Goats could be the answer to Georgia’s economic woes

Published 8:35 am Friday, January 4, 2013

My work never ends. Not only do I have to deal with compound verb forms each and every week, the editors insist I throw in some commas along the way for reasons I don’t fully understand. I think commas are a nuisance and only serve to get in the way of great thoughts.

There is also my much-admired work with the humor-impaired. Only this week, a reader called me “morally nasty” for my comments about the Mayans blowing their prediction that the world was going to end on Dec. 21. Looking back, I admit I may have been a bit harsh on the Mayan civilization but I was very upset at the time, because instead of being in Paradise or wherever, I realized I was going to have to endure another year of lawyers advertising on television.

I am also tasked with the responsibility of providing our intrepid public servants under the Gold Dome with some ideas for meaningful legislation to consider, when they aren’t being entertained by lizard-loafered lobbyists at breakfast, lunch, dinner and/or ballgames. That doesn’t leave a lot of time.

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This year, I am bringing the General Assembly a way to improve tourism and economic development, after I read where Chris Cummiskey, commissioner of the Georgia Department of Economic Development, recently told a group of politicians and state officials that Georgia needs to market itself better.

I am pleased to again offer “Go Eat Kudzu, Goats!” — an initiative based in part on the ultra-successful “Go Fish, Georgia!” program that was the brainchild of former Gov. George E. Perdue. “Go Fish, Georgia!” has helped position our state as a major player in the highly-competitive international marketplace of the 21st Century with bass-fishing tournaments. (Don’t ask me. I am just telling you what George E. said.) “Go Eat Kudzu, Goats!” is designed to take us to the next level.

The plan — in case you may have forgotten — is to round up a bunch of goats and have them eat the kudzu around our interstate highways. Then we will bring in busloads of loud-talking, know-it-all Yankees who will pay big bucks to watch the spectacle.

This, in turn, will put enough money in our state treasury so we can continue the state’s unequivocal financial support for Georgia’s public school teachers, as well as pay for former State Sen. Chip Rogers’ “Big Bird” suit, which he will wear in his challenging new job at Georgia Public Broadcasting.

But wait! There’s more!

We will also sell the touristers jars of potlikker and tell them it is moonshine, which they can take back home and share with their friends. I love the thought of them all sitting around, slugging potlikker and feeling like they are living on the edge.

“Go Eat Kudzu, Goats!” is a self-sustaining program. There will be no need to spend $19 million for the construction of boat ramps or an unused education center in Perry. In the first place, goats don’t like boats or bass fishing; hence, as far as they are concerned, boat ramps are superfluous. Second, if we built an unused education center, it is likely that the building would be covered with kudzu before the goats ever got finished with the interstates.

In a time of fierce partisan wrangling in the political arena, my initiative should appeal to Democrats and Republicans alike. It is as ecumenical as it is innovative. Goats don’t give a whit about Democrats, liberals or conservatives. They just like to eat kudzu.

There is one small issue with “Go Eat Kudzu, Goats!” that still needs work. I have not yet figured out how to get loud-talking, know-it-all Yankees to go home once they get here and realize there are not four feet of snow on the ground. That could be a problem.

There are a lot of important issues on the plates of our legislators in the upcoming session, so I will understand if they don’t get to “Go Eat Kudzu, Goats!” this time around. Besides, we will have “Go Fish, Georgia!” to sustain us in the interim and help bolster the state’s image. But I am confident that sooner or later, my initiative will become a reality and not only bring peace on earth, but get rid of a lot of kudzu in the process.

Until then, I have urgent matters that await me here. There are verbs that need compounding, commas that need placing, not to mention all the humor-impaired souls that need stressing. My work never ends.

You can reach Dick Yarbrough at yarb2400@bellsouth.net or P.O. Box 725373, Atlanta, GA 31139.