The Death of the Christmas Mouse

This is a pretty sad story in that I have almost killed my old worn-out body taking all those crazy Halloween pumpkins back downstairs to a store room and then, closely obeying wifely instructions, hauling crates of lovely Christmas paraphernalia back up those same killer stairs.

The sad end result has not been my own death but the demise of the famous Christmas Mouse. He was not only an old Christmas pal but he was our tiniest holiday celebrant who joined us each year as we toasted untold thousands of people we never met or knew. There was a time when any name would do in a toast to the health of all. We would make the toast and then we would all lock arms and dance to “Zorba the Greek.”

These are the ornaments and decorations of Katie Mae, my lovely bride of nearly 40 years and to whom I have dedicated this little ditty about Christmas decorations and how much men love them:         

DECEMBER

Resting Places for Tired Old Bones
Grow Scarce and Mighty Sparse.
No Place to Rest Your Elbows,
No Spot to Park Your Arse.

Santas Hang Out All Over
In Every Nanny and Crook
No Place to Put My Coffee Cup,
No Place to Hide My Book.

I’m Afraid I’ll Trip on a Reindeer,
Or Fall Out in the Hall.
I’m Afraid I’ll Rip Down Some Precious Thing
That is Taped to the Kitchen Wall.

So I keep a Very Low Profile
And I Head for My Favorite Chair.
But I’m Having Trouble Fitting In
Next to a Christmas Teddy Bear.

I Pray I Will Last Until January
When We Can Pack Them All Away.
And Move Them Deep Down in the Basement
Where They Will Stay and Stay and Stay.

P.S. – I lied about killing The Christmas Mouse. The truth is I have only dropped three books on him and he looked in pretty good shape until I spilled that hot cup of coffee down his back. He’s okay and I look forward to packing him up until next December

The "Plumbing Santa" or "The Santa of the Commode Tank Lid."

This one I call “Santa the Plumber” or “The Santa of the Commode Tank Top.” I have a feeling he would be worthless if we had a plumbing problem.

Snoopy in Sleigh

Once again we have a horseless sleigh. Snoopy really doesn’t care. He knows Santa has his own system of sleigh propellant.

Lamp Santa

This is the bodyless Santa. It’s just his head that hangs from a switch on the lamp. He doesn’t seem to mind.

Christmas Wreath on Pantry Door

The Pantry Door Wreath. The hanger for the wreath loves to do battle with you to see if you can get the door closed once you have been inside the pantry.

Fireplace Broom

This is the festive broom I’m forced to use as I perform charwoman duties about the old homestead. I cry a lot but no one listens.

Smorgasbord

Another angle of the fabulous sideboard smorgasbord.

Smorgasbord 1

And one more angle of the sideboard. I thought the small golden Christmas trees on the sideboard were interesting.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Snowman Bookguard 2

This snowman also guards our books. His long legs come all the way up to his armpits.

The Snowman Teapot

The snowman teapot is custodian of the books. He has never had a cup of tea.

The Musical Bear

The musical bear plays ten carols. I can sing them all but I’ve been asked not to.

The Christmas Mouse

The famous Christmas Mouse. He has always been a snappy dresser even in the off season.

Santa in White - Best

The all-white (or cream colored) Santa is handsome but a little too stern for me.

Santa in Red Suit

This is my main man. He is the real deal. You can’t imagine all the gifts he has left me over the years.

The Candy Shoppe Teapot

This Candy Shoppe Teapot is one of many watching over our books. Very colorful isn’t it?

The Big Tree

This is the big tree. More to come about the decorations on this, the regulation sized tree.

Mantlepiece Snow Man

The Nutcracker is in charge but the Snowman spreads JOY. His bottom pieces seem to be from sea shells.

North End of Mantle

Another strange wide-eyed Nutcracker with one of our favorites, a clown on a horse.

The Snowman Teapot

Snowman Teapot. He  never has tea. Would hot tea melt him?

Another Reindeer on Katie Mae's Desk

A beautiful reindeer atop Katie Mae’s Desk. Her desk is covered in Christmas.

Christmas Sideboard Smorgasbord

The sideboard smorgasbord is no place for old men. It is a disaster waiting to happen when we get near.

