If you haven't already, you should read the March 30 Arkansas Times piece on Keith Richards and the brief time he spent detained at city hall in Fordyce. We thought it was a particularly good read. And you know what? If you don't have a copy, you can read it for free on the website.
If you live in Fordyce, however, and you don't own a computer, you can get one for about $5 at a local gas station. That's right, a Fordyce-based gas station operator, we've been told, came up to Little Rock a couple weeks ago and spotted the brightly colored stack of papers with Richards' picture on the cover and the headline: "Rolling Through Fordyce." An idea popped into this man's head: "I could take these free papers — as many as I can hold — and sell them for a handsome profit — probably somewhere around a 500 percent profit." 500 percent of zero is zero, but you get the drift.
To him this sounded like a pretty good idea and we can't blame him. In fact, we don't begrudge the gas merchant at all. Times is tough.
Spouse was in Wal-Mart getting groceries the other day when she spotted her: a woman wearing a T-shirt that said, right there on the front, plain as day: "F**k me? No, f**k you, B*tch!" The only difference was her version came without those pesky asterisks we just inserted to keep the schoolmarms and children from being offended.
When we asked Spouse why she didn't snap a photo of the woman so we could send it to our favorite website, www.peopleofwalmart.com, she considered a second, then replied with the characteristic grace and good sense we love her for.
"Would you sneak up and take a picture of a woman who'd wear a shirt like that in public?" she said.
Point taken. She always was the smart one in this outfit.
The Observer has argued with our GPS before, and we've always been wrong. But on a recent Sunday afternoon we learned that the system doesn't know Des Arc that well.
We were looking for a minnow pond. The GPS took us down the highway and finally announced, "You have arrived at your destination!" But we were looking at a small frame house, with a yard so gussied up you knew its owners had lived there a long time. It had a wooden Methodist church insignia planted near the driveway. It did not, in other words, look like a minnow pond.
We knocked on the door, because we figured maybe these folks had something to do with the minnow pond. And thus ensues the kind of conversation that people who like to look at birds will find themselves in.
Hello, I'm looking for Saul's Minnow Ponds. "What?" says the nice older gentleman who has just let a perfect stranger, The Observer, into his kitchen. His wife is there, with her vacuum cleaner half-cocked, the soul of patience. Saul's Minnow Ponds, we shout. We're here to see a long-tailed duck. "A what?" says the older man. His wife is rolling her eyes. "They own lots of minnow ponds around here," the man shouts back. I want the main place, I say, by the big plastic horse. That's what the directions say. "Horses? His horses are down the road," the older man says. His wife says she thinks there's a big plastic horse in the Sauls' yard, and the minnow ponds we seek are in back of the house. It's just down the road, and turn left.
There's a rare duck there, we explain again, hoping that will excuse our interruption on a Sunday afternoon, an Oldsquaw, but now it's called a long-tailed duck. She gives us a funny glance and says, good luck. We gave the GPS a funny look, too.
The Observer finally got around to doing a little yard work over the weekend, the warm spring sun beating on our back as we raked out the flower beds (and, OK, the drift of leaves by the back fence that we meant to get to last October), dug a few holes, and lopped off a few pesky overhanging branches that we've been meaning to get after for awhile now. The result: A better looking estate around The Observatory, aching arms, and four pencil-eraser-sized blisters — one on each thumb, and another at the base of each index finger. We've gotta remember to buy some gloves before we get up to yard work again. Either that, or we need to hit the lottery so we can afford to hire somebody who hasn't herded a desk for nine years. We fear our hands (not to mention our body) have grown too soft and fine-boned for an honest day's work.