APRIL 16, 2016 -- JIM NEFF








Well kidlings, it's a time for another round of "You Can't Make Up This Stuff," the game based on my brother Big Rob's theory that reality is stranger than any fiction. When we play this game we usually we begin with an item from Big Rob's stomping grounds of Flint. However, given Flint's water situation, there is nothing humorous about living in that city. That said, we begin with an item from an undisclosed location in mid-Michigan.


This has somewhat of a Cadillac connection because it's filed by Jessica Dupnack, a former reporter for TV 9&10 who now works for ABC 12 in Flint. It seems that a man was away from his home for a few days. He asked a buddy to keep an eye on the house and the buddy invited a woman to stay for one night. When the man returned to his home he found the woman living there and now he can't get her to leave. She's been there a month and the poor guy has witnessed drug deals, comings and goings by strange people, and over $1000 of his stuff has gone missing. Flint police say because someone allowed her to stay at the home in the first place, and because it's been longer than 72 hours, it becomes a civil court matter so the home owner has to go through the formal eviction process. Dupnack says: “Sounds like a bad dream, but it’s very real.” Remember this the next time one of your relatives wants to “visit” for a few days. You may want to give that person a 71-hour window.



Speaking of the court system, as reported in the Cadillac News this week, the so-called “affluenza teen” was sentenced to serve two years in prison for a fatal drunken-driving wreck that caused four deaths. You might remember is defense was that his privileged upbringing left him unable to tell right from wrong. What you may not know is that this guy has already received $200,000 in residential care and support and the taxpayers of Texas have been stuck with the tab. This is because, his parents were found to be “financially unable to pay.” Think about this. The parents had enough money to spoil the kid rotten thereby supposedly infecting him with affluenza, but they don't have money to pay for his treatment. Wonderful family values, eh? (http://www.star-telegram.com/news/local/community/fort-worth/article71354972.html)


Politics is always fodder for a laugh. I'm sure you've heard about senate Republicans not giving President Obama's nominations to the Supreme Court because, as they theorize: “Obama is a lame-duck president, so it’s only fair to wait until after the November elections and let the next president fill the court vacancy.” Senator Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), the chairman of the Judiciary Committee said on the Senate floor. “The president should let the people decide.”


To that argument, an Iowa teenager has made the following point. “Jake Smith, a senior at Roosevelt High School in Des Moines, pointed out that by Grassley’s own logic, he should step down as chairman of the Judiciary Committee during the Supreme Court debate. That’s because he’s a lame-duck politician, too. 'Senator, since you, too, are in an election year, how can you possess the authority to make a decision that will affect the future of our country if the people have not yet spoken? Following the direction of the Republican’s logic, I politely ask you to step aside as chairman of the Senate Judiciary committee until the elections take place.'” Grassley may want to decline any invitations to appear on that “Are you smarter than a fifth grader” television show. (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/chuck-grassley-supreme-court-nominee_us_56fe990de4b0daf53aef7bc9)


I'm a sports fan and I enjoyed watching the NCAA March Madness men's basketball tournament. Apparently, I was one of the few that watched, though, because the television viewership numbers were down the entire tournament and the championship game was down 37 percent from last year. Then I learned: “The ten highest-rated title games of the last 40 years were all played before 1995. The huge money and television ballyhoo now surrounding the tournament might actually be diminishing it.”

So, with this knowledge, what have the the TV networks done? Why signed a contract with the NCAA to televise the tourney through 2032 to the tune of $1.1 billion per year (up from $770 million per year). It's only money, folks. But at least now you know why your cable/satellite bills keep going up. (http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/ncaab/2016/04/12/ncaa-tournament-deal-with-cbs-turner-extended-through-2032/82941230/ and http://www.detroitnews.com/story/opinion/2016/04/02/mccall-tv-hijacked-march-madness/82574938/).


Finally, something really cool for Cadillac. Think of the greatest rock and roll concerts in Michigan of all time. Beginning with Chuck Berry and Buddy Holly, up through all those phenomenal Motown artists, into the British Invasion (Beatles, Rolling Stones, Who), on to Springsteen, Tina Turner, AC/DC, and including home grown talents (like Bob Seger, Grand Funk Railroad, and Kid Rock). Most of these shows were held in stadiums, arenas or outdoor venues in front of thousands of people. You could spend all day on this compilation.


MLive recently made a list of the 30 greatest shows in the history of Michigan. On that list was the 1975 KISS concert in the Cadillac High School gym. Plus, the headline photo in the MLive article was one from the 1975 KISS Cadillac homecoming parade. If that does not prove the legendary status of Cadillac in the annals of rock and roll, I don't know what does. If I may borrow a part of the opening to every KISS concert and adapt it to Cadillac: “You wanted the best, you got the best – Cadillac, Michigan.” (http://www.mlive.com/entertainment/index.ssf/2016/03/great_concerts_michigan_history.html#0)


Jim Neff is a local columnist. Read Neff Zone columns online at CadillacNews.com and NeffZone.com/cadillacnews.

John Auchter
MLive Media Group
Apr 15, 2016