Gossipman Pee Wee Fish
Q: Holy cripes, G-man, did you see the news about that 143-pound catfish they caught awhile back out of Buggs Island Lake? Are you kidding me? –CF, Smith Mountain Lake
A: Turns out they were kidding us, CF. That big-as-a-man, grunts-like-a-pig creature hauled in after a 45-minute battle was actually PeeWee Herman in yet another very unfortunate life phase.
Q: Are you sure it wasn’t Sheriff Hunt from Franklin County? RM, Ferrum
A: Way too light, RM, way too light. The last time Sheriff Hunt saw 143, they were still chasing moonshiners in ‘36 Fords down there in Franklin County.
Q: Hey, Gossipman, I know the summer is winding down and all, but I missed the details on the new sunscreen regulations. Can you fill me in, and also give me the latest on tanning beds and tell me what the heck SPF means in the first place? Thanks. –GPS, Old Southwest
A: In a nutshell, GPS, the new regs stipulate that all sunscreen is fairly worthless against both UVA and Virginia Tech rays except for certain SPF ratings, with the top three being 38, 72 and 51. SPF, by the way, stands for Still Pretty Fried. And as to tanning beds, they keep fighting off much in the way of regulation, though there is a movement afoot in Richmond to kill several close-to-dead birds with one stone by mandating that any tanning salon must also house a payday/car title loan counter and at least 200 signs out front announcing that it’s a cigarette store as well.
Q: I’ve been reading about restaurants now having the option to offer corkage fees. What in the world is a corkage fee? –LH, SW
A: Once the state legislature decreed, back in the summer, that localities like Roanoke must allow the use of air-powered rifles, they also decided what the heck, if people can shoot off a .357 hunting rifle right next door to the elderly neighbors still trying to get over last night’s thunder, then we better start allowing people to take a bottle of champagne into a restaurant, shake it up real good and then cover their faces while they hand it over to a waiter to open for them, and pay maybe 15 bucks or so for the fun.
Q: I know it’s still a long way till the elections, Gossipman, but things seem to already be heating up between Tim Kaine and George Allen. What’s the early money on the outcome and on the statewide elections for Virginia House and Senate? –MW, D.C.
A: Well, on the statehouse elections, it appears that a great number of incumbents have the early lead, with many of them registering to run, strangely enough, under the collective name of Jerry M. Andering. As to Kaine and Allen, it’s too close to call at this point, but it appears neither is going to agree to the other’s proposed debate format: Allen wants to put each candidate in a helmet and under center and have him bark out audibles on the issues of the day; and Kaine is suggesting a two-man bike race to see who gets to talk first while standing in a blinding multi-color shirt and spandex shorts on a little awards pedestal like Lance Armstrong.