 

Kay's Desktop

Kay’s desktop in its entirety. I never go near it for fear falling Christmas memorabilia will attack me.

 

The Backdoor Wreath

The Backdoor Wreath. There is also one on the front door and one on the pantry door?

Santa in Paul's Room

Paul’s bedroom Santa watches him Christmas Eve but Paul is not a peeper. He’s a sleeper.

Two Damsels in a Sleigh

These two damsels in bonnets and in a horseless sleigh seem to be covered up in holly and evergreens with no place to go.

Wise Men lost on Table Top

Not So Wise Men trapped on a tiny table between a bedroom and a bathroom.

 

Tree in North Bedroom

A lonesome pine on a dresser in a guest bedroom. Some nights I have to sing it to sleep.

Paul's Reindeer

Paul’s childhood rendition of Santa and his reindeer. I wonder if Paul is still fascinated with 40′ long whips?

Bathroom Santa With Bem in Mirror

I always thought this was a little Santa Claus. Now I see it’s a little girl and she’s been hanging out in Paul’s bathroom Christmas time for years.

Chrisatmas Clown and Pony

Kay’s Aunt, Mama Doris Poulos gave this to Paul when he was a baby. Probably our favorite the music box plays “Toyland.” The horse’s head and tail go up and down as does the arms and legs on the clown.

Dinette Table Wreath

This is Katie Mae’s center piece on the table in our kitchen breakfast nook. None of the contents taste very good. I have tried them all.

Santa and Norfolk Pine Christmas Tree

This is on an end table by our couch. Santa looks like he’s fleeing from the tiny Norfolk Pine Christmas Tree with the UGA pennant attached to it.

Santa Pillow

This Santa Pillow is one of two that decorates a bench in our breakfast area beside the kitchen.

Snowman Cookie Jar

This bad boy is a cookie jar that watches over the refrigerator and stove and keeps Bad Ben at bay. I guess I could turn up the stove heat and melt him down.

Christmas Reindeer

Another shot of Katie Mae’s watchful desktop reindeer. That’s an old antique (look-alike) lantern in the background.

Paul's Hand Prints

Not much guessing to know these are Paul’s hand prints back when he was so much fun. Now one of his hands will cover this entire cloth.

 

The Christmas Teddy Bear that guards the bench in the breakfast nook.

The other bench-warming pillow. The Christmas Teddy Bear that also guards the bench in the breakfast nook along with the Santa pillow..

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Try a Tomato Royale or a Bull Run for Halloween.

Great-Bull-Run5Since it’s pretty obvious that most folks do not follow the news anymore and a heap of folks cannot even read, I find I am duty bound to tell you there are actually people in Georgia who will pay cash to be chased by 1,200 pound bulls through a confined space for a quarter of a mile. This is done for a thrill.

I thought Halloween was going to bring on more thrills than most people could bargain for with all those corn mazes and haunted houses springing up like weeds throughout the state but I was wrong. Corn mazes and haunted houses are old hat and apparently not so thrilling anymore.

You would think that most people clearly understand Spain is a relatively small country and hundreds of years of inbreeding has led many of the Spanish people down the path to the sheer idiocy of allowing monstrous sized cows with large hooves and long sharp horns to pursue them through narrow streets until they reach a big circular enclosure they pour out into and thus are saved by additional space where they can run and hide. This is the bull fighting arena and here they later have the opportunity to get the bulls back by killing them and cutting off their ears and tails to prove they won.

But no, we have our own brand of not so smart people right here in Georgia and I certainly hope they all are concentrated around Conyers where the event was held. I also hope they don’t venture towards Athens where I live because I hate the thought I might be walking the same street as some of these nuts at the same time of day. I think it is too late to engage in buttock-destroying behavior such as this except for maybe one more event to be held in Texas this year, thank God.

The Georgia event is over. Only one person was stomped pretty good and I wonder if he is now thinking that he pretty well deserved to be trampled by a big bull. You reckon how many people don’t have a clear idea of the speed a large animal can attain when it has four legs as opposed to two and those four legs have bigger stronger muscles? And, to top the insanity off in proper butt-stomping fashion, there were 24 bulls, not just one or two or ten. There were two dozen of them.

