by Leeds Alabaster
The heart of the Birmingham area lies not in Birmingham itself, but in the vibrant and unique homogeneous suburbs that lie around its edges. Every other week, Reran Tragedy Deputy Intern Leeds Alabaster rounds up news and issues driving the public conversation in Central Alabama’s Better Country.
CALERA — Fifteen months after a series of powerful tornadoes killed dozens and destroyed millions of dollars worth of property in Alabama, a Calera woman says she is still upset with the victims for the tornado overshadowing her yard sale the following weekend.
Pam White, 49, says that she had planned on “selling a lot of my stuff” the weekend after the April 2011 storms and did not appreciate how only a few people seemed to show up to her sale in their wake.
“You’d think they’d all want to come out and buy all my stuff if theirs supposedly got so messed up,” she said while looking through her overpacked garage.
She advertised the sale by placing a small cardboard sign below the gas price sign at a Shell station off the main Calera exit off I-65.
“But y’all know how it is. Every time a sissy little wind blows through we can’t go and buy people’s stuff they can’t get rid of,” she said.
To acknowledge the tornadoes while also promoting her sale, White hung an Alabama flag — a flag of the country band Alabama, not the state — near her mailbox. Alongside the flag was a cardboard sign, reading, “Alabama Tornado Memorial Flag, Half-Off!”
She also posted another sign advertising “FEMA Bucks Accepted” in hopes of attracting more tornado survivors to buy her unwanted stuff.
Alas, her hopes of people driving all the way from tornado stricken communities such as Tuscaloosa and Rainsville to buy such rarities as a Walmart cuckoo clock that she had gotten bored of and a Target grandfather clock that she also had gotten bored of turned out to be for naught.
In turn, White said she has a deep anger at those who received government assistance after the storm.
“They walkin’ around like they millionaires,” she said. “Actin’ like they won a lottery, when they don’t even got that much. It probably isn’t even more than the price of all the houses that they lost.
“Thinkin’ they’re too good to come to my yard sale — a buncha welfare cheats is what they are.”
White also said that she believes the storm — spawning 62 funnel clouds that killed about 250 people — was “overrated” and has been pumped up by “the lyin’ media that also didn’t care about my yard sale.”
“If it had happened in Auburn, there wouldn’t even have been a peep about it in The Birmingham No-News,” White said, pointing to her “Cam’s the Man” Auburn football T-shirt. “But let ol’ Nick Saban and his buncha nasty losers have a little wind blown around their asses and it’s a top story on CNN and we don’t have to go to anybody’s damn yard sale anymore.
“Heck, football season is over in April,” she added.
“I don’t see what the big deal is.”
Baby’s birth leads to purchase of much larger SUV
The birth of a Vestavia Hills couple’s firstborn is the loose justification for their trading their black Honda Pilot for a massive, candy-apple red Chevrolet Tahoe that a proud car dealer described as “big enough for a small family in Fairfield to live in”
“After little G.D. was born, we were like, ‘This tiny little Pilot doesn’t have enough room for a family of three,’” said Melanie Mitchell, 28, as she climbed five feet to fasten her newborn Gerome Dallas Mitchell, into his carseat. “I mean, if we go a block down the street for groceries, we’ve got to bring the big stroller, and we’ve got to bring G.D.’s books if he gets bored sleeping, and we’ve got to bring seven bottles of formula, and we’ve got to bring at least six of his toys because we want him to be particular, and we’ve got to bring a little iPod speaker to play classical music in the stroller so he’ll be smart, and of course, and then we got to bring chargers, and a laptop to get new music and games for him to play to build up his motor skills, and if we bring all that, then we’ve got to bring the lifesize mock up baby decoy [an overpiced baby doll] and all the baby decoy’s duplicate stuff so little G.D. doesn’t feel baby-lonely and like he always has a baby friend, and a baby friend who he doesn’t have to worry about being financially insecure so G.D. doesn’t grow up all manic depressive like we read.
“Oh, and I guess we need extra room for more groceries and stuff too,” she added. “I just want everything to be OK, and a car big enough to fit a pontoon boat in makes me feel closer to that.
“Though I do need the baby monitor to tell if G.D. is crying because the car is so big,” she said, giggling.
Mitchell then drove to The Summit shopping center near Mountain Brook, where she sideswiped seven vehicles, crushed a shopping cart and blocked two lanes of traffic finding a place to park.
All of which, to be fair, that the baby seemed to enjoy immensely.
Reran Tragedy is Weld’s satirical blog about politics and life in Alabama and the South. Much of what you will read here is fictionalized, except for all the parts that are unfortunately true because they are about politics and life in Alabama and the South. You can follow it on Twitter @ReranTragedy. You can reach the blog’s author at email@example.com.
The artist known as Cal Alabaster Jr., if that is his or her real name, may or may not also be the author of the Alabama humor blog called “King Cockfight.” If true, you may read Cal’s work there at kingcockfight.wordpress.com