Call me silly, but I was all prepared to finish a piece on the value of our pets and how much society would benefit if we only knew how to live and love similarly. Then I was told of an open letter written by a local keyboard assassin (as he put it) for whom I’ve expressed some contempt who wants to debate me about Carol Bush, current County Judge. As I read the letter I’m almost certain I heard the High Noon theme playing in the background. That followed a text I received showing the same guy videotaping himself while in the top of a tree complaining about being the ‘victim’ of my recent opinions.

First of all, no one should be making a video while in the top of a tree on a cold winter day. The ground and a dose of reality would be far more stable.

Second, I’m rather certain Carol Bush doesn’t need my help in dealing with a few guys who think manhood is established by some public face-to-face debate and the constant berating of others. The very notion would suggest that someone’s manhood may need a boost, but I’m not aware that it’s mine. I’ll admit to wearing some goofy looking shoes from time to time, being obnoxious about my Bama wardrobe and that no one should ever put a chainsaw in my hands expecting a positive outcome, but I like to believe my masculinity does, in fact, come from other places. Some of my closet pals might disagree, but I rarely listen to them on such subjects, anyway.

Third, should I ever run for office, which I can assure you will not happen, I’ll be happy to debate anyone about anything. Debating a guy though who already tells people everything he believes — true or false, real or unreal, logical or not-so-much — certainly doesn’t need or deserve another forum in which to perform. If Mr. Fabby wants to debate he should have run for office again. He could then tell us about how there are mean people everywhere, that Ron Paul is the greatest of all time and that daylight savings time is a deceitful conspiracy.

Fourth, what these guys can’t seem to grasp is that outside their echo chamber, the real world exists. Rodney Ramsey, as I see it, has no business being near a county budget or a judgeship despite how many slaps on the back he may get from his buddies. While the sounds inside the echo chamber may provide a false sense of progress, other things are happening. Todd Little and Carol Bush provided a bit of that reality last Thursday night. Winning a race for public office, after all, requires credibility, a well-thought-out strategy, successful track record, quality endorsements and character.

Fifth, these community bully types who wilt when punched back need to knock it off. You can measure the wilt by their amplified tough talk and entertaining videos, yet they don’t get it. In a strange way, I find that sad.

So, the column on how pets enrich the world and our lives will come soon. Our crazy dog, Maggie, is not only an ever-present source of warmth, comfort, joy and love, we’d be incomplete without her. I know many of you can say the same about your pet. I also want to tell you about the on-site television interview we did with Al Jazeera America this past Thursday. Much like with the BBC in November, Al Jazeera wanted to know our thoughts on Trump - from his tweet addiction to his masterful ability to control the national narrative to the growing economy to foreign policy – and we gave it to them. It was fun and enjoyable. Once we have the link to the segment, we’ll share it, as well.

I’ll be taking a break next week, but back at it the following Sunday. Until then, my hope is that you will stay on guard against those among us who seek to penetrate goodness, growth and vitality with conflict and damage.

Of course, we remain honored to be that guard.