You have to pay $40 to $75 to enter depending on how soon you decide you want to buy a ticket to get slaughtered by an animal we usually slaughter for our supper. For your money, you get free parking and a t-shirt and a bandana and a free beer if you’re over 21. That’s right, there are people over 21 engaging in this less-than-smart suicidal activity.

My suggestion is for your entry fee you get large bandages packed in big department store bags. You get a smaller envelop with phone numbers of EMT and ambulance services and doctors who might accidentally be sympathetic enough to want to patch up all those additional holes left in you by the bull. And remember, the bull isn’t even angry with you. You just happened of your own silly accord to get in his way.

Be sure you do not call a doctor with a Spanish name. Remember he or she probably left Spain to come here.

If you are less engrossed with harming yourself but you still have a masochistic streak and you want someone else to do it for you, you can sign up for the Tomato Royale. The Tomato Royale is simply and old fashioned food fight with tomatoes.

There are a few rules to this food fight that are meant to protect you but don’t count on people throwing tomatoes at you to have your well-being and safety and best interests in mind. You have to wear goggles and you must not aim for the head (Ha Ha). You have got to be over 14 and you cannot have a free beer unless you are at least 21.

This too, is all meant in the spirit of good clean fun. I gave up food fights with tomatoes in a Doerun, Georgia tomato patch in 1953. It was at exactly the same time my older brother began using green tomatoes.

He also quit at that time. He quit moments after I chose to use fist-sized field stones.

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The Pumpkin Princess Exhibition – Katie Mae Shows Off Her Pumpkins.

Crystal Pumpkins

The crystal pumpkins include salt and pepper shakers.

I’m telling you “it’s a coming” as the old boys say down in South Georgia. What “Its’a ” happens to be is Halloween and don’t think because I’m older than 70 I’m not well aware when a day of celebration is near.

To keep me posted and well informed and when holidays, jubilees and other celebratory events approach, Katie Mae will drag out many ceramic, glass, paper and mud images to conjure up sentiments centered on that particular season and that particular reason to display weird objects and strange talismans, charms and mojos.

Now I think pumpkins are fine and many of them look great so I have no inhibitions about showing you the pumpkins Katie Mae subjects me to viewing every fall. I can show you many of her personal favorites without casting aspersions on my own desire to have as little clutter as possible. I really don’t care how much junk you want to show off to your guests but I am fairly large and I need a little bit of room on tables beside my reading chair and I need a large amount of room in those spots where I try to walk. My graceless method of moving around on numb number twelve feet does not allow for narrow pathways.

So here they are: Favorites of the Pumpkin Princess.

The Basket Pumpkin is woven from thick hemp-like cord. I don’t think it’s the kind you smoke.

Fire Place Pumpkins

The fire place pumpkins are strange but I have never seen them move around on their own so I guess they’re okay. One is made from a material like palm fronds or split corn husks and the other is a resin like material.

Glass Pumpkin and Wine

The glass pumpkin is black with gold sparkles in it. I guess that’s what you call them. That’s what I call them. Katie Mae thinks the pumpkin is unhappy and in a dark mood so she tried to cheer it up by placing it near the wine and the Halloween napkin with the cute little saying printed on it.

 

 

Porch Pumpkins #1

The porch pumpkins guard the entrance and make me feel safer in this troubled old world. Intruders should have second thoughts after seeing the pumpkins are wearing gangster hats and the old patriarch apparently has on a top hat. The grins are disarming and will lure wrongdoers into a false sense of security right before the pounce of the protective pumpkins.

Kitchen Bar Pumpkin

The kitchen bar pumpkin is made from a Styrofoam like material and is brassy, flashy and showy. She speaks to me often but I’m afraid to answer her. She seems way too fast for me.

Porch Pumpkins #3

Another picture of the Protective Porch Pumpkins. A good picture of our security forces and irrefutable proof that I do not bend over to rake leaves from under the edges of that porch. There is much for which I do not bend. I fall over but I do not bend.

