Junior E. Lee helps put reader responses in perspective

Published 9:27 am Wednesday, October 20, 2021

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You are going to find this hard to believe but everybody doesn’t love me like you do. I seem to have managed to rile a few folks recently. Could it be something I said?

I decided to talk to my colleague Junior E. Lee about the problem and see what thoughts or suggestions he might have to help me get out of my editorial time-out chair.

As you know, Junior is general manager of the Yarbrough Worldwide Media and Pest Control Company, located in Greater Garfield, Georgia. He is an expert in the field of public opinion and is the creator of our highly-respected Round or Square poll (“You provide the dough and we will cook the numbers.”) In addition, he is a certified pest control professional. A rare combination. Not only can Junior E. Lee discuss the latest political trends with the best of them, he is the cutworm’s worst enemy.

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I knew Junior was headed out to Arveen Ridley’s to spray for cow ticks so I said I would be brief and hoped he could put things in perspective for me.

Junior asked for some examples of what was bothering me. I told him about a Thank You note that I received from a reader. What’s wrong with that, he asked? Thank You notes are a thoughtful gesture. I said the guy was thanking me for giving him a reason to never read my column again. Not exactly Hallmark material, Junior admitted.

And there was the reader who said he had decided to hold his tongue and not comment about what he thought of me. Evidently, his tongue refused to cooperate because he proceeded to tell me anyway. You just can’t trust tongues these days.

He said, “I don’t care what you think, and I do think you are a weenie!” He and his tongue were just getting warmed up. “Each time I see your photo/read something you have written, I get a discomforting feeling in my nose. It is the same feeling I get each spring when the local farmers fertilize their fields!”

Junior chuckled and said it was possible I was totally misreading the comment. In the first place, weenies – with or without buns – are as American as apple pie, the Fourth of July and Andy Griffith reruns. Maybe he was telling you in his own unique way that you are a Great American. But what about the discomforting feeling in his nose, I asked?

Junior said it happens to him whenever he visits Arveen Ridley’s farm but you get accustomed to it because you know that the fertilizer is ultimately responsible for amber waves of grain above the fruited plain. Not to mention a Thanksgiving cornucopia, overflowing with fruits, grains and vegetables. None of this could happen without your basic goat droppings and a cow chip or two.

Besides, Junior says, a discomforting feeling in the nose is a small price to pay when you consider the 42,000 farms in Georgia that contribute some $70.1 billion annually to the state’s $1.12 trillion economy as well as providing 350,000 jobs, according to the UGA Center for Agribusiness & Economic Development. Leave it to Junior E. Lee to put things in perspective.

Then I told him about the guy who wrote me six times to say he didn’t understand a sentence where I called the Taliban a bunch of knuckle-dragging Neanderthals. Junior said if he hadn’t gotten it in six tries, he probably wasn’t going to. The bigger issue was did the Taliban get it? Rats. I hadn’t thought of that. I hope they don’t cancel their subscription like one reader is threatening to do because of my “Leftist OP-ED prattle.”

Junior said it was obvious that reader has my leftist op-ed prattle confused with Karl Marx. Without the beard, he said we look like twins. I think he is jerking my chain. I look more like Harpo than Karl.

With that, Junior said he had to be going. Arveen’s cow ticks weren’t going to spray themselves. Plus, he said he needed to visit with Aunt Flossie Felmer and poke around in her drawers a bit. He claims he is looking for fire ants but I wonder.

My conversation with Junior E. Lee was uplifting and I feel so much better now. Upon further reflection, where else will you find a hard-to-understand weenie whose leftist prattle conjures up thoughts of pig poop in the spring? Now you can see why I love this job. And my readers, too.