HUMOR COLUMN WRITING Weekly Under 6,000 DivisionTHIRD PLACE Ask not for whom the horn blows ... Beep! Beep! No such thing as a free lunch "Theres a sucker born every minute" Honk! - P.T. Barnum Beep! It began innocently enough.Union County News The blare of car horns reverberates between the glass windows that flank the entrance to our I was browsing my Facebook page when I ran office on Main Street. Patsy Eubanks turns and across a posting for Subway sandwiches looks back at me from her desk coupons. Never one to turn down free food, I and grins; she knows how much clicked on it and was instructed to type "I love the noise irritates me. It bothers Subway" on my Facebook wall. Next, I clicked her, too, but not as much as it on the Subway icon, thinking I does me. might gain access to $100 worthGraham Williams Some of the horn blowing is of coupons for chicken, bacon, necessary -- people sometimes ranch sandwiches and other back out of their parking spaces favorites. Instead, I found myself without looking and oncoming staring at a page full of promo- Graham traffic has to alert them. tions for Wal-Mart gift cards, Occasionally, a vehicles anti- insurance, on-line college degrees Williams theft alarm will be triggered and and the list went on and on. the horn will honk and honk and I clicked on the return button, honk until the owner disables it. Graham attempting to back out of this Other times, however, people honk their horns to get someones attention -- either a pedestrian or another driver, in which case that person h Williams maze of special offers, but the harder I tried, the worse things H honks their horn in return. got. Beep! Beep! I cant recall exactly what I did to escape, but g within minutes after doing so, my phone began s Honk! a f Beep! to alert me to incoming text messages. One recent Friday afternoon Patsy and I must "Want a Wal-Mart gift card? Text yes" was i have heard about a dozen horns honk during a the first one. I texted no. four-hour period. No sooner would I reply no to one offer, Youll never hear my honking my car horn -- I Another would appear. I spent several embar- had it disconnected earlier this year because it rassing minutes at my desk, trying to stop those wouldnt stop blowing. bothersome messages while explaining to my At first it was just a nuisance -- the horn co-workers why my phone was making so would blow with the slightest touch and I had much noise. to hit it really hard to make it stop. Then it Just when I thought the problem was solved, began blowing at all hours of the night, espe- the phone rang. It was someone calling to ask cially when I was sound asleep. me if I wanted insurance. They said they were I I would run down the hall, race down the replying to my Internet request. I explained to stairs and out the front door to the car before them that all I was trying to do was get a slamming my fist on the middle of the steering B coupon for a Subway sandwich - that I wasnt wheel. By this time, every dog in the neighbor- o interested in getting insurance. They accepted hood was barking. N my explanation and hung up, but that wasnt the h The final straw came last year when I was on r end of it. vacation at Pawleys Island. The car was parked t beneath the house, right below my bedroom. Ill bet Ive received at least one call a day r from someone asking me if I am interested in Around 3:30 a.m., those dual horns began blar- o b ing, snatching me out of a deep sleep. I ran an online degree or insurance. Its really getting o on my nerves. through the house and out the front door, t hopped down the front steps and danced across Just last week, I was driving through i t t the gravel to my car, hit the steering wheel and w Spartanburg when my phone rang. stopped the horn. T “Graham Williams? I understand you are It was then I realized the door had locked a interested in an online degree,” the caller said. behind me and I was wearing nothing by my t “No, I already have a degree,” I replied. “I b h t j tt i t t f f y
HUMOR COLUMN WRITING Weekly Under 6,000 Division Stone Stew BY DAN BROWN My first thought, “Holy crud, they aren’t kidding. I visited a small town coun- There are rocks in this stew.” try restaurant recently Very discreetly I wipe my offering rural Southern mouth and spit the offending fare. I noticed what looked to gravel into my napkin. I take be beef stew simmering in a a peek. pot under the counter. There aren’t any stones, butSECOND PLACE “What’s that?” I inquire instead… with a curious waggle of an Vertebrae. index finger, wanting to I regard my plate and notice appear open minded in regard lots more vertebrae, almost an to the local cuisine as I was entire spinal column of tiny not a local and this was my