Riff Raff: A marijuana farm, a clown show, and a phrase factory

by Michael Tilley ([email protected]) 899 views 

Golden Living has placed on the market its 318.000-square-foot Class A office building in Fort Smith. Would be an economic blow to Fort Smith and the state if the jobs are lost. Or maybe, just maybe, work with me here, we just found a hydroponics-marijuana cultivation center. That’s not a half-baked idea. Unless it is. When is that medical marijuana gonna be available?

• Speaking of half-baked, we might regulate Facebook. Because Congress has solved all the other problems. Remember the big party when they finished their to-do list?

Members of the U.S. Congress who grilled Facebook Thumbs Up Captain Mark Zuckerberg because they are concerned about their constituents are the same politicos who have no trouble jacking up the federal deficit. Social media privacy is apparently more important than unsustainable national debt.

Members of Congress spent 10 hours quizzing Zuckerberg. Probably more time preparing. Or maybe not judging from the interrogatories you’d expect from someone who just timewarped in from 1992. Turns out, there is such a thing as a dumb question.

10 hours. Or more. Meanwhile, no comprehensive, practical and responsible legislation to address the nation’s crumbling infrastructure.

10 hours. Or more. Yet our immigration system remains a collection of puzzle pieces from different puzzle boxes.

10 hours. Or more. And we have no confidence our 2018 general election system(s) won’t in the early hours of Nov. 7 present as one big 404 Not Found Error.

10 hours. Or more. This has to be by far the clearest example of the biggest waste of time spent on social media. Assclowns. Where is the button to Unfriend Congress?

Zuckerberg has F-you money. He should have spent some of it this week.

• Speaking of playing games. Recent skimming through the radio dial resulted in a few minutes listening to some guys talking to each other about Razorback football. They engaged a caller who had noun-verb agreement issues. A definitive outline on the necessities for college football success doesn’t require a lick of that grammar stuff. (Being a farm boy from Johnson County, that is more a statement of self-awareness than smartalecky-ness.)


To paraphrase the radio revelations, it seems the Southeastern Conference of NCAA football has some really, really, really smart coaches who recruit really, really, really big and fast players. Smart, big and fast is the formula for winning; especially when the formula catalyst is big wads of money. And by winning, the radio fellas meant something more than just ending the season being “bowl eligible.”

Observing only from the tone of voice when the radio fellas noted “bowl eligible,” the term could be considered a near-epithet; to “damn with faint praise,” as the old maxim teaches. Or as we might note in the South: “Those boys were bowl eligible this year, bless their hearts.”


The radio guys and several callers were excited about the new Hog football coach. Chad Morris. He’s from Texas, and is a you-better-know-it believer in football, fast fellas, family and Faith – but maybe not in that order, but maybe in that order based on what we’re supposed to believe about the hallowed-be-thy-name of 100-yard fields in the Lone Star state.

We in Arkansas have been chasing the football glory of 1964 ever since 1965. Coach Morris is the latest in a long line of Moseses hired by the Razorback Foundation’s burning money bush to deliver us through Atlanta to the Promised Land of Dr. Pepper-sponsored championship trophies. We’ve collected a few golden calves or golden boots or Markham miracle memories along the exodus, but we’ve yet to even cross the Red Sea – aka, the Crimson Tide.


There was excitement on the radio. Coach Morris is doing something totally different on offense that looks like the old veer option offense except the quarterback is never under center and any player who tries to huddle is forced to listen to a one-hour Brazilian wax beetle mating habits lecture from Chuck Barrett.

The excitement was built on phrases. To believe these radio fellas is to believe Coach Morris is a motivational phrase factory. Under his guidance, the team is gonna “hammer down.” Coach Morris is focused on fast players because, “You’ve either got speed or you’re chasing speed.” And it’s all about the next play, apparently, because Coach Chad “Zig Ziglar” Morris says the team will have a “one-play, warrior mentality.”

Forgive me for being all worn out on phrases. You know, “Thousand points of light.” “I didn’t inhale.” “Build the Wall.” “Covfefe.” And that worst of all phrase, “It’s another rebuilding year.”

Wanna get me excited about a phrase? Try this one: “That’s another Arkansas Razorback FIRST DOWN!”

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