Riff Raff: Observations, germ wagons, and getting state-ified

by Michael Tilley (mtilley@talkbusiness.net) 661 views 

Should have been at the gun range this week getting some religion as the Lord R. God intended. What follows are musings that might have occurred between busting caps for Christ. Or maybe this is all from the Russians. I feel unmasked. When’s that medical marijuana become available?

• During this 91st General Assembly of Arkansas legislators, we have again been reminded of the forces that continue to be powerful in this state. They are the SEC, NRA, and GOD. And not always in that order. Forces not so powerful continue to be the FOIA and YOU. Regnat Populus, my ass.

• Tyson Foods CEO Tom Hayes recently said the future of food could be meatless. Yep, meatless. We’ll all be eating cricketburgers. How many crickets can one grow in a converted chicken house? 500,000? That number of crickets cricketing would be loud.

Am assuming Hayes didn’t mean we’ll go meatless any time this century. A meatless Tyson is hard to fathom. That would be like a white trash free Wal-Mart, or a consistently nationally competitive Razorback football program, or a cleavage-free Hooters.

Societies do evolve, however. Hayes may be ahead of his time. But probably not, because, well, bacon.

• Of the many reasons why Sam Walton was a retail genius, putting clear “Enter” and “Exit” signs on his stores must be one of them. Nowadays such signage must be considered a suggestion, if not a dare. “In Through the Out Door” was a Zeppelin album title, not a recommendation for retail rebellion.

Also, if you bring a child to Wal-Mart, please don’t let your germ wagon touch all the door handles in the frozen food section. And the middle of the aisle is not a place for a 15-minute high school or family reunion. Get your bacon, Ruffles and Great Value bean dip and keep moving.

• About the effort by the Arkansas Legislature to pass a bill allowing guns on university campuses, there appears to be no truth to the rumor that the bill was amended to prevent the Razorback football team from using the shotgun or pistol formations. Not that either have proven consistent at hitting a target.

• It seems every legislative session there is a push to make something the official state whatever-it-is. Milk is our official state beverage. We have official dirt. Dirt. It’s “Stuttgart” dirt, which is mostly good for growing crops and large areas of poverty.

This year we have an official state dinosaur. And no, smartass, it’s not the Democratic Party of Arkansas. It’s something-something-saurus, I think.

Our august gaggle of 100 men and women elected to the Arkansas House also this year approved a resolution – a resolution is not official, wink-wink – to make the Holy Bible the official state book. Again, the resolution is non-binding – like the state and U.S. Constitution in the minds of some Arkansas lawmakers when it comes to social legislation.

If we can make dirt official, nothing is off limits. Here are some other “official” ideas.

Official state pastime: Posting prayer requests on Facebook. “Cousin Donnie got a daughter getting married. He’s hoping to win enough money in the chamber’s bass tournament to get her a dress. The one she wore for that no-account second husband don’t fit no more, and she needs something different to cover up them tattoos she got with her third husband. Needing prayers that Donnie gets out of jail in time to make the fishing tournament.”

Official state truck: The Ford owned by Sam Walton.

Official state car: One of the vehicles driven by Mark Martin. The one that made only left  turns. At high speeds. Not anything driven by the constitutional officer of the same name who sometimes lives in Little Rock.

Official state meat: Bacon. Real bacon.

Official state bird: The Mockingbird is soooooo yesterday. Let’s go with the Cash bird. The Dirtius Dyess Digitidae. A rare sighting can be found at this link.

Official state obsession. List of choices include: Guns; tax cuts; curbing civil liberties and making government less transparent in a hoped-for trade-off for more societal security; more guns in case that societal security thing doesn’t work out; bathrooms without urinals and who should or shouldn’t be traipsing through bathrooms without urinals.

And designating stuff and people and animals with official stateification.