Friday, September 23, 2011

Keep the Fork Away from that Chicken!

Thought for the day:  Know what the difference is between a bad Georgia golfer and a bad Georgia skydiver? The bad golfer says, "Whack. Dang!" and the bad skydiver goes, "Dang! Whack."

 I didn't realize how much I love our adopted state of Georgia until I started doing research for this post. You know how it is when people you really like come to visit you, and you find yourself trotting out all kinds of neat stuff to show them? (No? Okay, hush. Humor me.) That's how I feel about wanting to show and tell you guys so many neat things about this state.

I mean, yeah, we DO have the famous Big Chicken, a Marietta landmark, and that may seem a little gauche to some of you. But we look at it as a big ol' lovable funky red-and-white piece of folk art. Comes in verrrrry handy when you're giving directions around that part of town, too. Turn at the big chicken, or Two blocks past the Big Chicken. That's all you've gotta say.

But we also have sites of incredible beauty and historical significance.  Let me show you some of them:

These fountains at Centennial Park in downtown Atlanta are a legacy of the 1996 Summer Olympics.

The Georgia Aquarium, also in Atlanta, is the largest in the world. Shown here is one of the whale sharks, the largest fish in the world.

Stone Mountain is one of the largest exposed pieces of granite in the world, and the carving on it is allegedly the largest. Shown are (Confederate President) Jefferson Davis, Stonewall Jackson, and Robert E. Lee.

The North Georgia mountains are breathtaking. I especially love being there in the early morning when the mist is rising from the valley. Lots of great views, especially in the fall.

Lots of great white water rafting areas to be found, too. (And as far as I know, nobody will REALLY make you squeal lak a pig.)

 FDR's Little White House, located in Warm Springs.

Okefenokee Swamp. Lots of alligators and other wildlife here, but one of the neatest things is demonstrated in this picture. Because of the extreme stillness of the water and the high amount of tannic acid in it,  the water is incredibly reflective. Like a mirror.

Providence Canyon, located near Albany, and also known as the "Little Grand Canyon." It is quite beautiful and alive with colors, but the last time we visited, kudzu was threatening to ruin the aesthetics.

This is a picture taken in Savannah. Love, love, LOVE the majestic trees dripping with Spanish moss that are found all over South Georgia. By the way, in 2002, the American Institute of Parapsychology named Savannah  American's most haunted city.

This is Tybee Island, one of my favorite places in the state. My hubby and I were part of the team of amateur radio operators who put that lighthouse on the air for the first time. Did it a few more years after that, too. But I gotta tell ya, it's doggone HOT in South Georgia in August. Guess that's why the local operators never put the lighthouse on the air before. Took a bunch of fools from Atlanta to go down and do it. But it was F-U-N. After the first year, the lighthouse people even let us string an antenna from the top of the lighthouse.

I saved the strangest for last. These are the Georgia Guidestones, located in Elberton, and AKA the "American Stonehenge." These four massive blocks of granite contain ten guides, or commandments, carved in eight different languages. Lots of secrecy surrounding them. I'll tell you more about them in a later post.

See, that's some pretty cool stuff, huh? And that's just a tip of the proverbial iceberg. But that's enough. How about a short poem, and then we'll take a look-see at some of our laws. Believe me, we have some real lulus.

A South Georgia Blessing  (anonymous)
Bless this house, oh Lord we cry.
Please keep it cool in mid-July.
Bless the walls where termites dine,
While ants and roaches march in time.
Bless our yard where spiders pass
Fire ants' castles in the grass.
Bless the garage, a home to please
Carpenter beetles, ticks and fleas.
Bless the love bugs, two by two,
The gnats and mosquitoes that feed on you.
Millions of creatures that fly or crawl,
In South Georgia, Lord,
You've put them all.
But this is home, and here we'll stay,
So, thank you, Lord, for insect spray!

Okay, yeah, so we have a few bugs. And snakes. And in some areas, alligators. But it's a great place to live. (As long as the air conditioner doesn't go on the fritz.)

Now, about those laws:

