Tuesday, July 03, 2007


The sign said “Long haired freaky people…..”. No. Wait. That’s not right. It said “BE PREPARED TO STOP”. A big diamond shaped orange sign beside the highway, somewhere between Huntsville and Harrison.

So, that got me to thinking (it’s a rare event). Am I? You know, prepared to stop?

All depends on what it is they want me to stop, I guess. What could it be? Smoking? Drinking? Gambling? Consorting with unsavory people? Maybe the sign maker is some battered Republican and wants me to stop writing this column. Fat chance.

Whatever it was, I wondered if I had the willpower. I wondered if I was truly prepared to stop, or if I even wanted to. And I wondered how they knew I was going to be here on this particular day to read that sign. Is somebody watching me?

Somebody must be. Just last night, as I started to watch a pay-per-view movie, an announcement appeared on the TV informing me that the movie had been formatted to fit my screen. If they’re not keeping an eye on me, how do they know what size screen I have. Hmmmm?

Yesterday, in an office building in Fayetteville, there was a sign as I entered the door that said “Thank you for not smoking”. Was it just mere coincidence that I was not smoking at the time?

The questions were running through my head so fast it was making me dizzy. Then, as if by plan to distract me from that line of thought, a red SUV whizzed past me. On the back window, written in white shoe polish, it said something to the effect of “State Finals Bound…..Comets…. To God goes the glory!”

Maybe it should have said “To God goes 70% of the glory!”

It occurred to me that, if God was supposed to get ALL the glory, maybe these people shouldn’t have written all that stuff on their car. I’ll bet they get a little glory out of it themselves by doing that. I had to wonder (Again. I wonder a lot.) if God was driving down some street, paved in gold, up yonder, in a white (surely it would be white) Chevy Tahoe with writing on the back glass that said “Comets to State Finals! To ME goes the glory!”

I don’t know. Maybe it was trivial, but it took my mind off that “stopping” thing for just a few seconds. Then, suddenly, the SUV started to skid in front of me. There were a bunch of guys with hardhats in the road up ahead. They should have let somebody know.

The SUV, I’m sure with some Divine Assistance, managed to get stopped before smacking the road crew. After all, they’ve got a tournament to get to.

Obviously, I wasn’t prepared to stop, so I veered off the road. Next time, I’m going to pop a few extra bucks and get a car that has brakes. I can see now how they might come in handy.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Ethel Martin – rest in peace.

© 2007 Rick Baber