong Show.”

So, what do we have to look forward to? Certainly not the annual scrum between the scholar-athletes from the University of Georgia, the oldest state-chartered university in the nation, located in Athens, the Classic City of the South, and You-Know-Where Institute of Technology.

Absent this momentous event, I will strive to be gracious. I promise not to bring up all the Rhodes Scholars we have that YKWIT doesn’t have. That seems to upset them worse than laying 52 points on their scholar-athletes in a recent scrum.

Frankly, September doesn’t hold a lot of promise. How excited can you get over the fact this is National Blueberry Popsicle Month? I asked Junior E. Lee, general manager of the Yarbrough Worldwide Media and Pest Control Company headquartered in Greater Garfield, Ga., if he had done any surveys on public attitudes regarding National Blueberry Popsicle Month. Given the way things are going these days, it wouldn’t surprise me that somebody has their nose out of joint over blueberries or popsicles, or both.

Junior was late getting back to me. He told me he had been observing Fight Procrastination Day and had lost. He didn’t seem to be too upset about it.

Between us, I have been having a bit of a problem with Junior’s attitude recently. While he is one of the most respected media analysts in the free world, he is also a pest control professional. That is something he likes to rag the snoots in the national media about. He can hang with the best of them on stuff like the U.S. trade deficit and what is going on in Belarus but loves to ask them how they would get rid of clover mites and then watch the blank looks on their faces.

It was my fault that I had Junior E. Lee working on an assignment on June 6 and forgot all about that being National Pest Control Day, a salute to pest control professionals around the world. He wasn’t happy. Pest control professionals are proud people.

Junior says pest control isn’t just a job, it is an essential service and had I heard anyone talk about defunding pest control professionals? I admitted I had not and told him National Pest Control Day would be duly observed next year. He seemed mollified and said he was heading over to Aunt Flossie Felmer’s house to rummage around in her drawers, supposedly looking for fire ants. He seems to be doing that a lot these days.

With that out of the way, we are back to trying to figure out how to outlast 2020. I don’t see much ahead that excites me. In October, there is National Punk Day which is sure to be big in Portland and Seattle. And we need to keep an eye on Leif Erickson Day. Leif was the first European to set foot in North America. He was from Greenland where they eat seals and make dogs pull people around on sleds. I guarantee you that’s going to get his statue pulled down somewhere.

There is National Take a Hike Day in November which will thrill those of you who have been suggesting for years I do just that and in December National Ding-a-Ling Day, a salute to those who believe everything they read on social media.

I am afraid that is about all the good news I have as to what to expect for the rest of 2020, boys and girls. In the meantime, I suggest we hunker down, give each other a virtual hug and pray there is not another Edsel in our future.

You can reach Dick Yarbrough at; at P.O. Box 725373, Atlanta, Georgia 31139; online at or on Facebook at