By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Unplanned obsolescence, more
From the editor
Jeff Whitten NEW
Jeff Whitten is managing editor of the Bryan County News. - photo by File photo

If you haven’t met me, know this:

I am what is basically known as a middle-aged troll. I’m even built like one.

I bring that up because I once read somewhere that, for all intents and purposes, we humans outlive our biological usefulness somewhere in our 30s.

That means, claimed the person who wrote it, that all of us over 30-something people are basically just taking up space, using infrastructure and getting in the way of those who are still out there propagating the species and taking selfies.

In short, we’re past our sell-by date.

Being one of those over 30 humans in the way, I get it, and I’m getting it more every day as I creep up on six decades on this planet (note: I still got a few years until I get there, so don’t send me to the glue factory yet).

If I were 20, I wouldn’t want to have to deal with me always being in the way of where I’m trying to go. And not only that, but I probably smell funny to young people, too — like trail mix somebody left open in the pantry or a sharp cheese kept in a gym sock with some Old Spice splashed on.

Ah well. Thanks to the Democrats, at least it’s still illegal to go around knocking us off.

Onward: In case you didn’t know it, Wednesday was National Signing Day for college football.

That’s when presumably grown men, some of whom have outlived their biological usefulness, worry about whether a kid who may or may not be able to spell cat picks the college football program they root for.

It’s also reportedly National Signing Day for some other sports, but this is the South and college football is what matters to all true Americans, biologically useful or not.

That is why the Southeastern Conference is in the South. It has nothing to do with geography and everything to do with where the best college football is played. And that’s the South.

But, given that the South is also where about half the Big 10 fanbase has migrated to over the past couple of decades, we may have more college football fans per half-acre than any other area in the country.

They say they moved here for the weather and slower, Southern way of life, but I suspect it was for our football — and to tell us how we could do things better if we’d let them run the place.

At any rate, congratulations to all those kids moving on to "the next level," whatever level that is and no matter whether they’re getting full rides, half rides, academic rides, the HOPE scholarship or just a shot at being a preferred walk-on.

Still, when are we going to have a National Signing Day for scholars (not Steve Scholar or his family)? Heck, we don’t even have a national signing day for journalists, and we’re the coolest people on the planet, even those of us who’ve outlived our sell-by date.

Speaking of what my buddy Frank Grimm likes to call progress in a way that shows just what he thinks of it: east-bound traffic on Highway 144 in Richmond Hill backed up from the train track nearly all the way to Highway 17 on Wednesday around lunchtime. I don’t know how far it backed up in the other direction, but probably close to Harris Trail.

That was due to a train. Just wait until they start working on widening the road. It’s going to back up in both directions all the way to Ohio. Someone on Facebook posted that we are going to need helicopters to get around. I can envision the skies over South Bryan looking like something out of a Jetsons cartoon, so I’m checking various Army-Navy surplus stores to see if anyone has a tank I could lease.

If I had a tank, I’d be hell on wheels, even if I am biologically a sawed-off relic.

President Trump says he wants to have a military parade. It’s not a new thing, though the last time U.S. troops paraded through Washington, D.C. was back in 1991 after Desert Storm.

I was still biologically useful then, and stationed in Germany in a Lance missile unit. Our job was to blow up the Fulda Gap if the Russians came charging through and tried to take over the world.

They never did, then, and I am glad of that.

Still, my six years in the Army has left me with an appreciation of the military. As, of course, did my childhood as an Army brat from South Carolina and my being descendant from veterans of Vietnam, Korea, World War II and some great-great-something grandfathers who fought for the South in what Granny Clampett called That War when the Yankees Invaded America.

But I don’t get this thing about parades and the fascination with watching folks in uniform march down the road, or watching tanks go rolling by. The first one or two will remind you that you don’t want to get in the way, but after that it’s kind of like people who are biologically like me. Once you’ve seen one middle-aged old geezer, you’ve seen ‘em all.

What’s more, if you have it on a Saturday you’re going to have ruin some poor soldiers’ weekend. And unless it’s the Savannah St. Patrick’s Day parade and you give them beer and let pretty women kiss them — either that, or let them throw candy like volunteer firefighters and Lion’s Club members do — they’re probably not going to have much fun.

Or maybe they will. Maybe I’ve got it wrong. Maybe we should have military parades every other week to show how free we are.

I like this quote from Erma Bombeck, one of the greatest columnists to ever write a column.

"You have to love a nation that celebrates its independence every July 4, not with a parade of guns, tanks and soldiers who file by the White House in a show of strength and muscle, but with family picnics where kids throw Frisbees, the potato salad gets iffy, and the flies die from happiness. You may think you have overeaten, but it is patriotism."

Sign up for our E-Newsletters