Traveler VII, USC’s purebred Andalusion horse (left) and Robert E. Lee’s Traveller, American bred gray mount.



By Harry M. Covert

I’m on my high horse today. I’m also astounded at the continuing display of stupidity, ignorance and total dysfunctional conduct enduring throughout the land. There seems no way to describe the silliness, seriousness and triviality in any other way than growing evil at the seams.
Despite the desolation so prominent, there comes the story out of the left coast where the purebred Andalusian horse, Traveler VII, is under attack. This magnificent animal is in his 11th year as mascot of the University of Southern California (USC) and runs up and down during the Trojans football games.
Recently the nincompoops have again raised their ugly heads. Traveler with one “L” is a white-colored equine. His name is one of the six most popular, according to national horse professionals. The mascot was first introduced in the fall of 1961 when the Trojans gridders played Georgia Tech.
The no-name complainants say one-ell is too similar to the Traveller (two-ell), General Robert E. Lee’s mount. But he was gray, an American bred and not white. At the U.S. Army base in Fort Lee, Va., the newspaper is named Traveller and has been since 1941.The installation is located in Petersburg, VA., near the Petersburg National Battlefield managed by the National Park Service.
Forrest Gump, speaking the brilliant words of novelist and non-fiction writer Winston Groom, described perfectly the situation in the country today, “stupid is as stupid does.”

Now, for the second portion of this colloquy. The Peta folks now want to ban dining on lobsters. No, no, no friends. The first time I had a lobster sub sandwich was in New England a half-century ago. I was hooked forever. When I had a lobster-crab sub, the heavens were smiling on my taste buds.
With respect to animal lovers everywhere, I must explain that National Lobster Day arrives September 25. I can hardly calm my enthusiasm. Imagine all the problems facing The Episcopal Church of America where the presiding bishop has been asked to “Speak Out Against Boiling Sensitive Crustaceans Alive.”
In a letter datelined Portland, Maine, “LAMBS,” the Christian Division of Peta, wrote “that at least 17 Episcopalian churches collectively kill more than 10,000 lobsters annually.”
In its letter, LAMBS noted that leading scientists assert that lobsters feel pain—and that boiling these sensitive animals alive overlooks Jesus’ teachings in Matthew 25:40 that “[w]hatever you do unto the least among my brothers and sisters, you do as unto me.” This is also the verse that inspired the creation of LAMBS.
As of this writing the presiding bishop and TECUSA primate has not commented.
Now this may appear to be unkind or unpleasant or what have you, but I can hardly wait for a lobster roll, dripping with melted real butter, fresh corn on the cob also covered with butter, some hush puppies, and maybe some French, American or Belgian fries. We need not wait for the celebration day. Church feasts that I recall have always been outstanding, filling and spiritual dining experiences. I will celebrate at known seafood emporiums. I know where they are.
Where does all the incredible nonsense go from here? The joy of observing the public behavior continues and the stories pile up and fill the national consciousness. It is difficult to understand the sadness and suffering of our neighbors in Texas and Louisiana but to endure is to have a few chuckles. That keeps most folks sane and reading and being informed.
The Trojans’ magnificent mascot is marvelous. The idea for it came from the 1961 Rose Bowl Parade. Why disparage Traveler VII and Traveller I? The haters are simply hateful and don’t care about anyone else.
Seafood has long been a leading cuisine not only for New Englanders but everywhere along the Atlantic Coast, eating establishments abound. The vast majority are marvelous in all forms.
Keep all the flood victims in thoughts and prayers.
————————————————————————————————————————————–This column appears in The Tentacle.