I was an immaculately-groomed half-pint in September 1968 as I stood by the road in front of our brick rural rancher waiting for Bus #18 to usher me into the next 12 years of mandatory public school education. A book bag in one hand, a G.I. Joe lunchbox in the other, I was escorted by my older sister, a worldly-wise 5th grader who was under orders to watch my back.
I heard the bus before I could see it. It had another stop about a quarter mile down the road, at the foot of a low-grade hill. I listened as its diesel engine geared down, brakes squealing, and then there was a pause that seemed to last forever as my neighbors boarded.… Read the rest
In the aftermath of the tornadoes in Alabama, armies of Good Samaritans have rushed to our aid with a million good deeds. Taking up their various instruments of mercy, they have come to attention as the Master Conductor has waved his wand, and the resultant symphony of compassion has been sweet, soothing music to our ears.
But they say “no good deed goes unpunished.” “They” are right.
When cell phone service returned to near normal two days after the storm struck, I downloaded my email and saw that a local church was offering an 8:00 AM communion service followed by an opportunity to go into the tornado-stricken areas around Harvest north of town and help out.… Read the rest
My name is Dr. Michael Brown, aka “Mike the Eyeguy,” and I’m an optometrist who has always loved Disney characters and small, remote planets.
I would never kill Pluto. I may be more of a Goofy Man myself, but I have no interest in dissing Mickey Mouse’s lesser-known pet pooch. Nor have I supported demoting poor little Pluto from the status of noble, outermost outpost planet, guarding the far boundaries of our Solar System from alien invasion, to a mere member among many in the Kuiper belt, a rather shady band of steroid-enhanced asteroids and dwarf planets.
but no human can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.
The first time I read that verse was on a the cover of a tract which had been left behind on a shelf inside the pulpit at the Roanoke Church of Christ in the 1960s. We kids weren’t supposed to be playing there, but the adults were too busy talking to notice and the prospect of discovering what mysteries were hidden behind that “holy of holies” was too tempting to pass up.
The tract was fire-engine red and had an animation on the cover depicting a man with his tongue hanging out of his mouth, like a dimply red carpet unfurled.… Read the rest
“Come now, let us reason together,” says the Lord. “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be white as snow; though they are as red as crimson, they shall be like wool.”
I am sending out this dispatch from Ground Zero of The End of Days, Huntsville, Alabama.
Although I have yet to whip out the measuring stick, there appears to be about 8 inches of snow on my patio. To top it all, tonight Auburn plays for the national championship in college football. It appears the Mayans were almost right, just off by a year.
Recently a Church of Christ friend of mine wrote to me and said that he was considering attending an Episcopal Church Christmas Eve service and that he was a little intimidated by the prospect of having to walk forward and take communion. Could I help out?
Oh yes. Yes I can. Glad you asked.
First off, let me say this: Dude’s got guts. Most Church of Christers I know have never even set foot inside another church except for weddings and funerals. Some may have been taught that “they’re it” and if there’s nobody else out there, why bother? Or even if they don’t believe that, they still feel as if they might be betraying their parents or now deceased relatives by even associating with other “religious people” Christians in an actual spiritual context, as opposed to something more secular and therefore safer like, say, a NASCAR race at Talledega or a football game in Tuscaloosa.… Read the rest
A friend reminded me of this quote recently as we “tweeted” about the idea that God might actually “take sides” in a football game. Or for that matter, any of the myriad of contests, skirmishes, wars, etc. which we deem so important.
I’ve written on the relationship between college football and religion many times before, most recently here. The key to understanding that last post is that it was intended as pure, 100%, unadulterated parody, designed to poke fun at the very idea that God is a Crimson Tide fan or that God and football mix together in any sort of significant way.… Read the rest
In the end, there was no “Rammer Jammer,” only a circle of prayer.
