“You might be a redneck if you had to remove a toothpick for wedding pictures.” – Jeff Foxworthy

Mark Taylor

Just last weekend, I was splitting up a bunch of cedar into kindling and I have to admit, it was a rewarding and thought-provoking event. I kind of enjoyed not really having to think much, just make sure I didn’t chop off any fingers or toes. The one thing it provided was an opportunity to think and dream big. As I chopped away, I got to thinking, “What if I just kept on going with this thing? You know, chop up kindling, but keep going until I have a mound of toothpicks. I could be sitting on Queasy Street.” I checked on Amazon and found these things are going for $0.65 per 100, so that’s not exactly chump change. My research tells me that the State of Maine accounts for 90 per cent of the toothpick market, so I’m pretty close to the biggest market. I did a quick calculation and think I probably have enough raw material that I could retire easily if I were able to sell them off if I could just focus on chopping. I just have to get in with the right people to get my product out there. I think “Toothpick Tycoon” has a nice ring to it. I remember a quote by George Carlin on this every subject: “I thought about how mothers feed their babies with tiny little spoons and forks, so I wondered, what do Chinese mothers use? Toothpicks?”

You ever notice how you just seem to be on a roll, and everything just seems to be going your way? I remember a story about a guy who got so hammered at a bar one night that when he went across the dance floor to get a drink, he won the dance contest. Things aren’t always that easy in life though. Last week the Winnipeg Jets were eliminated from the Stanley Cup playoffs, and when asked about it after the last game, coach Rick Bowness went off like an atomic bomb. He was critical of their effort and competition level. Of course, the press just had to ask the players what they thought of it and some were critical of the way he went public with it. Wait a minute, you’re going public with your criticism of the way the coach went public? I think that’s something like what ballplayer Yogi Berra said about a St. Louis restaurant: “No one goes there anymore. It’s too crowded.”

I fully realize we have been on this planet for a long, long time and many of the events or occurrences happen over and over again. That’s why when I hear about or see something truly unique, I take notice. I was reading about a murder trial last week where a guy was trying to trade a young raccoon to a drug dealer for some crack cocaine. This really set me back a bit. I Googled this and could not find any instances where this has ever happened before, or at least nobody has ever documented it if it did. I gotta say that I am totally unaware of the price of crack cocaine, and could not find any for sale on Amazon, nor could I find any baby raccoons for sale so it made it very difficult to determine if this was a fair trade or not. If only I could get some prices, I may try to get in on this possibly lucrative business. I’m not talking about drug dealing; I’m talking about leaving my garbage open by the side of the road and trapping the raccoons. I could then take them to the gas stations or grocery stores to pay for my purchases. “I just filled up my truck and have a baby and an adult raccoon on the back. Do you want them brought into the store or put them in your pens out back?” By the way, I plan on watching King Charles’ coronation this week if Bell will accept a raccoon for my satellite bill this month. I’m just waiting to see what time they are coming to pick it up: 8 a.m.-noon or 1-4 p.m. Monday to Friday. If you’ve ever called these cats for service, you’ll know what I’m talking about.

Mark Taylor is a long-time Courier columnist whose views on life and living are usually unconventional and definitely outside the box. He’s a true Charlotte County boy who has the right to remain silent, but not the ability.