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Darrell Huckaby - The times call for change

Are y'all ready for change? It's a comin'! In fact, it has already arrived in some quarters - and high time, I'd say. After all, the electorate of our fine community deserves the representation commensurate with the choices it made on Election Day.

In the spirit of cooperation and change, I am committed to making a few changes myself.

First of all, I have named a spokesperson. Don't be bothering me with your e-mails, phone calls or petty comments any more. I am much too busy with my important duties as a part-time columnist to deal with the public.

I tried to get Publisher Alice Queen to actually pay a salary to my spokesperson, especially during what will be an awkward time of transition for me from sleepy, old, small-town columnist focusing on local happenings and the old days to new, cutting-edge columnist committing to writing about - well, I will still be writing about the same things, but I will still be using a spokesperson.

She wouldn't buy it, though. In fact, she told me I was lucky she let me keep writing in her paper at all, so I will have to find a spokesperson who is willing to volunteer his or her services for the good of the cause.

Of course, if you want to tell me how much you like what I have written or invite me to speak at your church or civic function or buy a book, then you can still contact me and I will try to work you into my busy schedule.

Actually, I have had a spokesperson for 26 years. My lovely wife, Lisa, has been speaking for me at least that long and telling me what to think and what I should have said, so maybe there won't be such a big change after all.

But I also have to get me a chief of staff. I don't have a staff actually, unless you count my three children, who are pretty much in charge of spending my money and telling me what to do and when to do it.

But if everybody from the White House to City Hall can have a chief of staff, then I deserve one, too. The position would prove to be invaluable. They can keep me straight on how many times I have mentioned Henderson's Restaurant and Evan's Market in my columns this year so I won't appear to be showing favoritism, and they can remind me when I've gone too long without mentioning Georgia Tech's spectacular showing in the Bowl-Formerly-Known-As-Peach, and they can help keep me from offending anybody or making statements that may be deemed insensitive or politically incorrect, 'cause y'all know how bad I hate to be insensitive or politically incorrect.

Maybe they can even help me get my columns in on time so Colin Stewart won't have to call around looking for them three afternoons a week. See, we'll all benefit if I name a chief of staff. And having one will free me up from all those petty details and allow me to do the job I was hired to do.

I tried to get Alice Queen to pay for the chief of staff, too, but she said that my lovely wife, Lisa, had been taking care of all those duties for 26 years, so she will still be doing the same job. But Alice said I could call her Lisa, Chief of Staff, if I wanted to.

Speaking of which, I need a new title, too. I know that I was hired as an opinion columnist, but that sounds so plain. From this point on I will call myself Opinion Columnist and Chief Executive Agitator and Rememberer of Days Gone By. Don't disrespect me by failing to address me that way, either. If you do, I will have my chief of staff contact my spokesperson and have them address you sternly.

Let's see. Is there anything else? Are there any other changes I need to make to be in line with the times?

Oh yes. I need for Alice Queen to hire me an assistant. You can't expect a guy to carry on the work of Opinion Columnist and Chief Executive Agitator and Rememberer of Days Gone By without an assistant.

I think I'll hire a female. They are more efficient - and prettier. She could help me get my columns in on time so Colin Stewart won't have to call three afternoons a week looking for them, and she could keep me straight on how many times I have mentioned Henderson's Restaurant and Evan's Market in my columns this year so I won't appear to be showing favoritism, and they can remind me when I've gone too long without mentioning Georgia Tech's spectacular showing in the Bowl-Formerly-Known-As-Peach, and they can help keep me from offending anybody or making statements that may be deemed insensitive or politically incorrect, 'cause y'all know how bad I hate to be insensitive or politically incorrect.

And I know that's what my chief of staff is going to do, but if you have a problem with any of this, contact my spokesperson.

And since I will have to keep up with all these new people around me, surely Alice Queen will give me a raise.

Ain't change grand, y'all? I can't wait for the next shoe to drop.

Darrell Huckaby is a local educator and author. E-mail him at dhuck08@bellsouth.net.