‘Give a Hoot’ and other owl-related thoughts

Published 8:05 am Wednesday, May 16, 2018

“Give a Hoot” reminds of all the old owl stories and jokes. What do you get when you cross an owl with a goat? A hootenanny. What is weirder than a hooting owl? A spelling bee.  How was the party you went to last night? It was a hoot. What is an owl with armor? A knight owl. How do you know that owls are cleverer than chickens? There is no such thing as Kentucky Fried owls.  I have often heard the expression night owl, but what is a day owl? I have never been to Hooters, but they tell me the food is good as well as the scenery.

A lot of things come to mind that nobody really cares about. Generally, they don’t “Give A Hoot.” In fact, many of my advisers tell me to “Let Sleeping Dogs Lie.”  But I tell you, there a lot of issues today that Americans do “Give A Hoot” about such as President Trump’s “Drain The Swamp.” However, since this national discourse is beyond my mental capacity, I have to leave these issues to the intellectuals like Dimwit Fitts and pursue other vital interests.

While traveling to Auburn this week on I-85, I noticed the sign at the Cusseta intersection to read Lafayette. Hmm! The Alabama Highway Department Engineers are a bunch of dummies. Everybody knows that the “f” in the city designation is in caps. Well, I realize that people like Cooter Allen don’t “give a hoot” about the correct use of capital letters, but to the rest of us “nitpickers” like Ed Yeargan,  the correct spelling of my native home town is important.

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I remember some 20 years ago when Carolyn Danforth was writing columns for the local publications, she wrote about the variation in the spelling of LaFayette. I googled it and found out that the name is a tribute to French General Marquis de Lafayette who was one of the leaders of the American colonies in the Independence War Of 1775-1783. History seems to reveal that Marquis did not really care about the colonies, but hated the English who were trying to rule the world during that era.

His full name was a mouthful—Marie-Joseph-Paul-Yves-Roch-Gilbert du Motier de La Fayette. To us inquisitive, a quick search on the internet revealed that it is mostly spelled with a small f but that is because they are making the name into one word instead of two. The town in Louisiana (which was formerly a French territory) is also spelled with a small f. So who is the dummy in this case? I think that our town was pretty smart about it—condense into one word but retain the truer rendition of it. But in reality, “who gives a hoot” whether the town is spelled with a small f or a capital F?

There is a long list of other things that I do “Give A Hoot” about such as follows:  Why does Joe Ashley at the LaFayette Post Office put my mail in Jeff Jones’ Funeral Home box?  (I realize that I am pushing 90 but I should last until the mail is put up.) Why does gas always go up 10 cents a gallon the day before I have to fill up? Why is that Coca-Colas are always on sale at the store 3 twelve packs for $10 just to find out that the special had expired the day before, after I have toted them to the checkout counter?  Why do I get calls on my cell phone from multiple politicians and solicitations of money from various charitable operations? My cell phone number is supposed to be unlisted.

My daughter reminded me that there use to be a United States Forest Service owl mascot whose motto was “Give a hoot—don’t pollute!”  That is definitely something to get behind.  Do you remember the fable The Owl and the Grasshopper? I should definitely get behind that too—flattery is usually not a sign of admiration.  So, since I usually don’t get flattery from my readers regarding these musings, I will consider that a compliment!