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YARBROUGH: Good news as required by my wife

It is not easy being a house husband cum columnist. Trying to figure out where the paper towels are located at the same time I am trying to figure out where the commas go makes my brain hurt.

I am in this stressful situation because the Woman Who Shares My Name has received a new hip and is temporarily out of service. That means I have to grapple with all manner of intimidating appliances that have more knobs and blinking lights than the Starship Enterprise and a clothes hamper that breeds dirty clothes so fast even rabbits are envious.

To make matters worse, while she has been rehabbing it seems the world is falling apart. All she sees on television are uprisings in the Middle East, snow storms, high pollen counts and Lindsay Lohan, looking her usual airhead self.

“Please write a column of good news next week,” she decreed, “I am sure your readers would welcome a respite from all the negative stories.”

“That is a dumb idea,” I replied, “Besides, the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution guarantees me the right of free expression. Nobody can tell me what to write. It’s the law. I say what I think, even if I’m not sure where the commas go.”

“Gosh,” she said, “I just remembered that the doctor said I must take my own sweet time before I get back to doing the laundry lest my hip fall off and you have to sleep in the clothes hamper with your sweat socks.” The woman is good.

So, by popular demand, I present some good news:

• Former Gov. George E. Perdue has presented his official papers to the University of Georgia. Since he didn’t do anything in his eight years in office but build a bunch of fishponds and buy some swamp land for himself, it won’t take long for researchers to go through the materials. To date, the only papers they have seen are wrappers from Snickers bars.

• As we watched developments in the Middle East and wondered their potential impact on our nation, Barack Obama announced that his administration will no longer defend the Defense of Marriage Act that defines marriage as between one man and one woman. The Arabs stopped throwing rocks at each other long enough to give him a rousing cheer. Gay rights are a bedrock principle in the Muslim world. Aides say that if Somali pirates kill any more Americans, Obama will issue a proclamation denouncing figgy pudding.

• It has been heart-warming to see Georgia House Speaker David Ralston tearfully apologize for his dismissive attitude in trying to justify his all-expense paid “working trip” to Europe with his family last Thanksgiving and admitting he is badly out of touch with the average hard-working Georgian who doesn’t get free trips, free meals and free tickets from lizard-loafered lobbyists like he does. OK, I made up the part about the apology, but it would have been good news if he had.

• Georgia’s unemployment rate is 10.2 percent. That is not good news, but credit our intrepid public servants for doing all they can to bring that number down. Gov. Nathan Deal’s son-in-law and Ralston’s niece have been hired by the Georgia Health Care Association, which gets (wink! wink!) $1 billion a year from the state. Ralston’s son is a newly minted intern at GeorgiaLink, a prominent lobbying firm, and Senate Majority Leader Chip Rogers’ brother has a landed a job as communications specialist for the federally funded Race to the Top program administered by the State Department of Education. Deal, Ralston and Rogers called the hirings an extraordinary coincidence. Sheila the Family Wonderdog threw up her Alpo.

• The University of Georgia, the oldest state-chartered university in the nation, located in Athens, the Classic City of the South, has had 18 Rhodes Scholars. The You-Know-Who Institute of Technology has had three. We do more than play football in Athens. Woof! Woof!

OK, that’s my good news for the week. Now, do me a favor: If you run across the Woman Who Shares My Name, please tell her that while you appreciate her efforts to have me show the positive side of things, you much prefer me ranting about humor-deprived politicians, people who talk on the cell phone in the checkout line at the grocery store and anybody who would voluntarily live in Vermont. But please be diplomatic and don’t let her know we had this conversation. Sleeping in the clothes hamper with sweaty socks isn’t my favorite thing.

E-mail columnist Dick Yarbrough at yarb2400@bellsouth.net. For archived columns, go to www.gwinnettdailypost.com/dickyarbrough.