Salt and Pepper Pumpkins

Spices for the Harvest, Pumpkins. The salt and pepper shaker pumpkins are arrogant and conceited because they get to sit at the table with us. They do not know they are pumpkins.

Tea Cart Pumpkins

The tea cart pumpkins are old fashioned, matronly, (except for the baby) and carry them themselves with a certain degree of sophistication. I shouldn’t say “carry themselves” because I am the only one who keeps carrying them; upstairs and downstairs and upstairs and downstairs. I think they are ceramic.

Order From Amazon.comThis is not a pumpkin. this is the cover of my book. If you click on the cover you will get to check out the book on Amazon. com. It is a Delightful little book. I say “Delightful” because I read the word “Delightful is a powerful trigger word that will make you want to buy multiple copies of the book. Read it. I can hear you saying, “What a Delightful little book. I’ll buy 16 copies for neighbors and pals and one for Uncle Bobo.”

It is relatively inexpensive and it will make a wonderful Christmas gift for Boomers and Geezers, Guys or Gals!

Wrought Iron PumpkinThis the last pumpkin. I call him the wrought iron pumpkin. He does have a slight bit of sophistication. Very slight. He is oddly aesthetic. That means, if you think he is aesthetic, I think you are odd. He has been around here for years. I have never known him to have a job.. He is totally useless other than for displaying aestheticism. He is no good for carrying water or Halloween candy.

The Halloween Corn Maze Craze.

 

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mazesunset

It’s good to be an old geezer because you can always plead ignorance about new things that people are doing and gabbing about and it’s so easy to plead ignorance if you are ignorant.

It’s, however, hard to ignore that in this beautiful month of October, All Hallows’ Eve looms frightfully close and as the big evening draws near people are actually shelling out money for pumpkin shells and even worse they are offering up good cash to go get lost in a cornfield.

I can’t imagine getting lost in a maze in a cornfield could be much fun unless you are pretty young and your brain is still not fully developed. I imagine that would have been much more fun in the dark when we were kids with those old weak flashlights we were subjected to using years ago. It was like walking around outside with a small candle in a big wind. Nowadays, if you get to walk in a dark cornfield maze with a pretty girl it can’t be anything but fun. I haven’t gotten that stupid yet.

There are several cornfield maze enterprises around Athens and for ten to twelve bucks, you can get lost in a five to ten acre field that has been cut and mowed in such a manner as to totally confuse people like me. I wonder how many people the maze operators have to go in and rescue every day.

Katie Mae won’t let me try to venture into a corn maze because she says my ten bucks won’t go far after they charge me for going in and finding me five or six times.

This is serious business. One fellow here draws out his own maze and he says it’s designed to be family friendly. He is even quoted as saying, “The maze lasts about 30 to 45 minutes to get through. We don’t want parents to be in there too long with their kids.” That is especially nice of him to be so considerate of the poor little children who might tire and become frightened but I suspect he just doesn’t want to explain to the police why so many irritable parents have been accused of attacking their children on his property.

There are also the big operators who bring in folks who use GPS tracking systems to map out a maze. Some of those people charge $10,000.00 or more to design a maze this way.

Go out and try it. You may love it. You might want to put one in your back yard. Start out small at first. If you are pretty old be sure you leave escape doors so you can reach water and a bathroom in a hurry. That’s a pretty good idea. Design one for old folks. You need one you can conquer in less than three minutes. Anything longer than that and you’ll perish from thirst or wet your pants and the neighbors will be complaining about all those colorful words the kids have been hearing coming from your backyard.

Did I say $10,000.00? My gosh, there must be a heap of money to be made in losing folks in a corn field. When I was a kid growing up in the country we did it for free. We lost my cousin Angus Albritton in a corn field in 1957 and he has never been seen since. It seems to have worked out all right though. Nobody ever asked about him.

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Uga V Defends Georgia Sideline from Auburn Intruder.

#21 Robert Baker scores for Auburn in the 1996 Georgia-Auburn game. Uga V files sideline protest that quick-freezes Baker in mid-air fright.

 

It was 1996. This was the 100th game between Georgia and Auburn.

People cannot forget the first overtime game ever in the SEC and this game went into overtime, not once, not twice but four times.