vertebrae in fact. first visit. Something in my stomach In fact, I was probably the starts to first non-local to visit this fine curdle at establishment since the thought Reconstruction, but I wasn’t that I’m going to let that stop me. eating the “Stone Stew,” the guy backbone behind the counter says. of a small- Driving in Dayton Interesting name. Looks like beef stew to me, but who was I to argue ish animal. I poke BY DAN BROWN panel or two, a side view mirror around the and definitely a coat of paint. semantics? So I order up a bed of rice and notice some double heaping of Stone I wouldn’t wish driving in I just close my eyes and floor spinal column matter, bone Dayton, Ohio on my worst it. Stew. marrow, a little fat for flavor, “You sure?” the guy behind Surviving an enemy. Talk about a recurring night- The tractor-trailer next to me is so close the counter asks with a sur- and I calculate how fast I can run out of here before theyThe Berkeley Independent mare. There is lots of asphalt, the driver is prised frown. sitting in Which should have served notice I’m gone. lots of orange cones, lots of alien attack orange drums, retaining walls, dump trucks, shovels, front-end loaders and ODOT road work- my front passenger seat. as my first warning, but me being of the obtuse discipline did not recognize his inquiry I can’t eat this. It’s back- bone. “You enjoying your Stone BY DAN BROWN the blinds to see. You will be ers standing around in the sum- Up ahead Stew, sugar?” the proprietor as such. vaporized into powder. mer sun, but nobody’s working. I see anoth- asks in the sweetest Southern Those lights mask alien “You ever eat Stone Stew I remember watching the Talking to Dayton residents, er caution grandmamma tone of voice roiling gray clouds collide probes and those alien probes before?” not much has happened on this sign posted That should have served as imaginable. overhead as storm systems are looking for something on 10-mile stretch of Interstate 75 above the converged over downtown which to complete their my second warning. For this woman I’d eat for the past 30 years. Road highway. It reads: WARNING: “Okay,” he says and ladles asphalt. Atlanta during the Braves’ assigned function in the inva- crews have been working (or NEEDMORE ROAD exit? game on Father’s Day week- sion: TO PROBE. on two heaping spoonfuls of And I did. I ate it all. To be not working) on widening this mile. end. Which means, you. the Stone Stew. “Since this is honest it didn’t taste bad. stretch of I-75 since I moved Now that’s the most intelli-Dan Brown My daughter made the They are the PROBERS. You from Indiana to Georgia back in gent thing I’ve read all day. your first time I’ll give you “So, what’s in this Stone remark that it reminded her of are the PROBEE. 1981 and they look no closer to No kidding, they need more lots.” Stew anyway?” I inquire as I the movie Independence Day, R u l e being done now than they were road. He chuckles a little. sop up the last of the broth when the gigantic alien ships Number 3: back then. I do, though, see a road below It’s the chuckle that you’d with a biscuit. “I want to try emerged from the cloudbanks Do not… As traffic approaches down- the fray. It’s called Third Street. hear following a good joke, this recipe at home.” to begin their invasion of and I repeat town Dayton, a sign advises us It’s beautiful, like a mirage in only I didn’t tell any joke. Genuine surprise registers Earth. … Do not that the current three lanes in the desert almost, with wide I’m thinking the stew looks on the woman’s face, which That’s when it hit me. If get on that which we are driving would lanes, painted lines, landscaping a little thin as he pours it over rescue heli- should have served as my Earth is ever invaded, could we split off, with one lane veering and working stoplights. It the rice, but hey, who am I to survive an alien attack? copter. third and final warning. off indiscriminately to the left shows motorists what a real scoff at this establishment’s “Well,” she begins with a As if. I don’t while the other two lanes head Dayton, Ohio road should look fine food? When in Rome, nod that says, I did ask. “The We’d be in some deep trou- care how right. Not sure why we did that, like. This road definitely has you know? key is to get fine quality pig- ble. Basically, toast. many bones other than maybe to give the edge lines. are protruding from your leg. As I start to eat I notice there Aliens from outer space have people driving in the far left It’s also closed. tail and to do that you need to invaded Earth for years and No sooner than that chopper are lots of eyes watching me. lane a nice little tour of town You can’t get there from here. go straight to the slaughter- they