> sign up for Herald e-news


COMMENTARY BY WILLIAM CARTER: Life takes on headlines all its own

There’s nothing more terrifying for a writer than to be facing a deadline and having nothing to write about.

Well, that’s not true, really. If given a choice, I’m pretty sure I’d much rather be facing writer’s block than be diagnosed with any number of horrible diseases I can think of, and I’d trade a 750-word babble/rant/ramble any day of the week in exchange for a guarantee never to be smeared with peanut butter and eaten by squirrels.

I’ll modify that opening sentence now: There is nothing more mildly annoying for a writer than to be facing a deadline and having nothing to write about.

So, having just declared in a roundabout way that I have nothing to write about this week, I’ve decided to start an exciting new feature that will appear only when I have nothing else to write about called, “News From the Free Nation of Leave Me Alone.” Here are the most current headlines:

“Garden Planted! Broccoli Imminent! Leeks, Kale, Swiss Chard to Follow!”

Self-explanatory headline. No details required.

“Mama Calls, Makes Grown Man Cry!”

“She’s heeere!” Mama sings when I answer the phone five hours after she’d called to tell me the eldest of my many nieces had gone into labor.

“Everybody okay?” I manage to ask when I started breathing again.

“They’re fine,” Mama tells me. “Riley (the first of what I am sure will be many great-nieces) is beautiful and has a head full of hair and looks just like her mama!”

“Alright. Tell ’em I love ’em and that I’ll be down to see ’em soon,” I tell her before hanging up and going outside to stand in the yard for no reason I can figure out.

I think about how, 30 years ago, I drove through the night for seven stormy hours south to my hometown to be there when the eldest of my many sisters gave birth to the eldest of my many nieces.

And then I start to cry.

I don’t know why.

“Cell Phone Falls In Toilet; Appears To Be In Natural Habitat!”

My cell phone slipped from my shirt pocket and fell into the toilet the other day when I was trying to fix the leak on the “Guaranteed Never to Leak!” thing in the toilet tank. I couldn’t help but notice how natural it looked at the bottom of the toilet bowl and how much better off my life would be if I flushed it down and have decided to declare every March 15 to be “Drop Your Cell Phone In The Toilet Day.”

Join me and, together, we can make the world a better place.

“King of Free Nation of Leave Me Alone Acquires New, Used Car, Recalls Why Prostate Exams Are More Pleasurable Than Car Shopping!”

I bought a brand, spanking-new, used car the other day after finally realizing that hanging a $1.99 pine tree-shaped air freshener on the rear-view mirror increased the value of my old car to $201.99. That, and it had reached the point where I was holding my breath every time I got behind the wheel, and a particular part of me that I dare not speak of was in a perpetual state of clench if I took a trip further than the Mapco three-quarters of a mile from my house for a delicious “twocansofSkoalfinecutwintergreen,please” .

I’ll have to say I’m pretty content with my purchase even though I can’t seem to get over the testosterone-depleting feeling I was taken advantage of by some guy who pretended he was doing me a favor by selling me a used car while smiling more than seemed proper and who patted his hair and admired his reflection in the show room window a whole hell of a lot more than a normal person probably would have.

Um, I wasn’t taken advantage of, was I?

Tip: Do NOT give your phone number or e-mail address to a car salesman. They won’t leave you alone. Ever.

“Cussing Bad Say Morally Superior People!”

Some of us at work have been chastised lately because of our use of, uh, colorful language. It seems a bunch of morally superior grown men who have never, ever, ever done or heard or seen anything wrong, ever, in the entire history of their lives are offended by a bunch of blue-collar guys who choose to use words other than “doo-doo” to describe things that require – nay demand – more than your run-of-the-mill adjectives. The powers-that-be agree and have issued a statement that cussing is bad. I have requested a signed, written, alphabetized list from the powers-that-be of all the bad words I’m no longer allowed to say.

As of this date, I’ve yet to receive the aforementioned list which, in my opinion, is a bunch of doo-doo.

That’s it for this issue of “News From the Free Nation of Leave Me Alone.”


William Carter is a longtime Franklin city employee and published author.  He may be contacted at


Posted on: 3/22/2013


WILLIAMSON HERALD :: 1117 Columbia Avenue :: P.O. Box 681359 :: Franklin, TN 37068
615.790.6465, phone :: 615.790.7551, fax ::

Copyright 2006, All rights reserved. ::
Privacy Policy ::
Advertise ::