Georgia’s first half 21 point deficit was not overcome until they tied the score with Auburn during the last play of regulation time. This forced the game into its first overtime period.

Our own Ken and Kim Brooks were there and had decided with thousands of other fans to leave the stadium just prior to Georgia’s game-tying score. It had looked as if there was no hope for a Georgia win. Those same thousands of disbelieving onlookers remained standing throughout the overtime periods until Georgia put the win away with their final score.

This picture was taken when Auburn’s Robert Baker, #21, scored on the last play in the first quarter to give Auburn a 14-7 lead over Georgia. Baker was about to break into a celebratory end-zone dance when Uga V decided Baker was being too rambunctious. Uga showed Baker his own fascinating smile as he made a leash-straining lunge at him. Baker promptly changed his dance to one called, “The Knee-Saver Shag.” The main dance step consists of leaping high in the air and freezing motionlessly in fear while a large bull dog tries to relieve you of your knee-cap.

This game and this priceless picture catapulted our favorite bulldog into the national catbird seat. The April 1997 issue of Sports Illustrated featured a full frontal view of the great dog all dressed out in his red Georgia jersey with a declaration of “No.1 Mascot, “UGA V” printed to one side.

There has been no question of his prominence and importance to the image of the University of Georgia since then. He is still the best known school mascot in America.

Georgia won the game in the fourth overtime period 56-49.

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Click on the lady’s blue shawl.

Athens, GA – The Great “Classic City” Bar-B-Q Festival

 

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Karen, Paul, Rebecca, Amanda, Ken, Mike “Big Dawg” Woods, Kay, Ben and Matt

Major Q’s Barbeque Team Comes to Athens.

There is always something going on in Athens but if you have stumbled head first past your seventh decade, it takes something really special to make you push up out of that broken-down old easy chair, try to clean up your head and face and step out the door to go downtown.

It was the Classic City Bar-B-Que Festival calling us and it was hosted by the fine folks at the Classic Center who along with many Athenians are always looking for a way to raise money for charity. I have never seen so many people so willing to give their money to a noble cause and it just makes living in Athens that much more fun.

We were graciously invited by Major Q’s Bar-B-Q team to come out Friday evening and we not only got to watch them set up for Saturday’s Bar-B-Q competion but we were invited to eat supper with them.

Major Q is Ken Holland, Major, USAF (Ret.) and he is one of the most, “In Charge” kind of guys I have ever met. Since he and his lovely wife, Karen, were so blessed with two very bright and beautiful daughters it only makes good sense that his Bar-B-Q team stalwarts consist of himself and a bevy of beautiful women. The pretty and intelligent daughters are Rebecca and Amanda.

Their back-ups are Matthew Wosotowsky who so capably won the hand of Ken and Karen’s youngest daughter, Amanda, in marriage a few years back and my son (Katy Mae actually had the most to do with him being, “My Son”) Paul who is Matthew’s good friend.

I still have a childlike fascination with gadgetry and Ken Holland had enough strange apparati (my word for apparatus) to keep somebody like me confused, confounded and puzzled for months.

All those cookers, smokers and grills could keep a pyromaniac happy for weeks. This was the first annual Barbeque Festival for Athens but if this is any indication of great things to come, there will be great things to come.

The facilities are excellent for such a festival. Major Ken had his truck drawn up close to an area he had covered in chairs and tents and tables and coolers and food and more food. His cooker and grill are an integral part of the trailer he had behind his truck and he even had nice cots to crash and burn in once the evening grew long. He never had to take more than a dozen steps to get his hands on the food, the drink and, once in a while, the utensils.

I, being the senior citizen, am the only one who came near to crashing and burning. Isn’t it inspiring to watch young people work and not get tired? One of the best parts was the nice bathroom facilities inside the Classic Center. I am getting old and bathroom facilities within limping distance are wonderful.

Major Ken had the girls working in such sisterly synchronism I was amazed. I had never seen sisters work that hard while being that close together without trying to kill each other. They never even raised their voices. They worked quietly (I know that’s hard to believe) and efficiently and their daddy worked in the same orderly fashion. He never raised his voice but he had the remarkable ability to hear practically everything that was going on around him.

