Bill Turner
“Les mains occupées ne ramassent pas de mousse.”
“Busy hands gather no moss.”
We start off this month with a little French phrase and move to a bigger French innovation. Anything to make this column appear international, European in context, with a little British slang thrown in.
With things being sort of slow in the world of sports, it’s been important to keep the staff busy with various projects around corporate headquarters. After all, The Chief has been extraordinary in not having furloughs, salary cuts or slashes in vacation time. So, with The Chief still secluded at his remote mountaintop retreat (for which I will not reveal the location), I challenged the staff to come up with a unique project to both keep them busy and please The Chief upon his return.
Various ideas were thrown around the drawing board, mostly involving indoor projects to stay out of the blistering July heat. Finally, one of our talented interns came up with quite the idea. Since The Chief is a sophisticated type of guy with a certain c’est la vie swagger, why don’t we upgrade the executive washroom with a French bidet?
For any unsophisticated readers, a French bidet is basically a replacement for toilet paper. Sort of a water gun aimed at one’s derrière during a visit to the loo, or British for potty. And, with our recent shortage of toilet paper, what a timely idea in addition to these startling facts.
Americans use 36.5 billion rolls of toilet paper every year, representing the pulping of some 15 million trees and over 473 billion gallons of water and 253,000 tons of chlorine to produce the paper. There are enough empty toilet paper tubes thrown out each year to fill the Empire State Building…TWICE.
Yes, you always learn something when you read this column.
So, there was little left to do other than organize a field trip for the staff to hopefully pick out The Chief’s new bidet. Off we went to an upscale bathroom showroom where the salesperson was eager for this sale, and we got an eye-opening pitch.
The suggested model, the must-buy in the world of French bidets, was the TOTO Neorest 750H Dual Flush with Actilight in Cotton White. Sounds more like a rocket. This model comes with all the top features including UV light cleaning, automatic seat and lid, three wash modes, oscillating and pulsing wash modes, auto-flush, air purifying system, adjustable seat, adjustable spray and bowl mister. Total cost: $13,870. Yep, you read that right, nearly $14K for a fancy commode.
We were also pointed to a popular add-on accessory: the throne-side media player that supports an SD card reader for custom audio playlists. I guess it was a little interjection of humor when the demo song was “You Dropped a Bomb on Me” by the The Gap Band, a 70s funk trio of brothers. I realize The Chief likes his music, but this is a bit of a push, or maybe a flush?
After this debacle, I took the crew to The Roanoke Weiner Stand to regroup and move to Plan B. One staffer quickly found our solution: The Clear Rear. Costing less than $50 and a Do-It-Yourself Install, the Clear Rear is billed as the breakthrough invention that can transform your boring bathroom into a fancy restroom in just 15 minutes to give you a refreshing spa-like cleanse that leaves people extra clean with a luxury cleanse every time you sit down. Purchase complete, and once we figure out how to adjust the water jet height, The Chief is set to sit.
Now, let’s quickly move on more traditional area sports where more is going on than first meets the eye.
Congratulations go out to Cave Spring’s Jack Cowher for receiving the prestigious 2020 Don Holliday Memorial Scholarship. The award, the largest from the long list of awards through the Roanoke Valley Golf Hall of Fame, amounts to $30,000 to Cowher spread over four years.
Honors for our top senior high school softball players came to a conclusion last week with the All-Star games at Arnold Burton Complex in Salem. Forty-four seniors comprised four teams that played two games on two consecutive nights. The Red and Navy teams won both of their games, while Abby Weaver (Cave Spring/UVA), Meredith Wells (Lord Botetourt/JMU) and Peyton Kreklow (James River/Bluefield College) earned most valuable player honors.
On Saturday, August 1st, Salem Memorial Ballpark will welcome 63 local high school senior baseball players along with their friends and family during “The Last Inning.” Four teams featuring players from 21 area high schools will play a pair of games at 3PM and 6:30PM, with post-game fireworks. Admission is free and concessions will be available for purchase. All social distancing will be followed and masks are encouraged. Practices for all teams will be Tuesday and Wednesday, July 28-29 at 4:30 PM and 6PM and open for spectators.
The Roanoke Valley Sports Club will have one of its biggest events in several years as ESPN reporter/host Marty Smith will be the guest speaker on Monday, August 17th in the Salem Civic main arena. Smith, who joined ESPN in 2006, currently covers a variety of sports including college football, basketball, both the NFL and NBA, NASCAR and others. Smith has traveled the world for various features including his trip to Rome with Coach Jim Harbaugh and the University of Michigan football team where he spent a week following the team. A Radford University graduate, Smith covered sports for daily newspapers in Roanoke and Lynchburg before joining NASCAR.com. Reservations for this meeting will be limited to 300 and required in advance. Social distancing will be observed. For more information and to make reservations visit the club’s website at www.roanokevalleysportsclub.com.
Finally, to the mail bag where numerous inquiries have centered around high school football this fall and comments on spectator-less pro sports now upon us.
Dear Wild Bill: I’m a huge fan of high school football. What’s the latest? (Robert/Roanoke)
In a nutshell, Robert, there will be no Friday Night Lights this fall for our “Big-11” teams. The VHSL will make an announcement on Monday, July 27th regarding realigned schedules, including moving football to the spring and playing a delayed and condensed basketball schedule this winter. Stay tuned for the exact specifics later this month.
Dear Mr. Loudmouth Pants: Are there any upsides to not having spectators at professional sporting events? (Hal/ Salem)
Well, Hal, bleachers without fans in Major League Stadiums and NBA arenas seem awkward. But, PGA Golf may have a winner. The notorious fool who can always be heard, whether during a 155-yard tee shot on a par-3 or a fairway shot from 260-yards on a par-5, screaming “in-the-hole!” will be silenced. Hopefully, he’ll move his vocal commentary to a Cornhole tournament in North Dakota.
Until next time, take a seat, warm up the water and keep up with sports in The Star.
– Bill Turner