July 15, 2004

What if?

by Chris Feeney

What if I didnít really make as many people mad as I thought I did? Apparently those few nasty letters, phone calls and visits that I received over my now infamous dairy story were an aberration. How else could you explain their blunder this past week? If these mad milkers had wanted to get back at me, they had a perfect opportunity Wednesday night at the Scotland County Fair when this editor was a contestant in the Extension Councilís milk the goat contest. How fitting would that have been, the guy who said the dairy industry was ďmilking more money from consumersĒ could have been made to milk his first goat in front of a grandstand full of spectators.

Apparently a couple of local law enforcement officers were higher on the publicís list as Memphis Police officer Michelle Miller and Scotland County Sheriffís Deputy Bill Holland were the two top vote getters. Seems like a speeding ticket earns you more points than a published blunder. Then again, I apologized in print the next week, and my mistake wasnít accompanied by court costs.

Rumor has it I was third, ahead of Missouri State Highway Patrolman Clint Dupong. The contest was a fundraiser for the Extension Council, with voters contributing a quarter for each tally against their prospective milker.

So, maybe I get a little carried away when I respond to my critics. I would have thought that if my article about the rising dairy prices had offended the local industry that they would have put together a campaign to make me milk the goat. Iím grateful they didnít because I donít know the first thing about milking.

Maybe I had it all wrong? Maybe the public actually likes me. If thatís the case, Iíd sure appreciate all you folks out there who have not bought your tickets for the Rotary barbecue, to stop by the office. The top salesman will be crowned King for the Day and will get to supervise while the rest of the members slave over the hot grill cooking lunch for the community.

Rumor has it that Iím a long way from the crown as the top salesman has already notched more than 50 tickets sold. But you never know, my whimperings for sympathy may stir some feelings of guilt, or more likely will generate some interest in reading next weekís article about my barbecue monarchy.

Iím sure this public plea will cause me to be fined at the next meeting, but then again, if Iím king for the day Iíll repay whomever suggested my punishment by putting them on garbage detail, or better yet, having that individual run my personal palm leaf fan.

King for the day would be a far stretch from goat milker. I suspect my public popularity likely lies somewhere in between.

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