I learned a few new things but I can’t share it all or he would have to kill me. There are many secrets in the barbeque festival competition and one team may be constantly trying to learn the other team’s secrets. They even have a name for this surreptitious eavesdropping. It’s called shigging. They innocently come around your cook site and try to learn all about your sauce secrets. It has to be done in a sneaky manner. They can’t just outright ask you. It has to be shady shigging.

I also did not know that you can take one of those machines that people use to package and seal food when they intend to freeze it and you can seal precooked meat in a marinade inside until you have let it marinate to your satisfaction and you’re ready to cook it. It makes good sense so that’s probably why I never thought of it.

This particular competition was sanctioned by The Kansas City Barbecue Society and your entries had to include chicken, brisket, ribs and pork butt. I understand the KSBS prefers an entry have a sweet taste so that’s what the Major Q Team was looking for and as far as I am concerned they found it right out there behind the Classic Center where Major Ken had his wagons circled.

One of the evening’s highlights was a visit from Mike “The Big Dawg” Woods. We had pictures made with him and he helped us call the Dawgs until we got it right.

Katie Mae and I had the best time we have had in a while. I didn’t stop eating the entire five or six hours I was there. When I was about to bust from the chicken wings in two different sauces and the chicken thighs stuffed with a spinach and cream cheese concoction, Major Ken broke out the really serious meat. He had a beef tenderloin so good I kept both hands on my plate the best I could because I was aware Paul and Matthew were in close proximity to my chair and they were like young wolves leering at my steak.

In a true team effort the Major Q Bar-B-Q team helped me get up from my chair and I managed to lumber to the car with Katie Mae towing me. I made my way home with the sweet girl of my dreams with a lingering thought that the best part of the evening was getting to share the Holland recipe for keeping a cool head and a civil tongue in that head to insure you stay cool.

They have a short phrase that goes like this. “Tone and Tude.” I’m not sure if they first coined the phrase or not but I’m giving them credit for it.

What it boils down to is (or how I interpret it) you always stay aware of the tone of voice you use and the attitude you are projecting when addressing others. You will find that things will always go much easier for you and those around you if you watch your “Tone and Tude!”

It reminds me of something a fellow said many years ago to a group of us in a meeting. He said, “There would be a lot less offense given if there were a lot less offense taken.”

 

The Kensley Report, 2013, Athens- Red and Black Soap

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Click the link below to buy this wonderful book at Amazon.com. It will be a great gift for all the old grouches in your life. It’s also not a bad buy for gifting young people who bore you. It’ll give you all something to talk about!

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Uncle Ben says this will be a hard work day because today we are going to make some special soap. We have made soap before but it was several years ago and it was in the shape of cute little spiral sea shells and he says it was all too girly because it smelled like the boudoir of a French woman of ill-repute.

I didn’t understand all that but he also said that the soap we made before was all green, blue and aqua girly soap and the soap we were going to make today would be loved by both men and women Bulldawg fans. We were going to make soap in UGA colors. We were going to make Red and Black soap.

He scared me at first because he began pulling all kinds of bags of soap making stuff out of drawers and cabinets in the carport and setting up a grill with gas rings for melting the soap. Then we went inside and he showed me where we really were going to work because we were doing it the easy way by using glycerin and we could melt the glycerin in the microwave. I thought that was great because the carport is not air conditioned.

Uncle Ben had shopped around and found a bunch of small soap molds in the shape of tiny women’s shoes, hand bags and flip flops. We put the glycerin in the microwave and melted it. After we had the glycerin melted we put coloring into the liquid.

It was pretty tough getting enough black dye in the soap to make the finished soap look totally black. Our second effort was much better than the first. The first batch looked a dark gray. The red was easy. We just eyeballed the color as we put it in the mix and we could easily tell when it was bloody Bulldawg red.

We poured it in the little molds and put them in the refrigerator. Later we wound up with about 30 pieces of soap that I divided and placed into small cellophane bags that Aunt Kay had bought along with some really neat tulle I used to make bows at the tops of the bags as I packaged the soap.

