News from the Tennessee Valley Columnists

Steve Stewart

A womanís forgiveness isnít cheap

Holly Hollman says Athens High student Megan Creasy got unexpected love advice from the top lawman in Limestone County.

When Sheriff Mike Blakely visited Megan's class and thanked students for designing posters for his rodeo, Mike noticed Megan had yellow roses by her computer. Megan explained her boyfriend was in the doghouse.

"Well, hold out for more than that," Mike said. "If he'll send roses, he'll do more than that to get out of the doghouse."

Elevator humor

Decatur Mayor Don Kyle was riding in an elevator with some councilmen and reporter Chris Paschenko.

Formerly an avid smoker, Don said he was staying the course after kicking his longtime habit. Councilman David Bolding told Don his new healthy outlook on life is costing the city dearly in lost cigarette tax revenue.

Safety first

Who knew a rodeo clown could be both a comedian and a gentleman?

When Holly was at a Murfreesboro, Tenn., rodeo to do a story on 8-year-old rodeo clown Hanson McBay, Hanson made sure Holly stayed out of harm's way. The two were standing near a box that was a pretend time machine. It had a trap door so Hanson could hide inside.When a horse plowed through the mounted patrol near Hanson and Holly, Hanson held out his arm and pushed Holly against a wall.

When things calmed, Hanson said, "Whew! That was close."

"I was about to jump in your box," Holly said.

"I was about to be in there with you," Hanson replied.

Honesty's the best policy

Chris Paschenko, called by an assistant U.S. attorney to be prepared to testify in Decatur federal court, submitted a voucher for compensation of time and mileage.

Expecting $41, Chris was confused when the Justice Department sent him a $119.54 U.S. Treasury check.

Someone at the U.S. attorney's office mistakenly thought the trial was in Birmingham. Chris' mileage reimbursement went from $1.94 for two round trips to $79.54. He called to report the overpayment. Chris says he figured honesty was the best policy, especially when considering the ramifications of defrauding the U.S. government.

Surgical shopping

My wife hates the way I shop. For her, shopping is an adventure; for me, it's an ordeal. I practice surgical shopping: Know what you want, walk straight to it in the store, find an idle cashier or one with a short line, and get out.

Wal-Mart is a special challenge because it's big, with many distracting items for sale and, often, long checkout lines. But I managed to get out of my car, into Wal-Mart and back to the car on a Saturday in 6 minutes 53 seconds, buying two cartridges of printer ink and saying hello to a friend. If you can top that, I need to know your technique.

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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