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.
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.
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
*** 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.