News from the Tennessee Valley Columnists

Steve Stewart

Sometimes, you can take it with you

Ken Smith, Decatur’s personnel director, asked the City Council to ratify a long-standing tradition among retirees, whereby the city sends police and firefighters to pasture with their helmets, badges and pistols.

“I do not envision this applying to fire engines and patrol cars,” Ken joked, according to Chris Paschenko.

Mayor Don Kyle chimed in, saying Parks and Recreation Director Jeff Dunlap had an employee who wanted to retire and take his weed trimmer with him.

Cheap imitation

Sgt. John Bili, chief investigator for the Morgan County Sheriff’s Department, pulled a fast one on the sheriff’s clerk.

He told Jill Curtis he needed to exchange five $20 bills for a larger bill. She gave him a $100 bill and walked away without suspicion.

John and Capt. Roger Smallwood, laughing, called after her and asked if she noticed anything unusual about the money.

Jill was chagrined when she realized all five bills bore the same serial number.

John was demonstrating for reporter Seth Burkett how easily the authentic-looking fake cash, seized from a forgery case earlier in the week, could sucker unsuspecting cashiers.

Which Decatur is that?

Two times in one week, people contacted Melanie Smith seeking information related to Decatur.

The first call was about a church-run day care. The caller said she found the center online through a Daily story Melanie wrote, but couldn’t find it in an Atlanta area phone book. Melanie explained that the day care and the newspaper are in Decatur, Ala., not Decatur, Ga.

“You’re in Alabama?” the shocked caller asked.

The other contact was an e-mail from a lodge in the Smokies, asking if Melanie as the religion writer knew a pastor who had made a reservation. No, Melanie said. They found the pastor in Decatur, Ill.

Taco with sour cream

Chris reports that Decatur Chief Financial Officer Gail Busbey told a City Council member that she may have sparked a taste revolution at a local fast-food restaurant.

She tried to order sour cream on her taco once, but an employee refused, saying he was not allowed to put the topping in the tortilla, not even for a surcharge.

“You invented the Taco Supreme,” said Deputy Police Chief Ken Collier.

Astrology explains it

Drivers can blame their birthdays for being accident-prone, says Lee Romanov, author of “Car Carma.”

Lee, president of the Web site, said she wanted to know why some drivers have more accidents than others. According to her research of 100,000 American drivers, zodiac sign may be a determining factor.

The worst offenders? Libra, Aquarius and Aries. Leos, Geminis and Cancers have the fewest accidents. However, Virgos, Sagittariuses and Geminis have the fewest tickets. Pisces folks have the most tickets.

Alas, you won’t be able to ask for a discount based on your zodiac sign, according to Amy Pollick, who passed on this information.

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.

Steve Stewart Steve Stewart
DAILY Weekend Editor

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