Athens Review, Athens, Texas

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October 4, 2012

I need for all this woman’s friends to help me apologize

Athens — I need a favor. Yes, from you. I should be humble today, all things  considered.

Here's the deal. I need for all friends of Carolyn Tumlinson to help me apologize to her.

I'd do it myself, but I just stood her up for lunch, and she's defriending me.

Carolyn, as you know, has 5,478 friends who rank in her top five friends on earth. We all love being in the top five, and Carolyn really does love us all.

But I fell out of her  Top 5,478 today.

I have now, according to the 12 sticky notes left on my computer screen when I got back from lunch with employee Rich Flowers, been relegated to Tumlinson hell.

I say that because, Hell hath no fury like a Carolyn scorned.

While sitting in this office, undoubtedly with increasing impatience, she said on her stickies, “Waiting!”

Followed by:

• 10 minutes have passed!

•   I'm starting to cry!”

•  Thought we were friends! Best friends!

•  I'm starving!

•   30 minutes and no Art!

•  I'm crying again!

•  Hope you enjoyed your lunch!

•  Feeling abused!

•  I'm deleting you from Facebook!

•  Did you forget me? (Duh);

•  Where are you?

•   Well, (expletive deleted).!!!

I'm guessing by now you're a little peeved with me, too. That's good. Take that. Use it. Embrace it. Wrap your arms around Carolyn, and hate on me together.

When the Good Lord was passing out memories way back in the 1940s he gave me a very good long-term memory. Go ahead, ask me who the defensive back was for Oklahoma back in 1957, who got blocked, allowing Notre Dame to score the touchdown heard 'round the universe, breaking the Sooners' 47-game winning streak.

  It was Carl Dodd. I know lots of that useless stuff.

Now ask me what I had for breakfast this morning?

Couldn't tell you if you had a gun at my head. You'd have to shoot me.

We're talking figuratively here, Carolyn.

Yes, it's true, I did send her a message about 11 a.m., telling her I was good to go at noon. She was going to stop by the paper and fetch me.

I hung up, and felt a pang in my stomach.  I was  unknowingly vulnerable when Rich (this is all his fault) Flowers said “Lets go to Jaliscos.”

Like a windup doll, I got up, marched out the door, ate sour-cream chicken enchiladas, talked about UT's mighty challenge with West Virginia coming up, drove back, and walked in the front door.

Several normally friendly women here at the paper, stood there with arms folded, and stoic expressions on their faces 

“Oh look, somebody's left me a bunch of notes,” I  said foolishly.

In unison now. “I  guess you do. You stood Carolyn up, you, you, you...”

I immediately called, and left Ms. Tumlinson a crawl-on-the-floor apology by phone. Then on Facebook. Now in my column.

I seem to have no control over this inexplicable weakness, because I never have any idea when it's going to rise up, and bite me in the bohunkus, and irritate the people I love most.

So, to the City of Athens,  Henderson County, the Good Lord, Gov. Perry, President Obama and my mama down in Kingsland, I am very sorry for standing up Carolyn Tumlinson for lunch Wednesday — especially since she was planning to pick up the check.

I've been in Athens for a dozen years now, and I've never met a nicer, kinder-hearted, funny, full of life and other things, person than Carolyn Tumlinson.

So when you see her — and  you will, because she's out there  — provide  her with some group therapy, and hate on me together.

You'll feel better. I'm sure I will, too.

Art Lawler is a Staff Writer for the Athens Daily Review.

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