  • It's illegal to use profanity in front of a dead body while it's lying in a funeral home or coroner's office.
  • Members of the state assembly can't be ticketed for speeding while the state assembly is in session.
  • It's illegal to keep your donkey in a bathtub. (So get yer ass out!)
  • No one may carry an ice cream in their back pocket on a Sunday. (How's about a sundae?)
  • In Acworth, all citizens must own a rake. (Don't have to USE 'em, just have to own 'em.)
  • In Athens-Clarke county, home of the University of Georgia, goldfish may not be given away to entice someone to play bingo.
  • And it's illegal to make a "disturbing sound" at a fair. (Better skip those corn dogs!)
  • And, no loud whistling allowed after 11 PM on a Monday. 
  • In Atlanta, it's against the law to tie your giraffe to a telephone pole of street lamp. (Better hitch him to a parking meter.)
  • In Columbus: it's illegal to carve your initials in a tree, even if that tree is on your own property.
  • And it's against the law to cuss on the telephone.
  •  Or to tease an idiot.
  • But it's legal to burn a cross on someone else's property, as long as you have their permission.
  • No picnics are allowed in graveyards, and it's illegal to bury someone under a cemetery sidewalk.
  • Believe it or not, the fine for waving a gun in public is higher than the fine for shooting it.
  • And the last one for Columbus: on Sundays, it's illegal to cut off a chicken's head, or to carry a chicken down Broadway by its feet.
  • In Conyers, it's against the law to place a dead bird on a neighbor's lawn.
  • In Dublin, it's illegal to throw rocks at birds, or to play catch in any city street. (No curb ball, huh?)
  • In Gainesville, the Poultry Capital of the World, it's against the law to eat chicken with a fork. (By golly, if God wanted us to use a fork, he wouldn't have given us fingers!) 
  • In Jonesboro, it's illegal to say, "Oh, boy!"
  • In Kennesaw, all heads of households must own a gun and ammunition. (Enacted in 1981, and amended two years later to exempt conscientious objectors and those deemed incapable of using a firearm.)
  • In Marietta, it's against the law to spit from a car or bus . . . however, it's okay to do so from a truck.
  • And finally, in Quitman, it's illegal for a chicken to cross the road. (I wonder if it's okay to carry him across by his feet?)
There's actually an interesting explanation for the Jonesboro law. Following the Civil War, or War of Yankee Aggression, as it's known in these parts, many freed slaves settled in Jonesboro. When wealthy white men came into the area to hire day laborers, the former (and impoverished) slaves fought over these jobs, and often ended up with serious, and even fatal, injuries. How did those wealthy white men seek workers? You guessed it. They yelled, "Oh, boy!" By forbidding the use of these words, the law was intended to protect those freed slaves from injury.

Okay, boys and girls, it's that time again. Time to take a gander at (ta-DA!)

The Weirdest News Stories of the Week

*** Wisdom doesn't always arrive hand-in-hand with age. Alas, some people just get old. A sixty-something Florida man stuck a firecracker into the waistband of his shorts, walked into a Bed, Bath, and Beyond store, and tried to rob the place by showing his fearsome "weapon" and threatening to "blow everything up." Not sure if the cashier laughed at the guy or simply told him to get lost, but a customer followed the clueless would-be Geriatric Kid outside, and alerted police as to the make and model of the getaway car. The hapless crook was quickly apprehended. Oh well. At least he wasn't wearing a Gumby outfit. (Who knows? Maybe the guy was in dire need of a new shower curtain.)

*** Then, there's the West Virginia woman, who has neither age nor wisdom going for her. The twenty-three-year-old successfully stole a vehicle, but not just any vehicle. Not a flashy red Morgan. Not a Ferrari, or a Corvette, or even a lose-it-in-the-crowd run-of-the-mill Toyota. Oh, no. This chick stole a hearse. Complete with its very own dead body in back. Didn't take off across state lines with it, either. She simply drove that puppy home, where police found it a scant two hours later. Weird, huh? I dunno. Maybe her roommate asked her to go out and get him a "cold one?" (Sorry. I couldn't resist.)

*** Yummy, and liberal-leaning, ice cream maker Ben & Jerry's is in the cross hairs again. The ultra-conservative group One Million Moms, which has gone ballistic over some of the company's flavor name choices in the past, is up in arms once again. The latest name to draw their ire? Schweddy Balls. This admittedly unusual flavor name is a nod to a classic Saturday Night Live NPR spoof, in which Alec Baldwin plays character Pete Schweddy. If you've never seen it before, you've gotta check it out. CAVEAT: Best not to attempt to drink anything while watching this. By the way, this flavor is only supposed to be available for a limited time, so if you have a hankering to try it, don't waste any time. Sounds pretty good: vanilla with rum flavoring, and milk chocolate and malt-filled chocolate balls. (Nary a hair!)

Until next time, take care of yourselves. And each other.


  1. Lady Magnon nearly swooned when she saw the picture of the red Morgan. She's been asking Santa for one for years.

  2. Do you ever have the urge to just go crazy and break some of those laws? Like maybe, tie your giraffe to a telephone pool with an ice cream cone in your back pocket that's been there since Sunday after 11:00pm on a Monday while whistling loudly? And no, I'm not teasing you. Okay, maybe just throw your rake away.

  3. Oh, boy! A big chicken! (Oops. I best not visit Jonesboro.)

    Mirror Lake sounds really cool -- love that sign.

  4. I think I'll use that prayer up here in North Carolina too. I've never seen so many bugs.

  5. You did your home proud. My favorite city in Georgia is Savannah! We have traveled though your state many times and always stopped in that beautiful old city. There is so much to see and experience, the people are so friendly, the food outstanding, and oh, your sweet tea is the BEST.

  6. Cro- Your bride has exquisite taste, doesn't she? Those cars are classy with a capital C, and all hand-made, no less. I'm sure she would be verrrrry appreciative if Santa Cro were to bring her one.

