The Newnan Times-Herald


​The high cost of happiness

  • By The Newnan Times-Herald
  • |
  • Jan. 09, 2016 - 10:48 PM

Mr. Buzz Studly, Chairman

The Manly Man Club

Rural Route 12

Lolo, Idaho, USA

Dear Buzz,

It is with a heavy heart that I hereby surrender my Man Card. It is enclosed with this letter. I’m sure you don’t get many voluntary cancellations, so an explanation is probably in order. Here goes.

Like many Man Card holders, I am a football fan. I am especially fond of college football, but with few exceptions, feel little or no attachment to pro football teams.

One of those exceptions is the Green Bay Packers. I have been a Packers fan for decades, but moved from “fan” to “follower” when my daughter, Heather, moved to Green Bay.

I have now been to a Packers game at legendary Lambeau Field. I have loads of Packers game day gear, and can holler “Go, Pack, Go!” with the best of them.

This year, pulling for The Pack hasn't been easy. Green Bay roared off to a great start, but as the last game of the regular season kicked off on Sunday, January 3, the once awesome Pack was a shadow of itself as the Minnesota Vikings rolled into town.

Once the the Vikings took a 6-3 lead, the final outcome was no longer in doubt. I couldn’t watch any longer. I grabbed the remote and changed channels.

That would have been OK if I had changed to a war movie, or something with lots of gore and guts and car chases. I didn’t.

I abandoned the Green Bay Packers to watch an episode of Downton Abbey.

That was bad. This is worse: I liked it. A lot.

In case you haven’t heard, Buzz, Downton Abbey is a wildly popular PBS TV drama about a bunch of rich British aristocrats (and their hired help) struggling to deal with changing times and shrinking fortunes in the early 20th century.

Females on my Facebook feed follow this show like teenage girls once followed Elvis. My wife, Angela, is also a huge fan, but I figured it was mostly because Angela loves tea and the cast of Downton guzzle the stuff by the gallon.

I tuned in expecting lots of “tut-tuts” and “tally-hos” from a bunch of losers. How wrong I was. After only one episode, I realized the show features the biggest collection of liars, cheaters, stealers and backstabbers this side of the Old Testament. It’s wonderful.

One story line involves Lady Mary, daughter of Lord Grantham. Lady Mary is what we now call a “free spirit.” In the episode I watched — set in 1925 — she was being blackmailed by some bimbo from the wrong side of the British Rail tracks.

The blackmailer-ette wanted a thousand pounds to keep quiet about a scandalous affair between Lady Mary and the Viscount Gillingham.

Here’s the shocking part. Neither Lady Mary nor the lounge lizard Gillingham were married at the time of the affair.

How things have changed. These days, having “relations” out of wedlock is barely grounds for a raised eyebrow, much less blackmail. But I digress.

There were touching moments, too, Buzz. Like millions of others, I breathed a sigh of relief when Mrs. Hughes agreed to set a wedding date with Carson the butler after being assured by a third party that neither her “maturity” nor hard-earned wrinkles could dampen Carson’s love — or lust — for her. I can’t wait for the wedding.

I could go on, Buzz, but let’s leave at this — Downton Abbey is juicier than a fresh fruit smoothie. I’ll keep watching. Cancel my Man Card.

If you care to discuss this further, you have my number so feel free to call. But not on Sunday evenings at 9pm EST. I’ll be busy.