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My Hometown: Another year, another wrinkle

Ding dong the year is dead! Good riddance. For us optimists, let’s get on with 2009 which should be divine!

This is my year in review column which takes us over the course of the year through the eyes of my columns rather than listing all those year end things. Growing up, all you had to deal with in the top one hundred countdowns was the music hits at the end of the year. Not so anymore, media has over-saturated the end of the year lists from top clips of television, top music hits, top videos, top movies, top quotes, top dead celebs, top celeb break-ups, to top underwear. We are bombarded with the best things and the worst things of 2008. Yet, I never know these people who decide these lists. So, nevermind the lists.

The dreaded election year has passed which already means that 2009 will be much better! No presidential campaigns to deal with!

Sure, the economy needs a boost, but our outlook is what makes us a great country. We will get our act together and come out of this a much better people. Americans are going through what we call character building. Instead of folks who charge their future, live beyond their means, and shop recreationally, we might end up learning the value of possessions, how to save and hold on to our credit cards rather than swiping them at every turn.

But, this is a review, not a lecture on fiscal responsibility.

Also in January, I wrote about all the psychic predictions and how they had blown it the year before and as I review this year, yep, they blew it again. No surprises there.

In January, this quote from Happy, Happy, Joy, Joy” shows the mood of the moment, “Start the year out with a choice to be happy. Would you believe true happiness usually doesn’t just fall in your lap? Even if you win the lottery! Not even a truck load of money can do it! It may bring a thrilling rush of excitement but it usually leads people back to their normal state of being. Why? Because research shows that not only do our ancestors determine our cholesterol levels but our happy level as well. Your genes determine how happy you are. Mine do… cause when I can’t fit into my “genes” I am not Happy!”

Looks like money and happiness were on my mind and no one could even begin to predict the rollercoaster ride of the year with gas prices and bailout gate!

By February, the political drama had already influenced my writing in “God goes to Washington” where I wrote, “The mix of politics and religion has been under the microscope these past days which got me thinking how would God fare if he were a Presidential candidate today? Who would vote for Jesus? (Insert God of choice.) And would we want him serving alongside some of our government leaders who hire hookers, solicit sex in bathrooms, or seduce interns? Not to mention the lying, cheating, and greed that pervades the higher offices of our government. Sex, lies and videotape!”

Speaking of sex, I compared the hit HBO series and now hit movie, “Sex in the City,” to my version, “Sex in the Country”. This is how I saw it: “As for my three friends, imagine if you will, the Mississippi version of Carey and the gang, such as a group of four real estate agents eating at the Mexican restaurant discussing their awful children, back stabbing other real estate agents, tiresome husbands, and the latest sale at Dillard’s over melted cheese and salsa. That is how it works down South. Instead of some trendy dinner party events, our gang is discussing the cell phone going off in the middle of church or the horrendous song sung by so and so. We are discussing the ill-behaved kid at the baseball field or the loud obnoxious woman in Wal-Mart hollering for little Fred to get his arse up to the front of the store. Yep, a bit different.”

Speaking of husbands, I had to talk about one of the many strange studies that came out this year. The title says it all, “Happiness is an ugly husband.”

I dared to write, “No country for old women” because of the emotional trauma of seeing the senior citizen nudity displayed at the local YMCA. Do they know I have to sit on that bench?

I had my very strange columns as well such as, “Bigfoot, a Redneck alien.” You Google my name and a title of a column or Picayune Item and you are sure to find my columns online, some in strange places. I counted three Bigfoot Web sites alone on this title.

I can’t always find the humor in things and sometimes I must touch on subjects that cry out to be addressed by something within me. In “To live or let Die” I share the struggles of my TBI brain injured friend Maria Benton and how she would rather have life ended for her than to continue in her present state of mind.

This year brought another hero to my attention, Randy Pausch and his Last Lecture book and You Tube video sensation. I had to cover his passing in “Tigger has died.”

Politically, I wrote the “Black and White of it”, the “Divided States of America” and “Politics for Dummies.”

The mortgage stupidity was covered in “The Sky is Falling.” Apparently, someone forgot to tell Wall Street it was just a big misunderstanding.

We faced down veggie wars such as the ones that were trying to kill us at the grocery store. In “Attack of the Killer tomatoes” I point out that other scary foods mean us harm. “I think the FDA should get to the root of the problem that is killing a majority of Americans. They should warn us every day of the dangers of doughnuts, sausage biscuits, chilly cheese fries and potato chips… that Krispy Kreme has killed more folks than a tomato ever did!”

Yes, it’s been a strange, difficult and long year.

But, if you are reading this, you will find things are not so bad: you are alive, you probably have been fed today, you may have less money but you are rich with material possessions already. If you don’t believe it, quit looking at those next to you and try checking out the real poor in this world.

Ahhh, I can say another year, another wrinkle and another pound on the way! Happy days are here again!

Tracy Williams is a guest columnist and can be reached at myhometown@comcast.net

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