News from the Tennessee Valley Columnists

Steve Stewart

Perfect gag gift for friend who turns 60

Shopping at Hobby Lobby for a 60th-birthday gift for Martha Engle of Trinity, Laura Taylor of Decatur found what looked like a beautiful black vase with white swirls and a lid.

When Martha opened the package, one of her relatives recognized it for what it was.

"Oh, how appropriate!" she said. "You bought her an urn."

Martha declared, "This is definitely a birthday I'll never forget. I'll always remember that joke."

Laura said it might have been a good joke, but it was unintentional.

Keep your mouth busy

Rep. Bill Dukes, D-Decatur, told a Decatur-Morgan County group visiting the Statehouse that there is a reason he manages to keep excess weight off his trim frame. "My family and friends tell me I'd rather talk than eat," he said, as quoted by M.J. Ellington.

Places to eat

Hartselle natives Alan Dobbs and Geoffrey Slate recently opened the upscale Icon Restaurant and Bar in the newly renovated Tutwiler Hotel in downtown Birmingham.

Danielle Komis says that when the co-owners were asked what their favorite restaurants are in North Alabama, Geoffrey quickly named Decatur's Big Bob Gibson Bar-B-Q, and Alan chose All Steak in Cullman for its famous orange rolls.

Office work

State legislators were back home in their districts on spring break last week, and most said they didn't plan any fancy trips, just daily trips to the office.

Decatur Republican Sen. Arthur Orr had a more creative way to describe his work as a corporate attorney at Cook's Pest Control, M.J. reports.

"I'll just be killing bugs," Arthur said.

One confused bird

A mama dove that raised one family in a neglected hanging plant thought she had a good thing going.

She returned to lay a second clutch of eggs in the basket outside a patio door. This time, though, she didn't count on a cold snap. The predicted freeze had the homeowners moving plants in and out. They accidentally bumped the basket, sending it swaying.

The eggs stayed put, but the dove flew off willy-nilly. She hit her head on the patio ceiling over and over before perching, seemingly addled, on a garden arch.

At bedtime for the homeowners, she had not returned to the nest. She was back the next morning, however. Her head looked scalped, but her eyes were beady. Will the eggs hatch? Melanie Smith says she'll let you know.

Pigeon menace

Just as a police car parked by the interstate will make you slow down, a falcon — even a fake one — will deter pigeons from gathering.

Pigeons pollute Liverpool, England, according to The Associated Press.

The City Council there is buying 10 Robops — robotic birds of prey — for $4,000 each.

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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