didn’t travel all this way lifts off it will get shot out of Perhaps it had been a while while the rest of us languish on I can hear the distant screams house…” to shop at Stuckey’s. They the sky. It will blow up. since they had seen a city boy the right side of the road. of motorists begging to drive on I didn’t hear anymore after came to take over and you Whoever was inside is now this far out in the country. Or Eventually we rejoin and are that road. It haunts us. that. stand in their way. toast. Burnt toast. maybe my fly was open welcomed with a pair of caution As I clear downtown Dayton I visualized the pigtail, and The big question remains, Rule Number 4: Leave the again. I check as discreetly as signs reading, “RIGHT LANE I’m presented with a wonder- then I remembered growing how do we survive an alien exoskeleton alone. ENDS,” and “NO EDGE fully landscaped four-leafed- possible and discover the fly attack? Do not examine the exoskele- option is engaged. up and how I’m coming in LINES.” clover interchange intersecting from a day playing outside The answer has evaded ton. Do not try to pry open the No edge what? with I-70 that sends me into a I have no reason to doubt the humans since the War of the exoskeleton to get a peek at the tasty goodness of their Stone and my mom tells me to be What’s an edge line anyway? 400-degree turn. Afterwards, I Worlds’ radio broadcast on withered and dying little alien Stew so I dig in. sure to wipe my feet on the And why aren’t there any? emerge pointed in the same Oct. 30, 1938 that sent the inside. Yes, he is butt-ugly. If I soon find out what an edge direction I had started. That’s when I bite down on back porch doormat. world into a frenzy, horrified he weren’t would he be wear- line isn’t as the three lanes of I- For comparative purposes just something hard. Then I do the math … that a Martian invasion was ing an exoskeleton? 75 bottleneck into about a lane spin around in a circle two or happening right before their He will also rip out your and a half and there is just a three times and you’ll know eyes – I mean, ears. brain at the stem if given the crooked white stripe designat- what I mean. Dizzy yet? Nazi Germany stood poised chance. ing lane assignments. This is like NASCAR. to invade Poland and start Rule Number 5: Who made And for fun ODOT threw in a Hey, if you’re going to World War II and Americans you ambassador to the stars? pair of high retaining walls on corkscrew me like the least you were freaking out over No one designated you as each side to serve as de facto can do is bank the turn. invaders from Mars. See why Earth’s personal welcoming edge lines. As I leave the great state of we are in need of some guide- committee so why would you I have to pass through that? Ohio 24 miles later I am pre- lines here? be the moron to approach the You got to be kidding. There’s sented with a wonderfully sce- These basic rules will help spaceship that just landed in the no way. nic arch spanning the interstate you survive in the event of an park to welcome these strangers That’s like handing me a pair wishing me safe travels and to alien attack. Read them. Learn from afar in the name of peace? of size 36-inch pants and say- come back soon. them. Know them. Isn’t the swirling mist and ing, “Here, put these on.” To me this arch screams, “The Rule Number 1: This is not strange lights enough of a warn- Not going to happen, at least reasons our roads stink is E.T. ing? Did you not read and heed not without the Jaws of Life. because we blew all our DOT He is not cute. He is not a Rule Number 2? You are mere- The only way I fit through that money on this stupid archway.” toy. And you are not named opening is minus a quarter Figures. ly an opportunity to test their Elliott. He is an alien and he death ray to see if it actually will dine on your entrails for works. sure. This is the Mutant Horde Alien Number One: from the Ninth Galactic Humanoid subject at three Swarm we’re talking about o’clock. here not some Yoda looking Alien Number Two: What a dwarf with a glow in the dark moron. Shall we test the death chest that says “E.T. phone ray? home,” when you pull the Alien Number One: We string, on sale at Toys R Us for need to if this invasion is going $29.99. to work. Fire up the dilitheum This foreign gnome will zap crystals, Xorak. you with his death ray at the You: We welcome you in the first available opportunity, so name of pea— grab that shovel and pitchfork Death Ray: ZZZZZZZZZA- and make like an angry mob. APPPPPPP! Rule Number 2: If you see You: Toast. swirling flashing lights outside Mutant Horde of the Ninth your window in the middle of Galactic Swarm: Let the inva- the night, do not peek between sion begin!
