Well ... here I go again - Ed Brock

Well, I'm leaving the country.

And before some of you pop open a bottle o' bubbly to celebrate, I will be coming back.

Or at least, that's the plan.

My wife might stay, though. She's grown a bit weary of America and, unfortunately, I bought the wrong size of milk yesterday. Oh, and the orange juice I bought was too expensive, both errors being grounds for a divorce in Japan, I suppose.

Yes, once again I'm circling the globe, soaring over smoky Mt. St. Helens, our beer-happy friends in Canada, along the southern coast of Alaska, across the Bering Straits that are always too cloudy to see and down into good ol' Nihon (Japan that is).

Thus, I thought I'd sit down at the computer, snifter of cognac and a good cigar by my side, to let everybody know I'll be gone next week. Could I be more pretentious?

It bothers me not in the least to be absenting myself at such a precarious moment in our history. Indeed, I welcome the break from all the drama.

I think I've heard just about all there is to hear from our presidential candidates. They've both become broken records in these so-called debates, so I may or may not bother to record the last one.

While I'm gone, I'd like you people to take care of a few things for me, if you all aren't too busy.

First, let's all decide if we're going to have Halloween on Halloween or, since Halloween falls on a Sunday this year, if we're going to have it on Halloween-eve. That's redundant, by the way, and moving it is retarded. I can't afford enough candy for two days.

And speaking of retarded things, let's do away with that gay marriage amendment. The more I hear about it the crueler it becomes.

I mean, if you are just that worked up about gay people using the word "marriage" to describe their unions that's one thing. But apparently this amendment will actually do away with their ability to resolve shared property matters in the court.

What's that all about? Is that really necessary? Just leave those poor people alone!

Also, if another hurricane pops up while I'm gone and heads toward Florida, somebody send everybody there a sturdy rain coat and galoshes on me. I'll pay you back later.

If somebody could stop by my house and cut my yard, that would be nice. But don't disturb my pet spiders on the wall by the air-conditioner. I'm saving them for Halloween, whatever day we pick for that.

Go to Christopher Reeve's funeral and pour some whisky on the grave for me. I'll keep looking out the plane window in case he flies past us.

And somebody record the Braves games for me. I don't really care for baseball, but I find myself watching it lately but I don't have enough empty videotapes to record all of the games.

Well, that's about it, I guess. I'll bring back rice balls and sake for everybody. And if I see any of "those people" with whom President Bush is so good at dealing, I'll tell them Dubyah said howdy.

Don't burn the place down while I'm gone.

Ed Brock covers public safety and municipalities for the News Daily. He may be reached at (770) 478-5753 ext. 254 or via e-mail at ebrock@news-daily.com .