Reflections on one year in Clayton County - Curt Yeomans

That's right, you read the title of this column correctly.

As of this past Wednesday, I've been working at the Clayton News Daily for one year. Saturday will mark the one-year anniversary of the publication of my first column, which, as I recall, was about college football.

Over the last 12 months, my column has become the home of a figurative freak show where characters like ABBA, designer underwear, G.I. Joe, skeeball, chocolate milk, a piano playing cat, singing cats, morbid pop art and headless school mascots have shown up from time to time.

All that has been missing are cats who are singing ABBA tunes, while playing skeeball, after drinking some chocolate milk with G.I. Joe.

I'm still holding out hope of finding that gem on YouTube.

I've steered myself mainly to the more humorous side of life in my columns, relying on sarcasm from time to time. I've also been serious, too: the column I wrote after my grandmother passed away.

My first day at the Clayton News Daily, Nov. 14, 2006, was spent with me driving all over Riverdale trying to find Riverdale First United Methodist Church, so I could cover public officials reading books to children at Lewis Academy of Excellence.

My one-year anniversary was spent watching people eat chili, then gathering information for two additional stories. It was much more hectic than I recall my first day being.

So what have I learned in my year at the newspaper?

Well, first off, don't diss ABBA. Their fans from around the world will send you e-mails in which you are called names too vulgar for print. There are people in Australia, Canada and Europe who still think I deserve an unpleasant death, because I said ABBA wasn't worthy of having its own museum. I still stand by my opinion, though.

Second, avoid talking about politics in a column, if you can help it. People still think I said Barack Obama is a Muslim, when I actually said his name evoked images of Islam. It's not the same thing, but this will probably start a new round of Curt bashing, where people will, once again, claim I said Obama was a Muslim. It's not true, I never said it.

Third, the world is crazy. There is no other way to put this one. If you don't believe me, just go on YouTube and watch some of the videos. You'll realize I'm right.

Fourth, gas stations are like casinos.

Fifth, evil comes in threes. Just look at the fact that three Clayton News Daily reporters have birthdays in June.

Sixth, Joel Hall looks scary when he plays "Dance, Dance Revolution."

Seventh, bowling is more fun when margaritas are involved.

Eighth, people really love a cat who can play the piano. I think Nora the cat is eventually going to open for Smashing Pumpkins. It might be cool to see her do a duet with the pumpkins' lead singer, Billy Corgan.

Ninth, I learned everything I know by watching G.I. Joe.

Tenth, people never let you forget it when you accidentally leave a breakfast sandwich on your dashboard. I am going to go on record for what seems like the one-millionth time when I say I did not eat the sandwich. It went in the trash when someone pointed out the sandwich to me.

So, as I start Year Two of my tenure at the Clayton News Daily, I have only one thing to say.

I hope I have a new list of 10 things I've learned here when I celebrate my second anniversary.

Curt Yeomans covers education for the Clayton News Daily. He can be reached at (770) 478-5753, ext. 247 or via e-mail at cyeomans@news-daily.com.