    Delores- Heck, yeah. This is the heart of rebel country. But we've got a lot of trees, so I'd better hang on to that rake.

    Linda- Oh, boy, me neither!

    Anne- Yeah, I reckon all the southern states are buggier than what you were used to in RI. But at least in NC, you usually have enough cold weather in the winter to kill some of those dastardly beasties.

    Arleen- Savannah really is gorgeous, but even though we've lived here since '71, I still take my tea without sugar.

  7. Wow, what wonderful photos. I especially love the one of the trees in Savannah, gorgeous! I've only been to Georgia one time, a very quick trip to Atlanta, so it was nice to get this virtual tour.

    And the laws are fun to read. Great post! :)

  8. Those are some pretty pictures, but I have to admit some of the laws put me off! REQUIRED to own a gun and ammunition?? Good gravy. And enacted in 1981, no less? Wow.

    But who deems which people are incapable of handling firearms???

  9. Julie- Glad you enjoyed it. Those old trees dripping with moss are majestic to see, and it's amazing to think that some of them were there as far back as the Civil War.

    Dianne- Oh yeah, this here is gun-totin' country. Kinda like Texas. I think anyone who seeks exemption from that law gets it. Legislators believed the "gun in every household" law would reduce crime in their city. Fewer home invasions, anyway.

  10. I've only ever flown over Georgia. I'd love to actually visit sometime, especially those mountains. Mirror lake looks really cool to.

    I had fun reading the laws. They remind me of a book I had years ago about weird laws.

  11. Lucky you to live in such a flamboyant state. When I lived in Florida I always wanted to move to Georgia. I competed (dance) many times in Savannah and loved it. Looking forward to learning more about the "Stonehenge" stones. All the laws made me laugh or at least snicker out loud. Your posts always leave me feeling good. What a talent you have.

  12. Love that Stone Mountain. wow.

    And I wish we had a big fun is that?

  13. I heart the big chicken sign & using it to give directions! It is fun to learn more about Georgia...the mountains are beautiful & I just added Mirror Lake to my bucket list. :-)

  14. neat photos. I love Savannah! The poem made me laugh too!

  15. I'm still a little shaken up about not being able to put my donkey in a bathtub! You never fail to put a smile on my face! Julie

  16. This was great. I've always wanted to tour Georgia. thanks. And no shortage of fried food.

  17. Gazing over Providence Canyon with a mouthful of Schweddy Balls....sounds like heaven.

  18. Hi, ladies. Thank you all so much for your comments.

    Claire- By all means, I hope you get to visit sometime. Lots of things to see and do. (Best not to come in the middle of summer, though!)

    Manzie- Aw, thank you. You're too sweet. I'm glad you were able to visit Savannah. If anyplace in the state can give a good impression, that's the place.

    Betsy- Stone Mountain Park has a lot of things to see and do. It's a lot more touristy than it used to be, but it's still worth a visit.

    Tracy Jo- Okefenokee Swamp (and its Mirror Lake)are well worth the visit. If you're adventurous and don't mind mosquitoes as big as bats and have no fear of hungry alligators, you can even spend the night on a platform right there in the swamp.

    Liza- Glad you enjoyed it.

    Julie- Always happy to make you smile, dear lady.

    Barb- Yup, you can get darned near anything your little heart desires fried here. In lard. With buckets of gravy on the side, biscuits dripping with butter and honey, and a vat of ultra-sweet tea. We may be low down on the list for education, but by golly, we're near the top for obesity!

    N. Scott- Thank you for visiting, dear lady. Tell ya what. I've already seen Providence Canyon. How's about if I bring the balls, and we can munch 'em while gazing at the Alps? (I could use a little inspiration, too!)

  19. Susan - Had to stop back! My boyfriend (always feel weird saying that in my forties) is a voice over artist. He does a lot of the recordings for Stone Mountain Park! Just a cool small world kind of thing. :-) Hope your weekend is fantastic!

  20. Hi, Tracy Jo. Oh, that is so cool! That must mean he has one of those gorgeous velvety "radio voices." I'll have to pay more attention to the recordings the next time we go to the park. You're right. Small world, and getting smaller all the time. (Or it COULD be that I'm getting "larger"...) Take care.

  21. I wonder what the penalty is for a chicken crossing the road? And how do they prove it is your chicken?

  22. Thought I knew my alter-state pretty well, (lived in LaGrange for 10yrs) but never heard of the Guidestones. Gotta check it out someday. Thanks.

  23. I love the crazy laws! We call them "Blue Laws" in Massachusetts. We also love to show our company around to local and interesting landmarks - it's fun!

    I'd also like to thank you for your kind words about my mom. She will be forever missed and kept in our hearts.

  24. Hi, Al. Dunno. Chicken branding?

    Mr. C- Cool. Glad to tell you something new about our state.

    Ocean Breezes- Yeah, the nutso laws are something else. It'll take me a while to get to Massachusetts, (going in alphabetical order) but I will get there. As for your mom, no matter what the circumstances, we always have that hollow ache in our chests after we lose our mothers, but it does get better. I promise.