Gardening, shoofly pie, KFC & the Pope, & the Keys to heaven

May 15, 2007

Every now and then I like to write a column that’s more of a tray of hors d’oeuvres than a regular meal. I would like to claim that the result comes from a mind that is constantly churning out new ideas, but for the most part, these are bits and pieces of thing that have been floating around in my idea file and I need to find a home for them.

# Gardening: This is the best time of year in the garden, I think. Everything seems possible. The dirt is clean and fresh, beds tidy, seeds tucked in and beginning their magic. Ahead may be weeds, pests, drought, blights, and hungry deer. But right now, the garden feels like I did when I got out of high school. Look out world.

On the other hand, since the only time I have in the garden is on weekends, time in the garden is jammed with chores. And then there’s grass to mow, pruning to do, the irrigation pump to tinker with and prime. I enjoy doing that kind of work around the place, but SOME days I’d like to just sit in the garden and pretend I was one of the vegetables.

# I spent a morning last week riding around with a woman whose job is picking up dead deer along state highways. She’s an independent contractor, and a real character, not to mention a granny with 15 grandkids. I’ll probably write a column version of the story, with photos, after the news story runs in the paper.

We talked pretty much non-stop, she and I. To those who think such work is a waste of taxpayer money, I heartily disagree. It’s not a job for everybody, and she deserves every cent she earns. Never mind the usual bad smells and disturbing images; you don’t even want to think about the result if a highway mower runs over a 150-pound deer.

Yeah, I know. I TOLD you not to think about it. Some years ago in Georgia a highway mower ran over a dead guy, a murder victim, I think, relaxing in the high weeds. It took quite a while to ID him due to his advanced state of disorganization.

# Holy cholesterol: Mark Morford, a wonderful columnist for, reported recently that the president of the Kentucky Fried Chicken Corporation wrote a personal letter to Pope Benedict XVI, asking his holiness to bless the company’s new Fish Snacker sandwich. I wonder if junk food has a patron saint. Has the late Dave Thomas (Wendy’s) been beatified? KFC’s own Col. Harlan Sanders? Is there a St. Ronald? I don’t know if the pope responded. If he did bless the sandwich, would he have a deep, theological reason for doing so, or would it just be for the halibut? Sort of a squid pro quo?

I make a pretty mean burrito, and was raised Methodist. Maybe I should write to the Council of Bishops and ask for their blessings, or at least a note of encouragement.

# Overheard by a friend in a coffee shop: Mother reassuring kid that shoofly pie is NOT in fact made from bugs. Junior asserts that Spiderman would probably like it.

# David Michael Green, a professor of political science at Hofstra University in New York, wrote recently that during the 1980-1988 Iran-Iraq war, hundreds of thousands of Iranian teens were massacred “as literal cannon fodder.” They went to their deaths having been told they would be going to Paradise, having died on behalf of Islam. Their government gave them little plastic keys and told them that the keys would open the gates of heaven once they got there.

Obviously, the Iranian education system is not big on teaching critical thinking.

Green said that, as “shameful and ugly” as that is, knowing that the little plastic keys were made on a kibbutz in Israel drives home “the criminal insanity of modern war.”

Not that we needed more reminders. Powerful interests prey on the innocent and turn them into political tools to satisfy those interests “ambitions for wealth and power.”

The innocent, the patriotic, have become, as ever, mere resources, spare parts for a war machine that advances any number of agendas and fuels returns to stockholders and stakeholders.

It is not only the Iranian schools that have done a poor job of instruction in the art of thinking critically.

© 2007 Marsh Creek Media,

Gettysburg, Pa.

“Burger to Go” is a product of me and my company, Marsh Creek Media and, as such, I am solely responsible for its content.


3 Responses to “Gardening, shoofly pie, KFC & the Pope, & the Keys to heaven”

  1. liz theurer said

    So if all those Iranian teens were massacred (sp?) in the 80’s, where did all the foreign troublemakers in Iraq come from?

  2. John Messeder said

    As I read it, I get the idea even you don’t know what’s coming out til it hits the paper. Like the “squid pro quo” thing.

  3. Barbara Benton said

    Great, Terry! More columns on education issues, please.

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