HUMOR COLUMN WRITING A8 | Thursday, August 25, 2011 Weekly Under 6,000 Division An accident of geography? There are it appears certain inci- from the dents that can JIM McGOWAN paperwork only occur in firstname.lastname@example.org that we speciﬁc places. have a bar If the State of owner who California is believes in |FIRST PLACE mentioned the HARMONY COUNTY _ the power word, ‘weird’ of prayer, comes immedi- and an en- ately to mind followed by a tire church congregation shrug that seems to mean, that now does not.” ‘What did you expect’. Say So what is your guess? New Jersey and scenes from You are right, it happened in the TV program, “Sopranos” Mt. Vernon, Texas. and heavily accented “Youse You have to admire your guys” remarks are mentally residents of the Lone Star heard. State. When it comes to out- Lexington County Chronicle After you read the story landish, the Texans seemed below see if you can ﬁgure to have cornered the mar- out where it occurred. ket. “Drummond’s Bar began So let me leave you with a construction on expansion good Texas joke. of their building to increase A Texas millionaire had their business. fallen ill. The doctors con- & The Dispatch News In response, the local sulted did not seem to un- Baptist Church started a derstand what ailed him. campaign to block the bar The millionaire let it be from expanding with peti- known that any doctor who tions and prayers. Work pro- could heal him could have gressed right up until the whatever he desired. A week before the grand re- country doctor was ﬁnally Jim McGowan opening when a huge thun- able to cure him, and as the derstorm came up, lightning doctor was leaving after a struck the bar, and it burned week’s stay, the Texan said, to the ground. “Doc! I am a man of my “After the bar burning to word. You name it, and if it the ground by a lightning is humanly possible, I will strike, the church folks were get it for you.” rather smug in their out- “‘Well,” said the doctor, “I look, bragging about “the love to play golf, so if I could power of prayer”, until the have a matching set of golf bar owner sued the church clubs, that would be ﬁne.” on the grounds that the With that, the physician church “was ultimately re- left. The doctor did not hear sponsible for the demise of from the Texan millionaire his building, either through for some months. Then, direct or indirect actions or one day, he got a phone call means.” from the millionaire. In its reply to the court, “Doc, I bet you thought the church vehemently de- that I had gone back on my nied all responsibility or any word. I have your matching connection to the building’s set of golf clubs. The rea- demise. son it took so long is that The judge read the plain- two of them did not have tiff’s complaint and the de- swimming pools, and I did fendant’s reply, and at the not think they were good opening hearing he com- enough for y’all. So I had mented “I don’t know how pools installed and they’re I’m going to decide this, but ready for you now!”
