IMG 7594It’s the most wonderful time of year. Everything seems possible in January.

Hope springs eternal that this year will be better than the last. But will it? Apply what the eternal optimist T.S. Eliot wrote: “Let us go then, you and I/ When the evening is spread out against the sky/ Like a patient etherized upon a table.”

We have all of 2024 spread out and etherized in front of us just like Eliot’s patient. What could go wrong?

Have you made your New Year’s resolutions? More importantly, have you kept your resolutions? By the time this column appears in mid-January, most New Year’s resolutions will have gone Choctaw Ridge like Billie Joe

MacAllister and jumped into the muddy waters under the Tallahatchie Bridge.

For a more current analogy, most New Year’s resolutions are thrown away like a flute of Champaign tossed by Carolina Panthers owner Dave Tepper onto the heads of Jaguar fans after yet another miserable Panthers loss. Dave imitated Marie Antoinette, who when told the peasants have no bread, responded, “Let them eat cake.”

Dave, when told the Jaguar fans had no more Bud Light, responded by baptizing them saying: “Let them wear Dom Perignon.”

Speaking of baptisms. How about a trial by fryer? 2024 started with a bang with North Carolina making national news with the eye-catching headline “N.C. Pastor arrested after police say he tried to push wife’s coworker into McDonald’s deep fryer.” That is one great headline and a likely precursor to what to expect from 2024.

Let’s get all CSI and go down into the weeds of this wonderful heartwarming tale. According to news reports, a Pastor in High Point, North Carolina became torqued off when his wife reported that she had been disrespected at her job at McDonald’s.

Let us call him Reverend Deepfry. Mrs. Deepfry was training to be a manager at the fast food emporium. Her coworkers allegedly created a hostile work environment by not respecting her authority.
South Park’s Cartman would be sympathetic to her plight. Cartman frequently had problems with people not respecting his authority when he pretended to be a highway patrolman on his tricycle. Fayetteville just had its very own issue with an alleged hostile workplace that cost taxpayers $200,000. But that is another story.

After Mrs. Deepfry explained her situation to her husband, he did what any good Husband and Lord of the Manor would do. He went to her workplace to correct the disrespectful coworker. Reverend Deepfry is alleged to have grabbed the offending coworker and tried to baptize said coworker’s head into the deep fryer.

This restaurant appliance normally contains only frozen French fries instead of a human head. A good head frying clearly would have taught the coworker the error of his ways.

Fortunately for the would-be French fry head, his coworkers did not agree with Reverend Deepfry’s method of atoning for sins. They pulled Reverend Deepfry off before he could cook the head of their coworker. The police report stated coworker “suffered a large contusion to the forehead and right eye, along with scratches on his neck.”

Reverend Deepfry was arrested for misdemeanor assault. McDonald’s reports that Mrs. Deepfry is not employed by the company. This incident is reminiscent of the Sopranos episode in which Artie Bucco, the owner of the Vesuvio restaurant, gets into a ruckus with a gangster over a pretty waitress.

The gangster ends up shoving Artie’s hand into a pot of boiling tomato sauce. Love and cooking, never the twain shall meet.

What are we to make of the Reverend Deepfry incident Does it have theological implications for the coming year? Will this start a cascade of baptisms by fryer? Brown and serve baptisms? A rush on the sale of Ninja air fryers by fast food restaurants to avoid future such incidents? Will Reverend Deepfry be demoted to Fryer Tuckfry me to the moon?

After such a rousing start, 2024 can only get more delightful.

It is an election year which will bring sweetness, light, reasoned discourse, and extensive polite political discourse between you and your friends, neighbors and relatives.

Look forward to a cascade of unbiased political commercials sure to warm the hearts and minds of Americans.

2024 is going to be our Poltergeist Year. They are here — 12 months, plus a Leap Year Day of fun and frolic. A year built on a graveyard of old grudges, new hatreds, and outright kookiness. Fasten your seat belts, it’s gonna be a bumpy night.

What’s that signpost up ahead? You have just crossed over into the Twilight Zone of Years. We’re all gonna need a bigger boat. As Karen Carpenter once sang: “We’ve only just begun." Like Sgt. Phil Esterhaus said in the morning briefings on Hillstreet Blues: “Let’s be careful out there.”

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