Once again the last holiday of summer is upon us and that means a final chance for summer picnics, family reunions, and end-of-season parties. There will inevitably be a lot of conversational chatter going on, so it's important for you to be armed with a host of chit-chat worthy topics that will not inspire a fist fight.


One such item will require immediate action. A while back, KFC gave away 3,000 bottles of fried chicken scented sunscreen. This was a promotion for its extra crispy chicken. The bottles were snapped up, but the word on the street is that a second batch is in the works. “Currently, KFC's website said all the promotional bottles are gone, however a spokesperson told more sunscreen will soon be available and the website will be updated shortly. Fans can claim their bottle by visiting and completing the request form, while supplies last.” I am not sure if this will be alluring to your significant other, but I do know every dog in the neighborhood will be giving you doggie kisses. (


Speaking of dogs, it might interest you to know that the ASPCA estimates that owning a dog will cost you (on average) $1,314 to $1,843 for the first year, depending on the breed. After that, estimates the yearly average cost of ownership is $2,858. adds that the five breeds most likely to require expensive medical treatments are: Bernese mountain dogs, Newfoundlands, Rottweilers, English cocker spaniels, and Doberman pinschers. Whew, that's a lot of kibble.



While you are out walking your dog, this time of year you see many people with tattoos. This is because summer fashions lend themselves to exposing more body art than during the winter. Some tattoos are very beautiful, but many fall into the “what-the-heck-were-they-thinking” category. (In my younger days, I was going to get a tattoo of a $100 dollar bill, but I figured when I got old and my skin shriveled it would resemble a $1 dollar bill and I'd die looking like a cheapskate.) Anyway, columnist Carolyn Hax offered this good advice. “I met a gentleman with beautiful tattoos. He had a young sister who wanted to get one too; she had a friend who offered to give her one super cheap. She was so excited and wanted to get it right away. This brother's advice to her was to write what tattoo she wanted on the calendar that very day. If a year from that date she still wanted that same tattoo, he would take her to his wonderful tattoo artist, and he would even pay for it himself. If at any time in that year she changed her mind and wanted a different one, the one-year calendar mark would start again.” Sage wisdom.



As you walk around Cadillac (bathed in chicken sunscreen, dog on leash, scoping tattoos), you might pass by the KISS Cadillac Monument at the southeast corner of Veterans Memorial Stadium. In KISS-related news, you may be interested to learn that a couple of weeks ago a 1976 Cadillac High School yearbook was auctioned on eBay and the winning bid was $1,026. In the world of KISS, this is one of the most sought after pieces of memorabilia on the planet. (


With all the walking around, you might get parched at some point. There's nothing like a cool glass of water to slake that thirst. Go ahead and enjoy that refreshment, but beware if there is a lemon slice in your glass. “A study published in the Journal of Environmental Health...found that almost 70 percent of samples produced some kind of microbial growth, and included 25 different microbial species...The microbes found on the lemon samples all have the potential to cause infectious diseases at various body sites...People are touching the lemon in your glass, handling it, cutting it, placing it in a container or a cup, or a glass; and then picking up those slices at a later point in time and dropping them into a drink and putting them on the rim of a glass...You can easily see how those lemon slices and lemon wedges can be contaminated.” I guess when life hands you lemons, hand them back! Do not try to make lemonade.



Well, you can always opt for bottled water. On that front there is some good news. “As part of its Do Your Part water bottle recycling initiative, Detroit-based General Motors Co. has recycled 2 million water bottles from Flint residents, as well as an estimated 1.2 million bottles from GM facilities throughout metro Detroit, to turn them into engine covers, air filters for the company’s plants, and insulation to make coats for the homeless.” It takes 31 bottles for each coat and 6500 coats will be made. Flint residents still can't drink the tap water, but at least some of them will be warmer this winter. (


Another recycling (sort of) breakthrough is also pretty cool. You know that plastic film that covers things like packaged meat? “It turns out that kind of plastic is tougher to recycle and might even be adding harmful chemicals to your food.”

Do not despair. “U.S. Department of Agriculture researchers have discovered that a milk protein called casein can be used to develop an edible, biodegradable packaging film. The casein-based film is up to 500 times better than plastic at keeping oxygen away from food...It’s also more effective than current edible packaging materials made from starch and protects food products that are sensitive to light. Flavorings, vitamins, and other additives can be used to make the packaging, and the food it surrounds, tastier and more nutritious.” In the near future you may be eating the packaging right along with the product it wraps. Better than tofu, eh? (


So, there you go. Venture forth and enjoy the swan song of summer. Ski season is just 89 days away.


Jim Neff is a local columnist. Read Neff Zone columns online at and  

J.D. Crowe
Alabama Media Group
Aug 30, 2016