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Jack and Jill are gone but not forgotten
Dick Yarbrough

I need to call Jack and Jill. Most of you will remember the two mules brought to Cobb County with much fanfare from Alabama a few years back to demonstrate the lost art of plowing to a generation that likely already has an app for that.

They were set to strut their stuff at Hyde Farm in east Cobb but with little explanation, a year later Jack and Jill were unceremoniously kicked out of Cobb by the same county commission that had so enthusiastically welcomed them just a short time earlier. My confidential sources tell me the project tanked because it turned out that it was going to cost $3 million to fix things up, including pushing over a couple of outhouses. I don’t think there is an app for that.

Anyway, Jack and Jill were somehow blamed for the screw-up and sent into exile in either Montana or Canada. I get those two places mixed up. For several years they have believed that I could use my enormous prestige and power to get them back to Cobb County. I don’t have the heart to tell them I can’t even find a parking space on the Square, let alone find a place for them back here.

Since their departure, Jill has shown much grace and seems to have moved on with her life in Montana or Canada, wherever they are. For Jack, it has not been quite so easy. It’s a guy thing. He has a tendency to hit the fermented oats pretty hard and when he does, his frustrations bubble over. For example, he feels like Commissioner Bob Ott didn’t stand up for them when the rumors began that the two mules were on the way out the barn door even though he had voted to bring them to Cobb County.

Ott’s day job is as a pilot for Delta Air Lines and Jack has said he won’t fly Delta as a result. I have been unable to get him to understand that Delta has a policy prohibiting mules from flying on their planes because they take up too much leg room and they smell bad. That assumes they could get through security, which isn’t likely. There isn’t a TSA agent alive willing to do a full body search on a mule.

None of this has stopped Jack and Jill from calling me on a regular basis and pleading for me to help them get back to Cobb County. It has been frustrating for both of us. They are freezing their tushes off in Montana or Canada or wherever and I have other responsibilities in the county beyond lobbying for a couple of mules whose only talent seems to be pulling a plow in a straight line.

I am pretty much slammed for time these days trying to help the Cobb County commission find new sources of revenue so they don’t have to cut the fat out of the county budget. At the present time, we are considering selling tickets to the commission meetings. If the circus can do it, why not the commission?

So, why call Jack and Jill? I thought they would like to know that even though their plowing days in Cobb County weren’t meant to be, they have not been forgotten by the people that matter.

I was in an assemblage of movers and shakers at a fancy soiree in Cobb County recently. I’m talking the power structure here. How I ended up among them, I’m not sure. After all, I am just a modest and much-beloved columnist who thinks a canape is something you stand under to keep from getting soaked when it rains.

To my utter amazement, I had a number of them inquire about Jack and Jill and suggest I provide an update when convenient. Who would think movers and shakers would care about the goings on of a couple of mules? Is this a great county, or what?

How different that reaction from the grumpsters who can’t wait to complain to the editors when I write about them — the mules, not the grumpsters.

One even expressed exasperation that I didn’t seem to know the difference between Montana and Canada. I wanted to tell him that I had enjoyed fly fishing the Gallatin River with my grandson but I didn’t want to sound like a show-off. (Note to self: Ask grandson if the Gallatin River is in Montana or Canada.)

To all you movers and shakers, I promise I will contact Jack and Jill in the near future and let you know how they are doing. In the meantime, I need to get back to helping the county commission figure out new ways to soak the taxpayers. Where is a canape when you need it?

You can reach Dick Yarbrough at dick@dickyarbrough.com; at P.O. Box 725373, Atlanta, Georgia 31139; online at dickyarbrough.com or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/dickyarb