I got called a "liberal" the other day by a reader in Cherokee County who doesn't think much of my opinions and suggested "Someone should retire his word processor."
My word processor, Barney, was elated at the thought. Barney hates this job. When I brought Barney home, it was with the promise that he and I would create poetry. I was afraid to tell him the truth about writing snarky columns because I figured he might rip out his hard drive and die in a high-tech version of Hari-Kari. Instead, Barney shows his displeasure by going on strike about an hour before deadline.
The comment about being called a liberal upset me, too, although I don't think as much as it will Democrats who possess more liberal weenies than the Oscar Mayer Weinermobile and have the sense of humor of a kumquat.
It is apparent that my opinions occasionally get misinterpreted. That could be because of Barney's refusal to insert commas where they belonged or because some readers have not read me as carefully as I had assumed they would.
Either way, something needs to be done before someone accuses me of being an illegal immigrant from Vermont.
Junior E. Lee, general manager of the Yarbrough Worldwide Media and Pest Control Company in Greater Garfield, Ga., suggested that I attach his recently-created Veracity Valuator, which is designed to go off anytime I opine on these pages. As if he didn't have enough problems, Barney has discovered the device is attached to his motherboard, which now has his momma upset with him. She, too, assumed he was going to write poetry and wants no part of this column.
If Junior's contraption thinks I am being consistent in my opinions, it will Ding. If it thinks I am not, it will buzz. He suggested I offer some easy opinions first to see if the Veracity Valuator (U.S. Patent PenDing) is calibrated properly. Here goes: I hate broccoli. Ding! Let's try another one: However, I know broccoli is good for me, so I will eat it whenever it is served. Bzzz!
Now that the gizmo is up and working, let's get to work clarifying who I am and what I believe. I do this in order to avoid as much controversy as possible, because I do not like being controversial. Bzzz! Dr. Gil Watson, the World's Greatest Preacher, would sleep better if he thought some of his sermons were slowly but surely turning me into a kinder, gentler and less-judgmental person. Ding!
I will admit that there have been occasions when I may have upset alumni and friends of Georgia Tech. Ding! But, it is all in fun. Bzzz! I try as best I can not to mention that the University of Georgia is the oldest state-chartered university in the nation, located in Athens, the Classic City of the South and not only do we play football reasonably well Ding! but also we can claim 18 Rhodes Scholars. Ding! Ding!
It is perhaps in the area of politics where I may cause a great deal of confusion. I have been accused of being a conservative redneck Ding! and, as you have read, a liberal Ding! This bothers me a great deal. Bzzz!
Actually, I don't like arrogant politicians of either party that forget who put them in office and lose touch with We the Unwashed. Ding! When Democrat Tom Murphy was Speaker of the House, he wrote me a scathing letter when I said his political career would soon be toast. Ding! I was right. He lost his next election. I hate it when I'm right. Bzzz!
The same thing is going to happen to current Speaker David Ralston if he doesn't watch out. Ding! I don't think Ralston will write me a scathing letter, however, because he doesn't think enough of my opinions to make the effort. Ding! That really bums me out. Bzzz!
I promise our intrepid public servants that I will try not to take it personally when some loud-mouth in the legislator talks about our "failing public schools." Bzzz! knowing they couldn't carry my kids' book satchel. Ding! and neither could most of those who agree with them. Ding! Ding!
I could go on but, alas, Barney just spit up his ram. I trust the Veracity Valuator has been useful in helping you understand what I believe and why Ding! and that the reader in Cherokee County will perhaps rethink his opinion of me. Bzzz!
You can reach Dick Yarbrough at email@example.com or P.O. Box 725373, Atlanta, Ga. 31139. Yarbrough is a part-time resident of Dawson County.