The Kudzu Kronicle

Because not all Southerners are the same

Tag: Ledger-Enquirer

Y’all should never call

I’m not a huge fan of being around humans. I’ve probably mentioned it before. I mean, as a mammal, they are highly overrated. In fact, I just spent this past Saturday on Georgia’s largest barrier island, Cumberland Island, which allows only about 250 or so folks on it a day — or as I like to call it when I’m there, about 248 too many.

I don’t like small talk. I don’t want to talk about the weather. I don’t like to hear your opinions on the game last night. I certainly don’t want to talk about politics, especially when I’m the only one who’s right. Discussing politics with someone whose politics are wrong just means you have to wait until they finish their incredibly idiotic point so that you can rebut it with common sense and facts, which means they just start talking again on a completely new idiotic line of reasoning — or lack thereof.

Many times I’ve seen someone I know a block ahead on the sidewalk or on another aisle of the store and immediately go into CIA covert mode, ducking behind shrubs and clothing racks like I’m a fugitive from the law.

“Who is that?” my wife will ask, figuring the gig is finally up.

“It’s someone I know, and they might want to talk. Ditch the buggy! Let’s get out of here!” Continue reading

No questions allowed

My latest column in the Columbus Ledger-Enquirer (also shared by the Macon Telegraph here) begins with a question as the headline: “Is it time we replaced America’s national anthem?” This, of course, predictably produced knee-jerk angry reactions when shared on the Ledger-Enquirer’s Facebook page,  including one suggesting I should no longer be breathing. (Thank you, James E. B. Miller of Columbus, Georgia, for that one. I can see why you are a valuable employee in the security industry — you gotta know when to take folks down, such as for asking a question.)

Also predictable is that most of the angry folks — if not all — clearly didn’t (or can’t) read the commentary. No one is quite so vociferous in America these days as the ill-informed or ignorant-by-choice. I love it when the angry clueless masses scream at me. However, I actually respect those who disagree after thoughtful consideration and perhaps even the consumption of the written word — beyond the headlines, where so few dare to tread nowadays.

The California NAACP prompted the column idea by calling for replacing the national anthem. I thought that seemed a bit of an overreach and planned to sarcastically offer a multitude of silly suggested replacements. However, after reading more about “The Star-Spangled Banner,” I realized their proposal at least warranted a second look. It’s amazing how reading can help alleviate knee-jerk reactions.

But no. In today’s America of required nationalism and forced patriotism — gee, I wonder where in history we can look for something similar — you can’t question. Submit. Accept. Bow. Pledge your allegiance. Or get out.

I will suggest to those who will not allow even the question “Is it time we replaced America’s national anthem?” that when you’re singing along with your fellow patriots to “The Star-Spangled Banner” before the next football game, don’t sing these six words toward the end: “o’er the land of the free.”

Because, obviously, freedom is not a concept with which you agree.

READ the column here

Two books by the same person, but two different writers

In the past couple of weeks, I’ve had two new paperbacks hit the market — a novel by Bo Hunter and a collection of humor columns by Chris Johnson, the same guy but two very different writers.

Bo Hunter was actually the pen name I used when I first began writing humor columns in Americus, Ga., back in 1995. I was a sports writer and news editor back then, so I wrote those columns under not just a pen name but with a disguised column mug. I didn’t want folks who hated the sports writer to hate the columns on that basis. Some liked Chris Johnson, some liked Bo Hunter, and I’m sure a fair share hated both of them.

Anyway, I wrote columns under my real name — that’s Chris Johnson for those of you keeping score — when I started penning weekly articles in 1998 in Columbus for the Ledger-Enquirer. In 2000, I was in a car wreck that knocked me out of work for a few weeks, so I wrote a novel in the meantime to keep myself semi-sane. I called it “Oya’s Wake” and did nothing with it for many years. Then, a few years ago, I decided to offer it up as an e-book for Kindle but published it under Bo Hunter. It was simply too different from my usual writing to publish under my name.

Now, at last, it’s in paperback, and you can order it from Amazon for $8.99 at this link. There won’t be any book-signings for this one, at least not until they make a movie out of it.

Meanwhile, just yesterday, the follow-up to “The Best of Chris Johnson, Volume I” went on sale in paperback on Amazon. It’s titled “Wastin’ Away Again on Margaritahill” with the shocking subtitle “The Best of Chris Johnson, Volume II.” Yes, I amaze my own self with such creativity. You can get that in paperback for $9.99 at this link.

Volume II features 118 columns that generated the most feedback — sometimes including anger — over the past six years or so.

If you order one, be sure to leave a review with Amazon. If you order both, well, you’re just weird to like both of those guys.

Let’s play the quiet game?

I was the oldest of six grandchildren on my mother’s side, and every now and then we’d all be together at my grandmother’s house in Ideal, Georgia. I was a perfect child, of course, but all those younger brats could raise a ruckus — which would lead my grandmother to suggest “Let’s play The Quiet Game.” I won every time. As you can read about in the latest column in the Ledger-Enquirer, I think we should take The Quiet Game to a whole new level.

2016: The year in preview

TBT crystal ball

Photo of Chris Johnson by Philip Wartena

It has become an annual tradition for me to peek into the year ahead. I could peek into 2016 and see all the lottery numbers that will be drawn or who will win every pro sports competition, but that would be an abuse of my awesome power. Instead, I want you to know who will win the presidential election, self-driving cars and whether I’ll be accepting a post in President Trump’s administration.

Click here to read my Year in Preview column at the Ledger-Enquirer.

 

 

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