These are the thoughts of a Texas transplant in West Michigan who makes his living as a newspaper reporter by evening, and a struggling novelist by day.

Thursday, September 07, 2006


i woke up this morning when the alarm rang and dawn got up. i couldn't immediately go back to sleep, so i spent about 30 minutes running a whole bunch of nothing through my mind in an effort to try to go back to sleep.

it was all nonsense stuff, all of which i have forgoten...except for heaven-o.

the idea popped into my head about the thing some people in south texas wanted to change. i wracked my mind trying to think of what the change was. nothing, nothing, nothing. finally, when i woke up, it came to me. heaven-o.

here's the background. this guy named leonso canales jr. from kleberg county in south texas had a bee in his bonnet about using the salutation "hello" because it contained thw word "hell" in it. he started a campaign that culminated in 1997 with (get this) the kleberg county commissioners adopting a resolution for employees to (optional use the new greeting "heaven-o."

i remember when i first happened and i heard about it in the news. i thought it was the stupidiest thing i'd heard (or at least the top three). what was more astounding is that the commissioners adopted the resolution, unanimously. frightening.

kleberg county is only about 25 miles from where i grew up in duval county and it's the place i went to college and psent many years in classes there.

canales is quoted as saying that the "o" disguises the hell, but that it's there. when you finally see it, "it slaps you in the face."

tp his credit, canales does not want it to be a religious thing or affiliate it with a church. but i don't believe all religions believe in a heaven in the sense of the place like christianity does. so he's being a little elitist there.

in a piece of exchange with a man from san antonio, texas, canales says that if the pledge of allegiance said "one nation under satan, instead of under god, then it would be okay to use "hello." well, i hate to burst canales' bubble about the pledge of allegiance but the hallowed pledge was an advertising ploy in 1893 for a flag maker to sell more flags. he thought the little ditty he made up would help him sell more flags. and look where that little ditty has gone, to space and beyond.

i hope this link works. it contains a series of exchanges between mr. canales and another man.

i think the heaven-o thing is a bunch of hooey, for lack of a better, but perhaps more vicious expletive. ow anyone could spent time and energy dedicating himself to this effort is insane. i suppose wht it really says is if you want to pick something crazy to fight for, you can, no matter how bizarre, stupid or out of this world it appears to be.

i mean, when i say hello, i usualy say "he (short e sound) lo. i don't put an particular emphasis on the hell part of hello. it's stupid.

i must admit, maybe i'm missing the point, but i really never thought of hello as negative simply because it contains the word hell in it. it just doesn't matter. i have othere useless things to spend my time doing other than thinking of this.

caution to our fellow michiganians in hell, mich. you guys are in trouble, how dare ye mock the world and the sanctity of all that is good around us by having your forefathers call the town hell.

musical note to paul mccartney: you are damned for writing "hello goodbye." you should have thought it out more carefully before writing it. or did you? ah, now i understand the connection between the beatles and manson. it's so clear to me. it was all intentional. you sly lad.

"you say heaven-o, i say goodbye/ heaven-o, heaven-o."... han, just doesn't have the same ring, does it? you did the right thing paul.