HUMOR COLUMN WRITING Weekly Over 6,000 Division THIRD PLACE The Columbia Star Mike Maddock
HUMOR COLUMN WRITING Weekly Over 6,000 Division The hips don’t lie hakira’s got noth- So far, as I’ve chronicled seconds. I’ve found that out and find out if your S ing on me. “I’m on tonight. You know my hips don’t lie,” she my workouts, I have yet to use the word Tabata. The exercises we do are the program works for me. Shake up your work- “hips don’t lie” too. sang in her hit single of named after Izumi Tabata 2006. After assessing my of Japan, who created theSECOND PLACE measurements last week process. The basic idea is at the halfway point of my to do an exercise for 20 Vance Campbell fitness program at Greer seconds as hard as you Athletic Club, my hips are can go, then rest for 10 and an inch smaller. seconds and start all over again. Charlene Waddell Campbell When we do the LIFE’S planned circuit in After- were married on burn, we usually go for A JOURNEY five minutes completing two different exercises: August , for example push-ups for KRISTA 20 seconds, 10 seconds GIBSON of rest, then directly into reverse lunges for 20 seconds, 10 seconds rest. After five minutes, weThe Greer Citizen I may not have Shakira’s rest for one minute and Not the pet I imagined moves, but it’s nice to feel move to the next circuit. a little room in my pants There are variations, but and dresses. There is less that is the premise. Each tugging going on and you workout is started with might even catch me tuck- a dynamic warm-up and never thought that de- ing in my shirt once in a while. I also have smaller thighs and my percent- age of body fat has come followed by a metabolic boost, or as Lowcavage loves to say, a “bonus round”. The total session I priving my two boys of a dog while they were growing up would lead down. My arms have takes less than an hour, There will be a drop in reception the predicament I find to on myself in today. definitely become more but your body continues August 27, 2011 I had my reasons for theKrista Gibson defined and muscular. to burn calories long after moratorium on dogs as The scale continues to it’s over. at Washington Baptist Church pets in my home. First of hover in the same range, Even if you aren’t ready 3500 N. Hwy 14, Greer, SC 29651 moved too often all, we but trainer Don Lowcav- to tackle the full workout, in the parlor. with my husband’s job age isn’t worried. I can’t experiment the next time to provide the stability say I’m worried either, but you are on the stationary This event will be from 2-4PM. needed. Also, they acted the girl in me would love bike or elliptical machine. too much like puppies to see lower numbers. At the end of your normal themselves to make me No gifts please. Instead, give funds It’s how us southern girls workout, take four min- to Washington Baptist Church Building Fundloss. My sons feel the were raised even if the utes and do eight sets of or Greer Community Ministries. found their own ways to facts don’t back up our 20 seconds as hard as you damage furniture, pee on All who want to attend are invited. Bless Your Heart myth. can go, then rest for 10 floors and dirty the walls, Access denied Let’s revisit my goals: toning up, working on my metabolic rate, and weight all classic pet problems. Don’t get me wrong; I Engravable total pet Scrooge. wasn’t a MANDY FERGUSON | THE GREER CITIZEN watched former loss. Bottom line: getting into the best shape pos- NEW from Bracelet, Earrings three gerbils We housed and a guinea pig along LANDSCAPING BY PEANUT: Peanut the pigmy goat frolicks through the back- I Olympian Cathy Rigby fly through the Peace Center last week as she LIFE’S sible. With that in mind, I set out on this journey. A JOURNEY Using high intensity “Southern Gates” and Rings the way, each adding a measure of pleasure to our lives. But attending yard, left, and stretches in an attempt to reach the top leaves of the bushes in the yard. The lower halves of the bushes are leaf-free because Peanut has eaten them all. played the lead role in “Peter Pan.” The effortless workouts with a mix of and presiding over their KRISTA weights and cardio, I’m movement of the 59-year- old was breathtaking. GIBSON on my way after only six small boxed funerals was traumatic enough, I didn’t LIFE’S A In fact, I wanted to be sprinkled with fairy dust weeks. need the loss of a beloved JOURNEY and head to Never Never kicking along the way and dog added to the mix Land with her. I’d get a double workout of constantly changing in on the way. If hanging out with If I didn’t have to grow elementary schools and KRISTA friends. up, I could still write, but GIBSON the Lost Boys and not have to punch a clock One Thursday night in to do it. I could