In a conversation with a colleague about the "Mayhem" illusionist show coming Friday at The Sanctuary church, I recalled when I was a kid I wanted to be a magician.
I didn't have one of those fancy magic kits - the expensive things with pre-fab tricks and fake-bottom boxes - but I did have a book from the library.
Most of the tricks were simple sleight-of-hand, and I soon mastered enough of them that I performed, at about age 9, at a birthday party.
It was a monumental flop. Any adult magician will tell you: The worst audience for magic tricks is little kids. They demand an explanation for everything, and won't believe anything. Especially when it's done, poorly, by someone their age.
It probably wasn't the best career path anyway.
In any event, it might take a little magic Friday night to accommodate the traffic around Evans High School. The "Mayhem" show is scheduled for the same time as the big Evans-North Augusta football game.
Parking is at a premium at the school, and football fans often use the Sanctuary next door for overflow.
Not this Friday, though. The church expects to use deputies to reserve their spaces for patrons coming to the illlusionist show.
It would help immensely if as many football patrons as possible know ahead of time that the Sanctuary parking won't be available. It's also a good idea for individuals to car pool, or for the school to make arrangements for a tailgate shuttle from Evans Middle School.
If you aren't going to either event, it's best to stay off of Cox Road Friday night. No amount of magic is going to make those traffic jams disappear.
A homophonic death
Another chat around the water-cooler (yes, we actually have one) the other day raised a question: Does anyone remember Ayds?
We were discussing various forms of medicine disguised as candy that children inevitably eat - everything from chocolate Ex-Lax to Aspergum - when I recalled pilfering a piece of my grandmother's Ayds appetite suppressant candy.
It didn't suppress my appetite, as I recall. It tasted just like Kraft Caramels.
It turns out homophobia wiped out the homophonic name: Ayds is pronounced just like AIDS, and after that dread disease grew, sales of the diet candy plummeted.
In response, says Wikipedia, the manufacturer changed the name. Unfortunately, they changed the name to "Cancer."
Just kidding. They changed the name to "Diet Ayds," pretty much missing the point. The product has since been withdrawn from the market.
You can still get the non-diet version, though: Kraft Caramels.
On a more serious note, there seems to be a sense of helpless betrayal among conservatives pondering Georgia's race for governor.
Except for rabidly partisan Republicans who would vote for Satan himself if he had an "R" after his name, faith in Nathan Deal has been badly shaken by the revelations of his financial woes.
Deal barely beat Karen Handel in the primary runoff, and many Republican voters now feel like they're stuck with a candidate who would not have been chosen if information about his finances had emerged sooner. They think either Deal should step aside and let Handel have the nomination, or that voters should write in her name.
There's zero chance Deal will give up the Republican nomination, so what about that write-in idea?
That won't happen, either. As I pointed out a couple of weeks ago regarding county races, write-in candidates have to register before votes on their behalf can be counted. The deadline to register has long since passed.
Thus, voters must pick Republican Deal, Democrat Roy Barnes or Libertarian John Monds - or vote none of the above by queasing out of the race altogether.
(Barry L. Paschal is publisher of The Columbia County News-Times. E-mail email@example.com. Follow at twitter.com/barrypaschal.)
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