Now we had ten bags of red and black soap in the shape of little handbags, shoes and flip flops. There were shoes to please the women and red and black colors to please both men and women. It was beautiful soap. Uncle Ben says the final test is when we find out if anybody else liked the soap as much as we liked it.

We spent the rest of the evening watching three hours of Honey Boo Boo. Paul had come over and he said he didn’t want anybody knowing he had watched Honey-Boo-Boo for three hours. He said he had never seen over three minutes of Honey-Boo-Boo and this prolonged exposure to such idiocy had seriously deteriorated any viable brain cells he might have had remaining.

Uncle Ben stood up and fell over in a swoon. He said he went to the bathroom three times so he could gag privately. He also said something about he would rather watch boar hogs mating in a deep swamp quagmire for 24 straight hours rather than ever see Honey-Boo-Boo again. I’m not sure what that means either but I’m pretty sure you won’t ever be able to catch the Honey-Boo-Boo show at Uncle Ben’s house.

Aunt Kay was more graceful about the whole thing. She slept through it the entire three hours. I think it made her really tired.

Shoes, purses and flip flops for the Red and Black!

Shoes, purses and flip flops for the Red and Black!

Kensley Report #4, 2013 – Who Brought the Dawgs In!

Where is Caesar Dawgustus? This is the most important question you will hear today in downtown Athens. The famous Bulldog statue all decked out in his resplendent Roman imperial trappings is no longer solidly occupying the corner of College Avenue and Broad Street in beautiful downtown Athens.

Where has he gone? Did some of those nutty kids from Alabama, Florida, South Carolina or Auburn abscond with him?

Do you know how many thousands of fine upstanding rock-like students and fans of the University of Georgia have posed with Caesar Dawgustus? You can’t just toss off losing Georgia’s favorite bulldog statue with total silence. Don’t you know he was a bigger attraction for Georgia fans than the sacred arches? Athens had no greater visitor attraction than Caesar Dawgustus.

Rumor had it that the big Dog had to go. There were too many people falling over him. Even sober people were getting tripped up in the masses who rushed to his side for the ultimate UGA photo op. Then there are the big drinkers. There’s no telling how many boys and girls wound up with bad sprains after having one too many and then posing for pictures while unsteadily wobbling on the poor Dog’s back.

Another rumor that surfaced concerns the liability the City of Athens might have for creating what Uncle Ben said used to be called an “attractive nuisance” right in the middle of one of the town’s busiest corners. If you create the attraction that causes injuries to others even though they were the ones acting the fool, you might have to pay for the damages.

Kensley and Caesar Dawgustus

Uncle Ben says you could alleviate that problem by stationing a large policeman on the corner with the Bulldog and have him lightly tap the drunks with a billy club. Then the cop could always claim the drunk attacked him. Uncle Ben says a little clubbing never hurt a drunk and it teaches them how to better comport themselves when out in public.

Uncle Ben has strange ideas and talks funny like that sometimes. That’s why Aunt Kay and I did not take him with us when we went to town looking for the Bulldog statues.

Uncle Ben did share with us the story that is probably the closest to the truth about the thinning out of the Bulldog statues. He said the statues were actually put in place about ten years ago by The Athens-Oconee Junior Woman’s Club. It was a big fund raising effort for the club and they called it, “Who Let the Dawgs Out.”

They ended the project in 2010 and some of the statues were sold to the highest bidders. Their auction raised in excess of $20,000.00 for AIDS Athens.

Uncle Ben said he read that 36 Bulldogs were originally placed in spots around Athens and when they were moved about 40 dogs were relocated but quite a few are still around Athens. You have to go looking for them.

And that is exactly what Aunt Kay and I did. We rode around town until we had found 14 of the big boys and she took my picture with every one of them.

The great news is Caesar Dawgustus is still with us. You can find him out on the Atlanta Highway in the showroom of Phil Hughes Honda and boy is he pampered. I’ll bet not one drunk has fallen over him since he has been in his new home.

Now if Uncle Ben can figure out how to get Caesar’s picture (with me of course) on this blog, you too can see him.

The Kensley Report #2 – 2013, Our Lazy Day in Athens.

