I can report that the state of this column has never been stronger. (Clap! Clap! Clap!) This past year I continued my unwavering commitment to defend liberty, (Clap! Clap! Clap!) to support freedom, (Clap! Clap! Clap!) to fight injustice (Clap! Clap! Clap!) and to remind everyone that the University of Georgia, the oldest state-chartered university in the nation, located in Athens, the Classic City of the South, has had 23 Rhodes Scholars — more than all the colleges of osteopathy, underwater welding schools and miscellaneous Institutes of Technology in the state combined. (Standing ovation!)
None of this would be possible, of course, without the help of Junior E. Lee, general manager of the Yarbrough Worldwide Media and Pest Control Company, located in Greater Garfield, Georgia. (Yea! Yea! Go, Junior!) I am sorry Junior could not be here today but he is busy trying to get rid of the chinch bugs eating up left field at Garfield Park before the start of softball season. (Aww! Clap! Clap! Clap!)
My efforts to battle the insidious effects of humor-impairment continues. We have made much progress but there is much yet to be done. As long as there is one soul that gets their shorts in a wad when I twit Detroit, President Peanut, Obamacare, the old state flag or broccoli, I will not rest until I have turned their frowns upside down! (Thunderous applause. Standing ovation!)
As I have done for the past 15 years, I managed in 2013 to place nouns, pronouns, conjunctions and all those other grammar things in some kind of order and then separate them with the right number of commas and apostrophes. (Hoots of derision from the editors: “You said that last year!”)
Let us now look ahead to 2014. The policy of this column has been and will remain to serve as the primary source of political counsel to our intrepid public servants whenever and wherever they need it. (Clap! Clap! Clap!) Even if they think they don’t. (Boo!)
I have already been in contact with Gov. Nathan Deal’s office (Boo!) in the aftermath of the recent Snowjam (Boo! Boo!) on how to minimize the political fallout from that incident. (Boo! Boo! Boo!) I have urged the governor’s political advisers to close the Talmadge Bridge in Savannah immediately and without further notice. (Whoa!) This way, everybody will be talking about that instead of being stranded on Interstate-75 for 18 hours in freezing temperatures with no bathrooms available. Will it work? (Hmm!) Closing bridges has gotten New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie a lot of media attention. Why not Gov. Deal? (Wow! Great idea! Clap! Clap! Clap!)
On the legislative side, I will be working closely with Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle and House Speaker David Ralston and their minions to improve the Guns for God bill. (Good Lord!) I am proposing that in addition to congregants being allowed to bring concealed weapons inside their sanctuaries, we add mortars, land mines and barbed wire outside and that the state provide special badges for greeters, saying “Go ahead, punk. Make my day.” You want to protect houses of worship? I say let’s really protect houses of worship! Can I get an “Amen?” (Sustained applause. Shouts of “Amen!”)
Speaking of the Gold Dome, I have not given up on my initiative to move the state capitol to Lizella, which is near Macon and get it out of Atlanta, where nothing works, including traffic, sewers and a number of its citizens. (Sustained applause. Shouts of “Amen!”) I have much work ahead of me. I have already been informed that Macon won’t take the thing because of all the lizard-loafered lobbyists that would come with it and Lizella will pretty much do whatever Macon does. (Yea! Good for Macon! You go, Lizella!) Maybe we should just move Atlanta to Idaho. (Yea! You go, Idaho.)
In closing, let me say that it is an honor to serve as your modest and much-beloved columnist. God bless you all — unless you are an atheist. I don’t think God will bless you. God bless America. God bless Georgia. God bless the University of Georgia. God bless banana pudding. God, I’m glad to be through with this column.
(A standing ovation. Eat your heart out, Mr. Obama.)
You can reach Dick Yarbrough at firstname.lastname@example.org; at P.O. Box 725373, Atlanta, Georgia 31139; online at dickyarbrough.com or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/dickyarb.