Whatever happened to freedom fries?

Quietly, George W. Bush’s war having turned into such a disaster, nobody much seems to want to beat up on the French these days for opposing the invasion of Iraq.

But The Observer’s quiet war lingers.

We just bought another squeeze bottle of Plochman’s mustard the other day. We’ve alternated between it and Kraft for the yellow variety ever since the French’s mustard company undertook a publicity blitz to make sure the public knew its famous mustard had no connection to cheese-eating surrender monkeys. The Observer wrote a letter to the company about its timidity (“craven jingoism” may have been our rhetoric at the time). We never got a response.

But we never bought another jar of French’s mustard. And we won’t. Though it might be considered a badge of wisdom these days.

In November, The Observer reported on the sighting by pedestrians of a bidet hanging from a tree in the rear of a house along Kavanaugh Boulevard. We made no assumptions then about how it got there (except that it was clear that someone had lifted the seat), so we have no slate to wipe clean.

We have now gotten to the bottom of l’affaire bidet. The hygienic device was mounted in the tree in response to a prank that the Kavanaugh homeowner played on a friend, whom he described as a “kind of a goofy guy.” The homeowner, Barry Hall, had placed the bidet and an old basketball goal, both cast off from somewhere, on the friend’s front porch.

“I didn’t know I was playing with fire,” Hall said.

The next thing Hall knew, the friend, John Page, who runs a painting company, the same painting company that was painting Hall’s house in fact, had screwed the basketball goal to the back of Hall’s house and hoisted the bidet into the tree with a crane he happens to own. Not right away, the painting crew removed the bidet.

“The moral is don’t play pranks on someone who’s got way better tools,” Hall said.

Though he is thinking about revenge. Hall sells real estate. Looking for a house at the corner of Lee and Ash?

Inmates in Sharp County do not, it appears, get to wear watches or use compasses.

A police report from Hardy says two Sharp County inmates escaped from work release a couple of weeks ago, saying they were going out for a smoke. They went out and kept going, in clothing swiped from the Mission of Hope store where they’d been working.

But seven hours later, their time on the lam ran out. They’d gotten lost in the woods and ended up back in Hardy, where town police spotted them. One of them was carrying a wall clock stolen from a house in town.

The Observer, a well-known chicken when it comes to visiting the dentist, has a toothache. It’s something we’ve been putting off for a while now, keeping the pain at bay with liver-spasming amounts of Advil. Last Sunday night, however, the mild twinges of electricity in our jaw crescendoed into roaring, nail-in-the-skull agony — pain so intense that the only way we finally got to sleep was by consuming enough Jack Daniel’s to fell a prom queen. After that night in hell, the now hungover Observer finally bit the bullet (so to speak) and made an appointment with ol’ Doctor Rinse n’ Spit.

It’s not that we’re particularly scared of dentists — not any more than any other kind of doctor, we suppose. We’re not even that scared of needles. In truth, it has something to do with the submissive quality of the whole thing that has kept us out of the dentist’s office for far too long: kicking back in a chair while some lab coat type stuffs a fistful of pointy objects into our piehole.

Though our dentist has never given us reason to suspect any mental flakiness on his part, he could be a crazy. Worse, he could GO crazy right in the middle of our procedure, morphing from the nice guy with slightly oniony breath into that Nazi dentist from “Marathon Man.” Like we said: an inherently submissive act, and we’re just paranoid enough to find that terrifying. Still, as the cruise directors at Club Gitmo can tell you, there comes a time when agony can win out over any amount of fear, reluctance or conviction.

At the very least, a visit to the dentist should cut down on our liquor and painkiller bills.


Sign up for the Daily Update email


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

More by Arkansas Times Staff

Readers also liked…

  • I'm sorry

    I'm sorry we stood by while your generation's hope was smothered by $1.3 trillion in student loan debt, just because you were trying to educate yourselves enough to avoid falling for the snake oil and big talk of a fascist.
    • Nov 17, 2016
  • The sweet hereafter

    This week, the Arkansas Times falls back on that oldest of old chestnuts: a recipe issue. Being who we are, of course, we had to put a twist on that; namely, the fact that most of the recipes you'll find in these pages are courtesy of people who have shuffled off to that great kitchen in the sky, where the Good Lord is always whipping up new things in his toque and apron, running the great mixers of genetics and time, maybe presenting the batter-dipped beaters and bowls to Jesus for a lick down.
    • Dec 8, 2016
  • On Walmart and state money

    No they don't need state help. Any conservative legislator who is true to their tea party principles will crow on about crony capitalism. I look forward to deafening silence.
    • Sep 21, 2017

Latest in The Observer

  • The dreamer

    It's 5 a.m. as The Observer writes this, and we're still shaking a bit from the adrenaline of the dream.
    • May 17, 2018
  • Mystery

    The Observer's pal Mr. Photographer is the hardest working man in show business, a one-man operation who handles photography for not only the Arkansas Times but several other publications publicated by the Arkansas Times, plus freelancing and concerts and product photography and probably a secret trove of brilliant and soon-to-be-world-renowned mime portraits that will only be discovered when they lay him in the clay.
    • May 10, 2018
  • Neighbors

    Just across the driveway from the increasingly paint-needy Observatory on Maple Street, there's a rent house that has been a rent house for almost all the long years Yours Truly and Spouse and Junior have lived in Little Rock.
    • May 3, 2018
  • More »

Most Recent Comments


© 2018 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation