April 1, 2015

How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Write About the Future

Pub Nuts

The mayor’s son, an ex-paratrooper, told me way back in 2014 to quit writing bad things about his mama. I assume that by this time, all these years later, he’s probably not strong enough to do what he intimated he would do if I did not stop. I didn’t stop, of course, but not only kept writing bad things about his mama, I bought this little robot that would continue composing Pub Notes long after I am gone, which I assume I am by the time you’re reading this. It must be 2035 or 2045 or something by now.


The author writes his column, which is still just as full of it as always.

It’s fun to think I’ll have a kind of immortality through Pub Notes, and it’s really not all that hard to program the bot to keep on turning out columns about the usual subjects. You just do a word search and compile a list of the usual suspects and then tell the bot to write a column using all those words every week, and you can set it to go on indefinitely, as I have.

You might think, how can it be at all possible that the issues important in 2015 will still be relevant in 2035?

You know, I wondered that myself, but one day I was reading some old Flagpoles from back in 1995, and I saw that 20 years later we were still writing about the same things, so I figure that anything I program into the bot now in 2015 will still be right on the money in 2045.

Want to see how it works? Well, here’s a sample. You just might find yourself reading this very column sometime in the future. Here goes:

Since I grew up in Greensboro, GA over there across the Oconee River, I know a thing or two about cutting and hauling pulpwood, not to mention playing high school football and eating sardines at daily vacation Bible school after work delivering groceries for the family store and digging graves for the family funeral home as well as driving the hearse, which doubles as an ambulance when we need to make a speedy run to an Atlanta hospital or even a slow trip over to somewhere like Anniston to pick up the body of somebody who has died while away from Greene County, which is why everybody from there is deathly afraid that will actually happen to them if they are gone from Greene County for longer than a day or two.

To tell you the truth, a lot of people have died, and they weren’t even from Greene County. They were from Athens, but after the University of Georgia dropped their health insurance (as I predicted they were going to do), and they had to flounder around in those health exchanges and come up with insurance that wasn’t nearly as good as what the university had been providing, why, a lot of them died, because they couldn’t afford to pay for all the treatments that had formerly been covered by their insurance until the Board of Regents dropped it and forced them into the open market.

The Board of Regents! I tell you. They not only dropped retirees’ health insurance, they also didn’t stand up for the new UGA medical school and instead stood by while the Medical College of Georgia down in Augusta crushed the new UGA program in 2015 and turned it into a high school elective, while none of our Athens and UGA leaders let out a peep—especially the mayor, because they’re too much afraid of the governor and the legislature. Anyway, the mayor was more concerned about sneaking over to the legislature to tell them not to let Athens have the authority to ban plastic bags than she was in looking out for our medical school. Plastic bags! Can you imagine? So now, 30 years later, we still have plastic bags in Athens, but we don’t have a medical school. How’s that for priorities?

To tell the truth, I believe the mayor let this happen because the Health Sciences Campus was on Prince Avenue, and you know how the mayor hates Prince Avenue. She thinks this poor, innocent street is nothing but a hippie highway, and if the medical school was on Prince Avenue, then it wasn’t any friend of hers, so all she had to do was sit idly by while the medical college in Augusta stomped it back into submission.

See how easy it is to write stuff now that will still be relevant 30 years from now? What I learned in the newspaper business is that nothing ever changes, no matter how much you write about it. So, while that’s not very encouraging for newspaper people, it is an incentive to continue writing with the confidence that you’ll continue being relevant long after you’re gone. Our mayor may be a cyborg, but she’s programmed to keep on doing the same thing over and over, which is nothing. I wrote this in 2015; you’re reading it in 2045. Am I right, or am I just a ghost of April Fool?