take the October, my youngest Wendy help me afternoon off to go to the son headed to the Tooter clippers later anyway. I park and play. Town live animal auction give him treats when he regain the rigors of But wait, when Peter with friends. He came knocks his hoof against took Wendy to Never youth, I’m ready to Never Land, he asked if home with a pygmy goat. the door and looks at me she would be his mother. Peanut the pygmy goat with his little goat eyes fly. The Lost Boys, though now lives in our backyard while chewing his cud. I free from growing up, still in a “dog” house. He graz- found an old blanket in wanted to be tucked in at If hanging out with the night. They also wanted es on grass and weeds the garage and told my Lost Boys and Wendy help pockets sewn onto their and shrubs. He even ate son to put it in his house me regain the rigors of clothes. all of those nasty little for him. I also wash the youth, I’m ready to fly. I’m starting to think onion weeds that tend to blanket regularly. Heck, I’ll even wear green Never Never Land is right tights and pointy shoes. here in the south some- sprout in droves in my I’m not looking forward And maybe a little green where. After tucking all yard. I call it Landscaping to a hot summer and hat to cover up those the boys in and sewing all by Peanut. the smells of the farm white strands in my hair. the pockets, I wonder if He is not a dog. that will waft from the In Never Never Land, there would be any time He cannot stay inside, goat domain that is our no one ages. Perhaps it is left for me to stay young. MANDY FERGUSON | THE GREER CITIZEN although he has made it backyard. I don’t think my because the leader of the island, Peter Pan, refuses And think of all the crit- ters and trinkets they in on several occasions. son really planned that LOVING PET: Krista Gibson pats Peanut on the head. to grow up. He is very would put in their pock- He poops with unquali- far ahead. He fixed the Peanut can be just as affectionate as any other pet. happy with his life and ets. They would all end fied regularity and in gate and found the house, loves to crow about it. up in the laundry where I enormous amounts. bought food and filled up I think we could all would have to keep them learn a little from that. from drowning in the I’ve done my best not my Tupperware with it, Of course it might be water and put them in a to get attached and, yet, I but beyond that, I guess easier to like who we are place where they could be was the one who bought he figured it would work if we could fly and had found again. him a sweater when the itself out. By the way, I a place where we didn’t That sounds a little too temperatures dipped into replaced my plastic bowls have to grow up. much like real life. But I Flying would help solve think I’d take a chance the teens for the first with metal ones because a world of ills. Gather up if the opportunity came time. Peanut promptly if I know one thing about all those lovely thoughts my way. Hopefully, they peed all over his warm, goats, it’s this: they don’t and off I would go to wouldn’t look at me and navy pullover. discriminate much when work, leaving $3 a gallon assess the damage of ag- gas behind. I wouldn’t ing and stamp my ticket I’ve made him a “salad” it comes to putting things have to wait for the train Access Denied. What from the leaves atop the in their mouth. right outside our office would I have to crow bushes that he cannot Stay tuned. I feel sure when I’m running late. A about then? reach and would have that more goat stories are little arm flapping and leg been fodder for the hedge on the way.
HUMOR COLUMN WRITING Weekly Over 6,000 DivisionFIRST PLACE The Moultrie News Robin O’Bryant 10A.MOULTRIE NEWS ___________________________________ www.moultrienews.com ______________________________ Wednesday, March 2, 2011 Nothing sinks spirits faster than a floater L ast week my husband chubby little finger in the ter… then it happened. faster than a floater. ing,” he said. and I attempted to middle of my fillet and say- A blood curdling scream I looked hopefully at my I ate the rest of my din- celebrate our 13th ROBIN’S ing, “What’s that Momma? I echoed out of the bathroom. husband, who looked back ner alone and cleaned the anniversary. The date of our CHICKS wanna bite”. My husband and I stopped and forth from me to his kitchen while he dressed actual anniversary fell on a Robin O’Bryant The girls were playing eating and locked eyes in a dripping daughters, to his our daughters in pajamas Monday, so on Sunday night happily in the tub, the look that said clearly, “Yep, last bite of steak. and voluntarily had the Zeb suggested cooking a without constant adult steaks were plated and this is our life.” Our