I have always held firm to the belief "Nothing bad ever happens that something better doesn't become of it." But when my Internet address got hacked the other day and countless contacts received a bogus email purportedly from me that claimed I was stranded in London and needed cash to get home, I was duly mortified -- not just because I had been invaded but because so many friends of my pals had been showered by the ridiculous scam.
Sure enough, within 24 hours I found the "silver lining" to my dark cloud when several wrote to say, "Thank God .... we thought you wrote those stories on Chattanoogan.com. You have no idea how happy we are that it was really a hacker using your by-line.
We knew all along you couldn't be that dumb."
Suddenly I was reminded of the all-star athlete who, several years ago, revealed he suffered from a multiple-personality disorder. While there is nothing funny about mental sickness, I soon read a story from a gifted writer who wrote a letter to his ex-wives (plural) to say something along the lines of, "You see, that wasn't me playing 'Romper Room' in the pool house with that blonde ... he looked like me and sounded like me but that was one of my personalities. Please believe me ... I don't even know the guy!"
What's a life without laughter? That said, here are some other things I've noticed as I try to catch up after a brief vacation with back surgery:
THOSE FICKLE KIDS -- If you think romance is fickle, or find your Valentine's Day list is ever-changing, consider the fact that over 50 high school football players in the state of Georgia who gave oral commitments while being recruited by colleges ended up signing scholarship papers with another college. Some "flipped" four and five times while one high school had six different guys change their minds before signed scholarships made the agreements binding.
THREE TOP DOGS -- A dazzling Affenpinscher named "Banana Joe" was named the top dog at this week's Westminster Dog Show but, according to the website PetMD, the top three breeds for people with kids are the Golden Retriever, The Labrador Retriever and the Standard Poodle. Unfortunately, the beautiful Collies and Irish Setters of my day are diminishing in popularity.
ABOUT 1,100 WERE injured by chunks of an exploding meteorite in Russia but my James Bond imagination thinks somebody exploded a missile or something. I checked up on the strange phenomenon just the same and a human being's chances of getting hit by pieces of an exploding meteorite are 1-in-700,000.
NORMA AND NORMAN Burmah of Louisiana were just recognized as America's Oldest Living Couple -- they have been married 82 years. Norma will celebrate her 100th birthday this July 4th, if the Lord is willing, while Norman is already 102. And, for the record, the chances of a couple staying married after 15 years of harmony is now at 57 percent.
Schuyler LaRue, who is wrestling this weekend at the state meet for Maryville's Heritage High School, is already a hero after he gave CPR to an elderly man he saw collapse at the Williamson County Ag Expo building where the event is being held. LaRue, a lifeguard in the summers, is credited with saving Kingsport's Ron Bussey, a former coach who attends the state meet every year.
THERE HAS BEEEN a world-wide outcry after the International Olympic Committee just announced plans to drop the sport of wrestling -- after all, it is one of the oldest sports known to man. A huge delegation of the sport's world leaders is planned next week in Tehran, the site of the upcoming World Cup competition and there is a growing belief the IOC will reverse its decision.
STEVE COHEN, a Democrat from Memphis in Congress, is trying to keep the world's scandal-hungry eye on Tennessee as he now claims the saucy Tweets he was sending during Present Barack Obama's State of the Union speech were to a "love child" that he didn't know he had fathered until just three years ago. Suffice it to say that story is still developing, as copies of the Tweets are now being disclosed. This comes on the heels of alleged indiscretions by Rep. Scott Desjarlais (R-Jasper).
MICHAEL JORDAN, perhaps the most famous basketball player in the world, is celebrating his 50th birthday this weekend and would you believe he is on the Sports Illustrated cover for the 50th time this week? Michael, you'll remember, was cut from his high school team in Wilmington, N.C., as a sophomore but fought back, scoring over 40 points for the junior varsity, before making the squad (he also grew three inches) before starting at UNC and for the Chicago Bulls.
ROBBIE ROGERS, a five-year veteran of the United State Soccer League and a midfielder on the USA national team, announced he was gay and was going to "discover myself away from football" yesterday. In a huge surprise, he later said, "I have been afraid, afraid to show whom I really was because of fear. Fear that judgment and rejection would hold me back from my dreams and aspirations. Fear that my loved ones would be farthest from me if they knew my secret. Fear that my secret would get in the way of my dreams.”
IN LAS VEGAS the infamous Heart Attack Grill features a 3-pound burger with 9,982 calories called the "Quadruple Bypass Burger." The restaurant's spokesman just died of a heart attack. And in New York, where the "Blue Fairy" starred in a video to discourage prescription drug abuse, that same actress has just been arrested in a sting for prescription drugs.
THE LADY THOUGHT she was going to the hospital to get a 10-pound hernia repaired Friday, Feb. 8, but woke up with a 10-pound baby girl instead. Linda Ackley of Jackson County, Mich., and the baby are doing fine but her husband is still a bit flabbergasted. "I had no idea I was pregnant," laughed the new mom, who had been told she would never bear children.
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So, you see? When I had back surgery several weeks ago at least they didn't hand me a baby!