Chris Johnson

“Star Wars” allegedly comes to the end of its galactic run

“Star Wars” allegedly comes to the end of its galactic run

When I was a kid, a film came out that changed the movie landscape forever — “The Godfather.” I was only 2 years old back then, so I thought it was a bit violent compared to “Sesame Street” and that Michael Corleone’s nearly instant mowing down of every other mob boss after his father’s death was a little too easy and simplistic. I gave it one tiny thumb’s up and one sideways. Five years later, another film came out that changed the movie landscape yet again — “Star Wars.” In case you’ve never heard of it, it’s a sci-fi movie […]

Lost shaker of salt might be in Scotland

Lost shaker of salt might be in Scotland

When my son first left for Scotland just before the fall of 2018 to follow his dream of studying at the University of Stirling, I just knew he’d be terribly homesick for everything about America, including his family. He was … for about 27 seconds. He’s fallen in love with the place. The Scots have stolen my son. He’s happy, though, and getting a good education, and that’s all I really care about. It’s not my life to live. But I’m glad to see that he hasn’t completely forgotten dear old dad. I know because he texted me yesterday morning […]

Flashback column: “America will sing again” (September 2001)

Flashback column: “America will sing again” (September 2001)

(Note: This is the column I wrote back in 2001 after the 9/11 attacks. It’s also in “The Best of Chris Johnson, Volume I,” available at this link.) It’s so easy to lose perspective in this life. I spent Monday getting my wisdom teeth cut out and then spent about five hours that night at the emergency room after an unexplained fainting spell. I didn’t care, because I was more worried about my stepmother, who was in surgery that day as doctors worked to rid her body of cancer. I reckon I was fine. My stepmother’s prognosis was positive. Then […]

College sure has changed, and I think that might be a good thing

College sure has changed, and I think that might be a good thing

This past Friday, I participated in a community fair for incoming freshmen at the college I allegedly attended 31 years ago, Georgia Southwestern. (I’m told I have a record there, though I’m not sure if it’s in the administration building or with campus police.) I was there to promote The Fuller Center for Housing, where these new students could put in some volunteer hours or just serve their community — here at home or around the world. I was advertising hard work for no pay, not exactly an easy sell. I got to speak with dozens of articulate, smart, seemingly […]

Going hot and heavy into the redneck romance novel business

Going hot and heavy into the redneck romance novel business

Some folks think that the reason Americans seem to get collectively stupider each year is that they read less and less. I, however, suspect it has more to do with decaffeinated coffee. People, though, are still reading. Most kids are excited about reading until you hand them a dull textbook and kill their interest in words forever. Folks read posts on Facebook with titles like, “11 Different Uses for Used Toothpicks” or “Which Little Rascal Are You?” (I’m Spanky.) And, on a beach somewhere, there’s a lady named Bertha wearing a blue muumuu and reading a torrid romance novel. “Why […]

I’ll be perfectly happy as an old man in an old truck

I’ll be perfectly happy as an old man in an old truck

This past weekend my wife and I broke down and traded in her cool little car for a big ol’ SUV with a third-row seat. We’ve got a couple of grandkids now, and we needed a better place to transport them than the luggage rack, which tends to make police all talkative and nosy at traffic stops. It’s not a new car, but it’s new to us. It comes with all kinds of fancy technology that my wife is learning how to use because she’s the primary driver. I’ll learn no more than I have to — mainly how to […]

I’ll have a cup of Bacon without the Carly Rae Jepsen, please

I’ll have a cup of Bacon without the Carly Rae Jepsen, please

I love the sport of baseball, even though I kinda gave up on the Braves after 40 years of loving them when they abandoned a perfectly good ballpark for a taxpayer fleecing in Cobb County. I tried to replace them with the Chicago Cubs, but it didn’t work. I like the Cubs. I just don’t love them. I grew up with about 13 channels, one of them TBS that showed the Braves all the time, and the other WGN that showed the Cubs. I mistakenly thought that commonality would allow me to make a seamless transition, but no. Maybe the […]

I came for lunch, not a staring contest

I came for lunch, not a staring contest

I have many pet peeves when it comes to restaurants. I don’t like to eat in a place so dark that you have to use a flashlight to read the menu. I don’t like loud restaurants with bad music or acoustics that carry every conversation through the whole place. I loathe a restaurant telling me what sides come with an entree instead of letting me choose. And I especially hate paying more to get less. I have a theory that the more exclusive and pricey a place it, the less food they put on your plate. It becomes mostly parsley […]