Such was the scene at the fifty yard line in the middle of the field of battle surrounded by the towering expanse of Bryant Denny, the Temple of All Things Tide. Crimson clad warriors kneeling with maroon and white gladiators, shoulder-to-shoulder, gloved hand-in-gloved hand, pausing to grieve over and remember one of their own who had fallen, a victim caught up and devoured in the cruel maw of contingency and circumstance.
If there was one thing that world of college football needed after the 24/7 melodrama of Cecil and Cam Newton it was perspective.… Read the rest
The Purveyor eyed me warily as I walked into his shop, located on a charming, picturesque side street just off of Main in historic downtown Lexington, Virginia. I apparently didn’t strike him as fellow traveler on the wine tasting circuit. Perhaps his nose was finely attuned to sniffing out “Who’s Who” in the world of high-brow alcoholic beverages.
Maybe he simply smelled the moonshine in my blood.
“So, which of the Villa Appalaccia wines do you like best?” I asked him. Eyegal and I had veered off the beaten path coming up from Alabama for my 30th high school reunion and driven down to Meadows of Dan.… Read the rest
All day long I dream of sausage (and BACON!!). I just can’t help it.
It started last Friday on the drive from Huntsville to Durham, North Carolina where we witnessed a Man (as in Saban)-made disaster: a towering tsunami sweeping over and flooding the horseshoe-shaped bowl of Wallace Wade Stadium, turning it into a mini-Bryant Denny for a day and coloring it all houndstooth and crimson.
I should have been focusing on the game at hand, but I couldn’t avoid looking ahead after I spied those bronze memorials of a mama pig and her little piglets in the plaza in downtown Asheville.… Read the rest
I was finishing up my charting on the last patient of the day last Friday afternoon when DU, a friend from Harding and a longtime blog reader and commenter, left me a message: “Eyeguy, call me when you have a minute. Thanks. RTR!”
DU is a Bama man, born and bred, and I could tell by the excitement in his voice that college football fever was eating up his bones. I’m a relative late-comer to the party, but after reading Warren St. John’s Rammer Jammer Yellow Hammer, the fundamentalist bible of fanatical Bama fandom, a few years ago, I repented of my childhood allegiances to Virginia Tech and Notre Dame and was washed beneath the Crimson Flood.… Read the rest
I’ve been thinking a lot this week about my impending geezerhood.
Actually, I think a lot about it every week since the majority of my patients are on the far side of fifty and serve as a “sneak preview” of the doctor visits, pills, surgeries and saggy body parts which are waiting for me just up the road around the next bend–if I’m lucky. Each day I stare mortality in the face, and it stares right back at me, sticks out its tongue, and proceeds to regal me with stories of blurry vision, “itchy-burny” eyes and prostrate problems.
Yes, apparently spending inordinate amounts of time stretched out with one’s face to the ground in the universal posture of adoration or submission is something that all of us guys have to look forward to.… Read the rest
In a stunning development that will likely leave Lee Corso and “Herbie” Herbstreit looking like tiny ants waving their itsy-bitty antennae in a desperate bid for attention, the Lord God Himself has broken His silence and declared His allegiance to the University of Alabama and picked the Crimson Tide to repeat as 2010 BCS National Champions.
Long suspected of rocking the Houndstooth beneath the dense billows of smoke and pillar of fire which conceal Him wherever He goes, God came out of the cloud yesterday and ended all speculation as to His true colors (Crimson and White) before the season even started.… Read the rest
All across the country, parents are reluctantly cutting the umbilical cord and launching their youngin’s into the cold, cruel world.
Of kindergarten and college, that is. I’ve seen the evidence on Facebook: “Oh, ever since (insert beloved child’s name here) was born, I’ve been dreading the day we would send him/her off to kindergarten/college. I can’t believe how time flies!”
The New York Times has weighed in as well, documenting the rise of “parting ceremonies” on college campuses designed to give parents the not-so-subtle hint that it’s time to “hit the road” rather than hang around for a week at a local hotel and show up on campus each morning to escort Little Junior to class to check out the suitability of his professors, not to mention the laundry room to make sure he knows how to insert his “Action Card” into the slot and separate whites from darks.… Read the rest