Jack Godbey: Never say never again

Published 7:35 am Tuesday, January 17, 2023

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I have always heard the saying to never say never because things can change on a dime. I have found that to be accurate advice. Never seems to be a word that may seem appropriate to use at the time but just like a New Year’s resolution diet, it can rarely withstand the test of time.

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I can recall several times throughout my life when I would say never only to have to turn around and eat those words on down the road. For example, Many Sunday dinners that included my favorite foods would result in overindulgence. My stomach was saying stop but my taste buds were saying go! Of course, it didn’t take long for my stomach to win that battle and make me regret those decisions and as I sat on the couch in my stretchy pants watching reruns of The Andy Griffith Show and popping antacids like they were M&M’s, I would mutter those famous words, “Never again will I eat that much”. However, once the colossal job of digesting was complete, I would forget all about those words quicker that a 5 th grade algebra test and would find myself the next week at the Golden Corral Buffet eating so many plates of mashed potatoes that I expected to be escorted out at any moment. Yea, they put all you can eat on the sign but judging by the side eye I got from the waitress, they don’t mean it. Before long, the employees began to huddle and discuss how to keep me away from the macaroni and cheese. When they say all you can eat, they clearly don’t know who they are messing with. On the ride home, I would once more utter those words of “Never again”.

Now that I think of it, I’ve said never about a lot of things that proved to be in vain. For example, back in the 1980’s when I was in high school, I said I would never cut off my mullet or wear anything except my jeans jacket with the hole under the sleeve and the Molly Hatchet patch on the back and yet thankfully, those things are no more. I recall when my wife said she wanted to get a cat. I told her that would never happen. Now, not only do I have a cat, but the little booger sleeps in the bed with me and eats better than I do.

I recall many years ago, my father was forced to have most of his teeth pulled which resulted in him having to reevaluate the foods he was able to eat. I remember one day shortly after that, my mother fixed corn on the cob for supper. My dad stated that he didn’t understand why she would ever fix such a thing as he would never be able to eat corn on the cob again. My mother tells the funny story that a few hours later she walks into the kitchen only to see my dad mowin’ through the corn like a buzz saw. Once again, never proved to be short lived.

We foolishly seem to think that we can predict the weather and say things like, “it will never be that cold,” or “it will never rain that much.” It seems that the word never is taken as a dare by Mother Nature. As soon as it’s uttered, she says, “Oh yea. Watch this.”

They say that if you want something you’ve never had then you’ve got to do something that you’ve never done. If history is any indicator the only sure thing about never is that it’s not accurate for very long.