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7:51 a.m. - 2001-04-07

I'M FEELING THE LOVE, BABY

Alright, I've gotta lot to do in the "real world" so this is going to be short.

First off...I am LOVED!!!

Yeah yeah yeah...my wife and kid love me...big whoop.

Yeah yeah yeah...you guys love me...snorrrre...

I am LOVED by people who I never had any idea loved me!!!

Wanna know more??

GOTTA know more??

Well then...read on, my pointy headed lil' friend...

Yesterday, I lit the proverbial fire under my ass and burned what few hairs I had on my ass off.

Then I went and tackled the business world in hopes of A) Getting sponsors for my golf tournament...B) Getting restaurants to agree to let me come rob them for the Cancer Society or C) Give me items for my silent auction.

I got one sponsor for the golf tournament...Eastdale Mall.

I got one restaurant to agree to let me come rob them...Chili's.

I got ZILLIONS of things for my silent auction!!!

Okay ... not zillions.

BUT...

I got season passes to one ballet company, while I received excellent reserved seats for the production of "Mistletoe" from another.

I got a gift basket from a gift shop, full of facial creams and massage oils and all that goopy junk the ladeez love.

I got a shopping spree at a local music store ... get 10 CDs or 5 DVDs of your choice.

I got a Sony DVD player which totally blew me away!!

And I got ... get this...a $500 shopping spree from Eastdale Mall. Walk through the mall with a $500 credit card good at every store in the mall.

The DVD player and shopping spree were the coolest. I walked into the electronics store, talked to the manager and reminded him that I had written a story about him and his store years ago.

He remembered.

I told him I was running for Biggest Rat and needed his support.

He asked what I wanted, but was really wary because they don't give to too many charities.

I said ultimately, I would LOVE to auction off a DVD player.

He exhaled and said "Sure".

I think he thought I was gonna ask for a big screen TV or something.

He walked to the back of the store and brought the player out and handed it to me, wishing me good luck.

I was flabbergasted!!

THEN...I went to the mall ... thought I'd run an idea of a shopping spree by the mall manager, who's an old friend of mine.

I thought I'd ask for a $100 shopping spree.

She said "Make it $500".

THEN...she went on a long diatribe on how much I meant to this community and how much I do for everyone. She said it was time that I was rewarded for all the hard work I do to make our city a better place. She said that everyone she knows either loves me for my columns or for the volunteer work I do in the city.

She almost had me in tears. I was blown away by her generosity and her candor.

I gave her a big hug and walked out of the mall, calling it a day.

She said if she can give anything else to let her know and she'd give it.

"Anything for you," she said.

Damn.

I'll tell ya what ... yesterday shocked me. I expected doors slammed in my face left and right, but every store I walked into, the gifts kept getting larger and larger.

By 2 p.m., that's what I had accumulated.

OH!! I also called the coach of the University of Alabama, and he's sending me an autographed football to be auctioned off as well. THAT'S a HUGE ticket item here, since Alabama is gaga over college football.

I'm still in shock and on cloud nine. The kind words and gestures I received yesterday ... man...they just really, REALLY took a lot of stress off of me.

It was TOO cool.


Went to church last night to rehearse for Sunday's Palm Sunday dealio.

There's six of us doing a ...well...it's not a play by any means...it's just a reading that lasts through most of the service.

Guess who gets to be Jesus????

GUESS!!!

I'll give you a hint...you know him, you love him, you could probably live without him, but why tempt fate??

MEEEEEEEE!!!

JEEEEEESUS!!!

Well ... here's where the honesty part comes in ... Jesus is a revolving part. Three of us guys take turns being Jesus.

But IIIII did the best, because I read Jesus' lines like a morning deejay.

I was really embarrassed doing it too, because my preacher bud said "You sound like Casey Kasem up there."

But hey, I have to be loud without a microphone...I have to enunciate clearly ... and I have to project.

Sorry...that's just my voice. Sue me for not speaking like a hillbilly down here in the heart of Alabama.

We had a great time doing it too.

A year ago, I dreaded going to church. I hated going. Hated it.

All that's changed now. I have such a blast in church now.

I guess I just found out that the people in church are a lot like me ... none of them are perfect. And they like to cut up and be obnoxious and it's not all stiff like I imagined it to be.

For those of you who don't have a church to call home, I hope someday you find one.

It's a great feeling.


After church, we called one of our friends who's in town from Chicago until Monday.

J.J. was one of Susie's best friends growing up and was one of our bridesmaids in our wedding.

She was a beautiful girl when I met her ... almost model-type. She was a big star in the local ballet and she finally decided she wanted to be an actress, going to New York to study.

She roomed with Gillian Anderson from the X-Files for almost two years.

Have I told y'all that??

She made a few movies that went straight to video and then decided acting wasn't for her. So she moved to Chicago and started working in office management.

And she became a lesbian.

At first she was a lipstick lesbian...all dolled up and quite the lesbian babe.

Then, she went the other route. Cut her hair real short, gained 50 lbs., started wearing Doc Martens and men's jeans with a chain attached to her wallet.

That was kinda a shock. It was like night and day, seeing her go from a pretty gal to such a militant look.

Last night, after not seeing her for about a year or so, she showed up.

She's back to embracing the lipstick lesbian look. She had lost most of the weight that she had gained, let her hair grow back out and down her shoulders and she was genuinely happy.

I feel sorry for her though, because she brought her girlfriend down from Chicago with her and her mother won't let the girlfriend come in her house. Her mother refuses to accept the fact that her daughter's gay.

So the friend stays at some of J.J.'s friends' houses for the week.

It was really good seeing her last night. She's super cool and always has great stories to tell.

She brought Andy a little toy tool box that he LOVED. He kept chewing on the hammer and hitting it on everything.

Anyway...


Also had a group of junior high kids come to the office yesterday to learn more about how a newspaper office functions.

The kids wanted to know if we had ever interviewed anyone famous.

I said "Do you guys know Eminem?"

Their eyes lit up and they were all like "YEAH!!!"

I said "Well...I've never interviewed him. But I interviewed Ray Charles."

They weren't nearly as impressed.

The only names I can throw out at kids these days that really impress them is R. Kelly and to a lesser extent Montell Jordan.

I interviewed both of them years ago.

But I think after the cruel Eminem joke, they weren't all that jazzed about hearing any Montell Jordan stories.


That's it from here...I've got SOOOOOO much to do today.

...Write my "Ed" recap ... go buy a new suit ... mow the yard ... bathe the dog and the baby (not together) ... snake the drain in the bathtub because it's not draining properly ... work on income taxes ... address more envelopes to send my Biggest Rat letter out ... walk the dog ... cook dinner ... and watch BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN AND THE E STREET BAND on HBO tonight!!!

Busy day for moi.

And with that ... adios, ppls.

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