Oroville Mercury-Register

God is great, people are crazy and it’s too early for beer


“God is great, beer is good and people are crazy,” written by Bobby Braddock and Troy Jones; recorded by Billy Currington; and lived by me yesterday.

Honestly 95.7 The Wolf could have just played that country song on a continuous loop allllll day, like a personal anthem just for me. Really.

Things started normally enough: I got out of bed; had coffee; sorted through my email and read the news. And it looked to me like, at 8 a.m., the day would continue with business as usual. It’s a good thing I don’t forecast the weather ‘cause I would have said hot, dry and smoky and it would have been freezing, wet and cloudy.

I dropped mom at the doctor’s and went to pick up some groceries for her. I was slowly cruising for a parking space when a man in a sedan came screamin’ down the aisle going the wrong way. I shrieked a “hail Mary, Jesus, Joseph, the Holy Ghost, the wisemen and the jackasses they rode in on,” swung my little Honda hard to the right and slipped into an empty space between two SVUs as he zoomed by narrowly missing my back end and flipping me off.

God is great. People are crazy. It was too early for beer, though I was tempted.

Taking mom home a bit later my cell rang and since I was at a stop light and it was The Editor, I answered. His voice came through the radio, “Hey are you up for what could be a kind of wild story today?”

Sure, I’m game and that’s when he read the transcript of this scanner call to me: “Deputies are responding to Durham after the Durham Unified School District superinten­dent called 9-1-1 to report their school board meeting is getting out of control. Members of the public are screaming at them, refusing to leave and not allowing the meeting to continue …”

Oh, those wild and crazy Durhamites, I thought as The Editor said, “Check it out and find out what it was about.”

“OK,” I said “but I lay you odds 20-to-1 it was about facemask mandates.” Turns out, I was right. Dear Lord, I thought, what has gotten into people that they would scream, name call and threaten school board trustees who were just a) following state mandates and b) trying to keep schools open and kids safe? Apparently parents.

Believing God is great and people are crazy, I threw out a quick prayer, “God please protect the children from the virus and their parents.”

It was still too early for beer.

Just before 1 p.m. as I was writing up the “Deputies respond to kerfuffle at school board” story, I smelled the one thing that makes me shudder and the hair on the back of neck stand up — smoke!

Apparently, some idiot, some moron, some fool in Southside Oroville decided to mow some very dry weeds. The result was ignition. Another prayer, and the fire was extinguish­ed.

God is great. People are crazy. And, I was really wishing it wasn’t still too early for a good beer.

Then I was off to Chico for some late afternoon errands. I took the Park Avenue/Skyway exit. I was in the center lane from which you can turn right or left. The light was red and I was the first car at the intersecti­on. I had my left turn signal on which apparently the guy behind me in the tricked out dually didn’t see or didn’t care about. He had his right turn signal on and was slamming on his horn, shaking his fist and even though I couldn’t hear him I could tell he was screaming at me, and I could see his face turning red, really, really red. And then he started sorta “bouncing” his big ole monster truck closer and closer to my little Honda. It was actually quite frightenin­g. All I could think to do was to pray for a quick light change to green and sing “Jesus Take the Wheel,” adlibbing the chorus “Jesus, take the wheel. Take it from his hands. ‘Cause I can’t stop him on my own. I’m letting go. So give me one more chance. And save me from this man. Jesus, take his wheel.” Adding, “‘cause this whack job needs to calm his stuff down.” And then, the light changed.

God is good. People are crazy. And I still didn’t have a beer.

I made it safely the rest of the way to my destinatio­n and upon walking in the big box discount store I was confronted with a huge display and loooooong aisle of Christmas tchotchke over which people were going gaga. Say whaaaaaat? Really? We haven’t even had Halloween or Thanksgivi­ng and to add insult to injury, it was the second day of Yom Kippur.

God is good but really? Really? Christmas in September? People are crazy. It was a darn good thing the store also sold beer.

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