I love the state of Georgia better than apple butter, but sometimes the place can try my patience. Like right now. It is just too hot.
How hot is it? The squirrels in my back yard used to scurry every time they saw me coming with my pump-action Red Ryder BB gun with the camouflage stock. Now, the little creatures line up and beg me to shoot them and put them out of their misery.
If I wanted this much heat, I’d have gone to Mexico — except I don’t think they will let you sneak into their country lest you try to take advantage of their health care system, attend their crackerjack schools and make them have to put up “We Speak English” signs.
Besides, you might get unexpectedly air-conditioned by the drug cartels that are running the country rather than Presidente Cacahuete, the guy who came to Congress to tell us what a poor job we are doing of running our country.
About the only person I know taking advantage of the scorching heat is Dr. Gil Watson, the World’s Greatest Preacher. Dr. Gil recently preached at a weeklong camp meeting in Lawrenceville and reminded the attendees, “If you think it is hot here ...”
I’ll bet he saved just about every soul in the place, which is why they don’t hold camp meetings in October when there’s a cool breeze blowing and the leaves are changing.
It also proves once again that good preachers don’t need to be packing heat like Wyatt Earp. Let God provide the heat. You can save a lot more souls that way.
In a last-ditch effort to find a cool spot on the planet, I have agreed to go with a group of church friends to Mackinac Island on the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.
I’m not quite sure where Mackinac Island or the Upper Peninsula of Michigan are but I know they are closer to the North Pole than Georgia so I am expecting it to be a good deal cooler. I am also hoping to see some igloos and maybe a few reindeer.
By the way, Mackinac is pronounced, “Mack-i-NAW”, not “Mack-i-NACK.” That really doesn’t make any sense, but then we pronounce Taliaferro County, “Tolliver,” so we don’t have much cause to twit folks in Michigan about how they pronounce things.
From there, we travel to Niagara Falls, which I am told is every bit as impressive as Amicalola Falls in Dawson County. (I’ll have to see it to believe it.)
By the time I get home, I am hoping it won’t be quite so warm. I would hate to have spent all that time looking at igloos and reindeer and trying to be impressed with Niagara Falls — Niagara Falls drops only about 170 feet while Amicalola Falls drops 729 feet, so I don’t have my hopes up — to find people still glassy-eyed from the heat and squirrels committing hari-kari.
There will be a number of important issues to deal with upon my return, including a general election (more on that next week) and the beginning of the 2010 football season at the University of Georgia, the oldest state-chartered university in the nation, located in Athens, the Classic City of the South, where it is heaven even when the temperature is 100 degrees.
Our student-athletes — the reigning state football champions — start their season on Sept. 4 with the Rajin’ Cajuns of Louisiana-Lafayette, who make no claims to being the state football champions of Louisiana.
The runners-up for the state football championship, the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets, are located in Atlanta, where the sewers don’t work and neither do many of the locals. They kick off their season with the South Carolina State Bulldogs. That way, no matter what happens the rest of the year, Tech fans can claim they beat the Bulldogs. Pretty clever, eh?
One more thing about the current heat wave: You will recall that several years ago in the middle of our severe drought Gov. Perdue asked Dr. Gil Watson, the World’s Greatest Preacher, to pray for rain. We all know what happened next.
If the governor asks Dr. Gil to pray for cooler weather, you might want to break out the parka, because when he gets done you are going to think it is Michigan in December. I don’t mind the igloos and reindeer. I just hope we don’t get Detroit, too. I’d rather have heat rash.
E-mail columnist Dick Yarbrough at firstname.lastname@example.org.