We didn’t do anything constructive on Thursday after our wild plane ride with Uncle Mel the night before. Actually we had it pretty easy flying up there but we flew on the spur of the moment. That’s why we got there so late and the airport was locked down tight for the night.

We first decided we couldn’t fly because of the bad weather and then the weather cleared and we took off for the Dawson airport. We called Aunt Kay and said we would be there in one hour.

Aunt Kay and Paul and Uncle Ben had just sat down to eat in the Outback restaurant across Athens from the airport. They had to tell the waiter they couldn’t order because they had to leave and meet us at the airport.

After all that hustling around, we did not get to the Athens Airport and unload our baggage until 10:30 PM. It was too late to order from a restaurant so we grabbed a bag of Wendy’s burgers and took them back to the house.

We had no trouble getting back to the house. It was Uncle Mel, Momma and Cason who had all the problems because once they left the Athens Airport to fly back to Dawson the weather got worse. That’s why they had to spend the night in Dothan, Alabama and land in a cow pasture the next morning near Leesburg, Georgia because, once again, they were denied access to the Dawson airport.

It was such a severe strain on me and Uncle Ben for each of us to have to eat three hamburgers and three orders of fries so late at night that it took us all a long time to get to bed. The next morning Paul got up to go to work and Aunt Kay and Uncle Ben got up to drink coffee with him and see him off. I chose to sleep another seven hours because I was still tired and I didn’t want to spoil my first day in Athens. It would have been a disaster if I had exhausted myself two days in a row.

Aunt Kay finally woke me to see if I wanted to ride over to the campus area with Uncle Ben. Miss Anna had called and asked if Uncle Ben could meet a furniture delivery truck and sign for bedding being delivered to a student’s apartment for a friend.

Uncle Ben says it is much easier to find an address you are unfamiliar with if there is another person in the car helping you spot the address. He says you have to drive without running over brand-new UGA students who are all totally lost and, at the same time, you must avoid auto collisions with the rest of them who have been here a while. According to him, the ones who have been here a few months don’t know how to drive without tail-gating your car and having a cell phone permanently stuck in their stone-deaf ears.

He says I wasn’t much help because every time we passed a Volkswagen Beetle I would hit him in the arm and yell, “Punch Buggy!” It took us a while to find the place because he kept hitting me in the arm and yelling, “What’s the address on that house?” I kept punching him in the arm and yelling, “Punch Buggy.”

He said the last time he punched a girl in the nose he was five years old but I came as close to “Punch Nosy” as you can get on that trip.

Luckily I got back into his good graces by reminding him (about the time we got back to the house) that he was supposed to pick up Arnett’s meal and tomatoes and cucumbers for Aunt Kay. We had to turn around and go to a flea market for tomatoes and we could only find Arnett’s Meal at Piggly Wiggly.

The fancy, hoity-toity grocery stores do not carry Arnett’s meal because only old country people , the ones who really know how to fry fish, understand you have to have Arnett’s meal for frying fish. Anyhow that’s what Uncle Ben declares.

Uncle Ben told the ladies at the flea market that I loved tomatoes more than any youngster he had ever met and he wanted to know if they could bring in about two forty pound boxes of tomatoes the next day for me so we could be sure I didn’t feel deprived of one of my favorite foods during my Athens stay. He said their tomatoes came from Thomasville, Georgia and while they were really good tomatoes, the very best tomatoes came from Albany, Georgia. They frowned at him a little but they couldn’t say anything to such a good tomato customer.

Aunt Kay had made one of my favorite soups from Lima beans, sausage, corn and whatever else she puts in it. My Daddy loves it as much as I do. She also made, “to kill for,” lacy edged cornbread and we all ate enough soup and cornbread to kill half a dozen number one pigs. I don’t know what that means. Uncle Ben said that.

Unfortunately, my Daddy was not here to share in the soup and cornbread so, feeling sorry for him, I occasionally snapped a picture of the soup and the cornbread and e-mailed them to him.

After a while he sent me a message back that said, “That’s not funny. Cut it out!” I guess some people just don’t appreciate it when you you make a small thoughtful gesture of kindness to them.

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