two old- “I’ll go,” he said, “but I’m most unpleasant task of couple of steaks on the grill supervision. My plan was to butter was melting on the est daughters came tum- finishing my steak first.” cleaning out the bathtub. for dinner. It sounded like let the girls play with their potatoes. Zeb and I sat bling out of the bathroom in I shooed the big girls into It may not be a dinner at a great idea to me, so I stra- mermaid Barbies until their down to eat in relative their birthday suits, sopping the bathroom to get towels the fanciest restaurant in tegically fed the kids dinner fingers and toes wrinkled silence. (I’m not counting wet. Water pooled at their and followed behind them town, a dozen roses or a earlier than normal. while Zeb and I ate dinner, all the “HEY! That’s mines!” feet as they stood beside to retrieve my little trouble- shiny new ring, but a man Right before the steaks interrupted only by an occa- that were coming from the me at the table, hysterically maker. I scooped Sadie out who is willing to clean poop were ready, I got all three of sional trip to the bathroom bathroom.) We ate, trying talking at the same time and of the tub, careful to avoid out of the bathtub while you our daughters ready for the to make sure their splash- to pace ourselves and to not trying to tell us what had the present she’d given the eat a fillet is worth keeping. bathtub. We are in a sweet ing wasn’t getting out of shovel food in our mouths happened. entire family. By the time I spot right now--our girls control. like Marines at chow time “Sadie pooped in the tub!” had towel dried each of the (Robin O’Bryant is a for- are all still young enough I was excited by the idea in the middle of boot camp. They were finally able to girls, Zeb was in the bath- mer Mount Pleasant resi- to bathe together but old of eating an entire meal The food was perfect and articulate. room. dent and mother of three. enough to play in the tub without anyone poking their the company was even bet- Nothing kills a mood “I’ve got this, go finish eat- Visit www.robinschicks.com
HUMOR COLUMN WRITING L EDGER C OLUMNIST Weekly 2/3 Times Division A view of the world from my front porch When was the last time you sat on your front porch with family or friends and just talked? For that matter, do you even have a front porch? In 2007, 62 percent of new homes had porches, upTHIRD PLACE from 50 percent in 1999, according to the National Association of Home Builders. The South and West are the most porch-crazy regions, with the Midwest close behind.The front porch ranked higher than the patio and rear porch on buyers’ wish lists in the NAHB’s “The New Home in 2015” report. Front porch scenes were common on the Andy Griffith Show. Andy, Opie, Aunt Bea, Barney and a myriad of othersThe Gaffney Ledger often spent time on Andy’s front porch talking about everything and nothing. Their conversa- tions usually started with something rather innocu- ous and drifted to some- thing even less profound.Cody Sossamon Barney: “Hot, ain’t it.” Andy: “Yes sirree. Can’t remember it being this hot.” Barney: “Back in ’48 it CODY SOSSAMON was hotter than this. You PUBLISHER remember, Ange. We had to buy fans so Otis wouldn’t have a heat stroke whilst he was locked up. Don’t know what we’d do without fans.” They then proceeded to discuss one thing or another, drifting from one topic to another, with periods of silence in between. Occasionally Opie would chime in, asking a simple question such as “What’s a fan, pa?” Remember, this was in the days before air condition- ing so people sat outside on their porches where it was cooler than inside the house. Television was in its infan- cy, so folks found other ways to entertain themselves. My parents used to spend a good bit of time sitting on their front porch at 701 S. Petty St. and also when they built a new home across the street at 602 S. Petty. Front porch conversations in those days were not much different that the ones Andy and Aunt Bea had. Being on South Petty though, one could expect to see a fair amount of traffic — drivers and walkers. Depending on who drove or walked by, the conversa- tion could change quickly. Not that I ever heard any mali- cious gossip on our They then proceeded front porch, but seeing to discuss one thing a person could spark some discourse about or another, drifting them or a family mem- from one topic ber. to another, Or a neighbor could with periods be out working in their of silence in between. yard and drop by dur- Occasionally Opie ing a break to join in whatever happened to would chime in, be the topic at the asking a simple time. question such as We’ve been sitting “Whatʼs a fan, pa?” on our front porch a fair amount lately. i i i h ‘ ’