In all the hubbub over the construction of a mosque at Ground Zero in New York City as a reciprocal gesture of friendship to Muslims who have agreed to build the Ali Khamenei Baptist Tabernacle in downtown Tehran, you may have missed the latest debate between Georgia's gubernatorial candidates sponsored by the Yarbrough Worldwide Media and Pest Control Company, located in a pool hall in Greater Garfield, Georgia.
The debate was moderated by Junior E. Lee, the organization's general manager and one of the nation's most respected pollsters as well as a certified termite inspector. Participating were Democrat Roy Barnes, Republican Nathan Deal and Libertarian John Monds, who wasn't aware a debate was taking place. He had just stopped by to shoot a little pool.
Junior began the session by asking the candidates to justify to Georgia voters all the mud-slinging ads and negative campaigning.
BARNES: I am not running negative ads. I'm just saying that Nathan Deal is unethical as all git-out and ought to drop out of the race, and that he is totally unqualified to be governor and has mean eyes. Never trust a man with mean eyes.
DEAL: Oh yeah? Well, we all trust your judgment, Mr. Pillsbury Doughboy, since you were a big supporter of John Edwards' campaign for president. Who was your second choice? Nancy Pelosi?
MONDS: Has anybody seen the cue ball?
BARNES: Who is Nancy Pelosi?
JUNIOR: Let's move on to another subject. What is the biggest issue facing the state today?
DEAL: There are three: Education and jobs.
BARNES: That's just two, Mr. Potato Head.
DEAL: Glad you reminded me. You are the third problem. We are in the mess we are in today because of your disastrous term as governor.
BARNES: At least I don't have some grand jury breathing down my neck.
DEAL: That's because you apologize for everything. You would bore a grand jury to pieces.
MONDS: Now, I can't find a pool cue.
JUNIOR: Can we talk about public education for a moment?
BARNES: You betcha. I am for public education. Public education ranks right up there with motherhood and apple pie.
DEAL: Oh, good grief.
MONDS: Somebody want to rack 'em up down at that end of the table?
JUNIOR: What about our water problems?
DEAL: I think my friends in South Georgia are being treated unfairly because North Georgia wants all the water for development and doesn't want to share and I think my friends in North Georgia are being treated unfairly because they need the water for development instead of having to share it with South Georgia. Therefore, I stand solidly with my friends.
BARNES: That sounds like something somebody would say who has been in Washington too long. Why don't you stick to salvaging wrecked cars since your whole campaign is a car wreck waiting to happen?
DEAL: Speaking of Washington, how is your buddy Barack Obama? And where do you store the award you got from the Kennedys for changing the state flag to something that looked like a pair of cheap golf slacks?
MONDS: Let's try the four ball in the side pocket.
JUNIOR: Last question. What will you do about illegal immigrants crossing our borders?
BARNES: I have already announced that I am going to put guards at the Alabama border with orders to shoot to kill. We have enough people from Alabama here already and we don't need any more.
DEAL: I had rather focus on stopping all the people coming here from Connecticut and Massachusetts. The first thing they will do is put butter on their sandwich bread instead of mayonnaise. They will even try to attend our colleges and universities but will refuse to cut our grass. Nathan Deal is for a better class of illegal aliens.
JUNIOR: Thank you, gentlemen for letting voters know where you stand on critical issues facing our state. This was very enlightening.
MONDS: I ran the table! Rack 'em up again, boys, and put your money on the table. I'm smokin'!
NOTE: After the debate, a poll by Yarbrough Worldwide Media and Pest Control Company showed John Monds the clear winner. The Pillsbury Doughboy and Mr. Potato Head were second. Barnes and Deal tied for third.
Dick Yarbrough is a North Georgia resident whose column appears Saturdays and on gainesvilletimes.com. You can reach him at P.O. Box 725373, Atlanta, GA 31139; website, www.dickyarbrough.com.