News from the Tennessee Valley Columnists

Steve Stewart

Pack a little duct tape and Vaseline

Add these to the list of emergency items for a hiker's backpack that THE DAILY ran recently.

Brian Braswell recommends packing fire starter fuel, says Paul Huggins. This can be found with camping supplies, but Brian suggests making your own; it is cheaper, lighter and virtually waterproof.

Coat frayed cotton balls with Vaseline jelly, and stuff as many as five into an empty 35-mm film canister. Remove them to ignite, and the combined materials will burn for a few minutes. In the winter, you can add dryer lint stuffed in another film canister to increase the initial heat.

In a pinch, Neosporin and gauze from a first-aid kit will do the same thing.

Don't leave home without it

Brian suggests carrying another item of 21st-century technology: a small roll of duct tape, which can help make splints, cover cuts and repair tears to clothing.

All kinds of pronunciations

Commenting on an item about pronunciations in this column a week ago, Bobbie Johnson of Falkville sent this e-mail:

"I can go you one better on (place) names. In Georgia, Buena Vista is 'byoona vesta.' There, LaFayette is 'la-fay-it.' Our can of vi-een-uh sausages, named for the lovely city of Vienna, becomes Georgia's town by that name, 'vi-ann-uh.'

"We sometimes run across Yankees who call our Mobile 'mo-bul.'

"I guess that no pronunciation surprises me."

The Web's worldwide

Marilyn Glenn couldn't figure out what was up with that 256 prefix.

Marilyn, in hopes of contacting a possible relative, Bill Carwile of Decatur, e-mailed Holly Hollman about a story she did on Bill.

Marilyn said she couldn't find Bill's phone number. Holly sent the number to Marilyn, but Marilyn wrote back saying, "I am puzzled about the 256 prefix."

Turns out Marilyn lives in Farmer City, Ill., and thought she was reading an online newspaper from Decatur, Ill.

That also explains why she couldn't find Bill's phone number in her Decatur phonebook.

Baggy? Disgusting? Says who?

You know it when you see it, but how can you outlaw it?

Ron Price, a Dallas, Texas, school board member, wants the City Council to strengthen a law against people who wear baggy pants and expose their underwear.

"I think it's disrespectful, it's dishonorable and it's disgusting," he said, as quoted by The Associated Press.

But Robert Jarvis, a Florida professor of constitutional law, said such laws are often too vague to ... well, hold up.

"Who's to say how baggy pants can be before they're 'baggy pants'?" he said. "There's just no way to regulate these things."

Send stories for You Don't Say to, or call Weekend Editor Steve Stewart at 340-2444. Or write P.O. Box 2213, Decatur, AL 35609. DAILY staff members contribute many of the items you see here. This column appears Sundays and Wednesdays.

Steve Stewart Steve Stewart
DAILY Weekend Editor

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