I m just not sure which was scarier. The other day I went into an elementary school and read aloud to a class of second-graders a story about a misplaced crocodile who ate everyone s laundry and then started crying because he was lost and there were no other crocodiles around and finally he was captured and taken to the zoo to be around other crocodiles.
You know, they don t let you smoke in elementary school classes. At least the children didn t guess my age to be somewhere in the range of 100, as they did one of the other volunteer readers, who shall remain nameless but who is one of the fine people who own this newspper and whose moniker is synonymous with dowtown development. A hundred! Whew. Actually, the kids were contagiously happy and sweet and smart and just helped reinforce my opinion that those who are prone to generalizing the city schools with the opinion that they are horrible simply have never seen one operate and need to keep their traps shut about the matter. You know the only reason you live in the county and have your kids attend county schools is to be around more white people and that s all there is to it. But enough soap-boxing.
Then, just a few days later, another potentially scary incident. While on a guided canoe trip through a Wolf River swamp in search of beavers and other wildlife, we intentionally eased our vessel as close as possible to a couple of locations trying to get a good look at the usual sunning spot of a few cottonmouth snakes. You know, they don t let you smoke on guided tours through state natural areas, even when it is the first time you ve been in a canoe in a snake-filled swamp and even if the guide makes comments like Oh, if a snake falls from the tree into the boat, it may not be poisonous but will still bite if you try to pick it up with your hands, so just gently and calmly lift it out with the paddle. But she was lovely and very informative and did convince me for the first time in my life that simply spotting a poisonous snake would not mean instant death.
And we did see some beavers during our lovely cruise through the wetlands. Heck, I broke more of a sweat that night dreaming that I was surrounded by a group of the golden, paddle-tailed mammals snarling at me with their elongated front teeth for having disturbed their Sunday-afternoon sunning session. And as I awaened from this dream, the first thing I saw on the early-morning news was the announcement of our military s new planes, which I believe are called fighter hogs or something of that nature. The front of the planes are painted with nasty faces and big fangs that look something like a cross between a killer shark from Jaws and the popular Arkansas Razobacks mascot. And with all due respect for the goal of world peace, I sincerely don t understand the reasoning behind this. Is this supposed to make the opposition more afraid of us? I mean, they already know the planes are going to either gun them down or drop bombs on them. Do we expect them to see the plane coming and run for the caves and hills, screaming, Run! Hide as fast as you can! Here comes a very mean looking flying pig with giant fangs! We surrender! I guess I m just naive, but I really, really don t understand this and likely never will.
In the meantime and hopefully since you don t care about what I think, here s a brief look at what s going on around town this week. Tonight, Little Bo Peep & Her Naughty Sheep
are at the New Daisy. Fred Whitber
, Bobby Memphis
, and Rusty Lemon
are at Alex s. Joe Norman is at Murphy s. And Earth, Wind & Fire
are at Sam s Town in Tunica.